Selenium is a mineral found in the soil. Selenium naturally appears in water and some foods. While people only need a very small amount, selenium plays a key role in the metabolism.
Supporting research & information
Selenium has attracted attention because of its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect cells from damage. Selenium is an essential mineral and a component of an antioxidant enzyme, glutathione reductase, which is key in tissue respiration. Selenium is a trace element found widely in the environment. Research also suggests selenium plays an important role in our immune system's function, in thyroid hormone metabolism and in reproduction.
Selenium content of food is largely dependent on location and soil conditions, which vary widely.Good food sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, bread, fish, meat and eggs. If you eat these, you should be able to get all the selenium you need from your daily diet. The recommended daily intake is 75mcg (0.075mg) a day for men and 60mcg (0.06mg) a day for women. Taking 350mcg or less a day of selenium supplements is unlikely to cause any harm but too much selenium causes selenosis, a condition that, in its mildest form, can lead to loss of hair, skin and nails.
Selenium yeast is a form of supplemental selenium, which is also referred to as organic selenium.
Selenium Yeast Basics
Selenium yeast is produced using the microorganism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is better known as baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast. When the yeast is grown in a selenium-enriched medium, it absorbs the selenium and converts it into the form of selenium naturally found in foods, selenomethionine. The final product is used to fortify foods and to make supplements.
Your body depends on selenium to produce thyroid hormones and glutathione peroxidases, which are important antioxidants. If you have a selenium deficiency, taking selenium yeast ensures your body can continue to synthesize these essential substances.
Selenium supports the immune system by boosting the activity of white blood cells that fight infection and disease, according to a review in the scientific journal Endocrine in December 2014.
Selenium intake has been associated with lowering cholesterol, preventing cancer and treating Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, but research to date has produced inconclusive results.
Autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's thyroiditis). Research shows that taking 200 mcg of selenium daily along with thyroid hormone might decrease antibodies in the body that contribute to this condition. Selenium might also help improve mood and general feelings of well-being in people with this condition. Selenium also seems to improve quality of life in people with this condition. Taking selenium doses under 200 mcg daily might not be as effective, and it might be more beneficial in people with more severe cases.