Picking the 9 Best Selenium Supplements
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Selenium is sort of like one of the body’s specialized workers. It doesn’t have quite as many jobs as other nutrients, but the jobs it does have are absolutely vital to our health. Without Selenium working to keep its areas of effect in check, we would quickly become quite unhealthy.
These are the 10 best selling selenium supplements with the highest reviews and best feedback online.
Top 10 Selenium Products Compared
1. NOW Foods Selenium
The NOW Foods selenium capsule is about the length of a penny, which is smaller than most. It does not smell bad or leave an aftertaste. This is one of the few supplements to contain rice flour, which isn’t as effective as other ingredients. The fact that there is more cellulose than vegetables in this capsule makes some pass on this one.
- Selenium (as L-Selenomethionine) 200 mcg
- Rice Flour
- Cellulose (capsule)
- Stearic Acid (vegetable source)
2. Nature’s Way Selenium
Nature’s Way selenium is another very straightforward product, delivering Selenium and almost nothing else at all. The pills are small and easy to swallow. That’s good news. The bad news is that many find the container hard to open, and these pills have a very powerful odor.
- Selenium (as L-selenomethionine) 200 mcg
- Gelatin (for the capsule)
3. Pure Encapsulations Selenium
Pure Encapsulations makes vegetarian capsules of Selenium that are widely considered to be one of the best on the market. Their product does not contain wheat, gluten, nuts, or eggs. They have a great reputation for providing accurate ingredient information. The pills are small and easy to digest.
- Selenium (as selenomethionine) 200 mcg
- Hypoallergic plant fiber (cellulose)
- Ascorbyl palmitate (fat-soluble vitamin C) 2 mg
- Vegetarian capsule made of cellulose and water
4. Innate Response Selenium
Innate Response makes a selenium supplement that contains an “organic botanical blend” that has ginger, turmeric root, and rosemary. The Selenium is delivered in whole food, which makes it easier to digest and more effective. This supplement is loaded with oregano, broccoli, CoQ10, probiotics, and more.
- Selenium 50 mcg
- Organic botanical blend 125 mg
- Organic whole food blend (organic spinach, carrots, and beets) 60 mg
- Immune blend 193 mg
- Bioactive enzymes and protein 67 mcg
- Vegetable cellulose
- Organic rice bran
- Vegetable lubricant
5. Thorne Research Selenomethionine
Thorne Research selenomethionine uses an amino-acid bound form of Selenium. These pills smell a little funky, and some people find them to have an unpleasant aftertaste.
- L-selenomethionine 200 mcg
- Microcrystalline Cellulose
- Hypromellose (for the capsule)
6. MegaFood Selenium
The Megafoods Selenium also contains a blend of organic vegetables, which makes it easier to digest. It has a much lower amount of Selenium than most, making this good for people who want the daily recommended amount (50 mcg) rather than the 200 mcg of most other brands. The big drawback of this supplement is that the pills are very large.
- Selenium 50 mcg
- Nourishing whole food blend (spinach, ginger root, turmeric root, oregano, parsley, rice, carrots, beets) 200 mg
- Immune health blend 133 mg (S. cerevisiae and broccoli)
- Plant cellulose
- Vegetable lubricant
- Organic brown rice
7. BlueBonnet Selenium
Bluebonnet Selenium capsules are easy to swallow and don’t have the upset stomach feeling some of the other supplements have. These do smell quite strong. The smell is so bad that some people can’t bring themselves to take them.
- Selenium (L-selenomethionine) elemental 200 mcg
- 100% Kosher vegetable capsules
- Vegetable cellulose
- Vegetable magnesium stearate
8. NutraBio Selenium
Out of all of the supplements on this list, this one is perhaps the most straightforward and simple products. It contains Selenium, rice flour contained in a vegetarian capsule, and that’s all. It is also cheaper than most. This one gets rave reviews and is rising in popularity.
- Selenium 200 mcg
- Rice flour
- Vegetable capsule
9. Vital Nutrients Selenium
The Vital Nutrients selenium supplement contains more Selenium than most. If taken as directed, it delivers the maximum amount of Selenium that a person should have in a day. Special care should be taken so as not to accidentally take too much. Remember that children shouldn’t have more than 50 mcg and infants no more than 20 mcg, so this must be kept away from children.
- Selenium (50% as sodium selenite/50% as selenomethionine) 400mcg
- Silicated cellulose
- Vegetable cellulose capsule
- Rice powder
WHAT IS SELENIUM?
Selenium is a mineral  that occurs naturally in water, and in the soils, we use to grow our food. The Selenium makes its way from the soil into the plants we consume and into our drinking water. For the purposes of human health, Selenium is considered a trace mineral.
Trace minerals are those that the body requires for proper functioning, but only in small amounts. Make no mistake, though, the small amount required by the body does not mean Selenium isn’t vital to our health.
Selenium comes in two forms, inorganic and organic. Inorganic Selenium is found in soil and plants. Organic Selenium, also known as selenomethionine or L-selenomethionine, is found in animals. Both forms are fine to take, but selenomethionine has been proven to be easier to digest.
Low levels of Selenium are linked to Crohn’s Disease and muscular dystrophy. Selenium deficiencies are also suspected to be linked to arthritis, asthma, infertility, and certain types of cancer.
WHAT IS ITS BIOLOGICAL ROLE?
One of Selenium’s jobs is shared by many other nutrients we consume: it is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds in our body that work to repair damage caused by harmful compounds that we collectively refer to as free radicals.
As such, it can slow the signs of aging by helping to repair cells as they are damaged, and promote a healthy level of new cell generation. Antioxidants also can sometimes fight against cancers. Research has shown that increasing selenium intake can strengthen the body’s immune system and stave off common forms of cancer.
It also helps reduce blood pressure and promote cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation inside the body. Selenium is also responsible for the creation of special proteins that perform a variety of functions that range from protecting and regulating the thyroid gland to lessening the severity of asthma problems and increasing sperm motility.
HOW DOES IT HELP BODYBUILDERS AND PEOPLE WHO WORK OUT?
Make no mistake; Selenium is vital to a healthy body across the board. However, whether or not you need to increase your selenium intake depends very little on lifestyle factors other than diet.
Most fitness enthusiasts already eat well, and so typically do not need to worry about getting enough Selenium in their diet. This particular mineral is one you do not want to supplement if you do not need extra amounts; the negative effects of too much Selenium in the body can be just as much of a health concern as too little Selenium in the body.
Therefore, the best advice regarding Selenium for fitness enthusiasts is simply to ensure you eat a wholesome, varied diet to keep selenium levels consistent.
WHAT FOODS CONTAIN SELENIUM?
Because of the way Selenium is absorbed by the body, the National Institute of Health recommends that every effort is made to get your daily dose of Selenium almost exclusively from dietary sources.
The top ten selenium-rich foods are, in order:
- brazil nuts,
- sunflower seeds,
- lamb or beef liver,
- and chia seeds.
HOW TO TAKE SELENIUM
Selenium should be taken with food, as that will aid digestion and make it more effective. Never take more than 400 micrograms of Selenium in a day. Remember that L-selenomethionine is more potent than inorganic Selenium.
If Selenium is taken in large doses, it can be toxic. The symptoms include nausea, cramps, changes in the appearance of fingernails, feelings of fatigue, increased irritability, pain in the arms and legs, and a sudden loss of weight. There is some evidence to suggest that taking too much Selenium over a long period of time increases the risk of skin cancer. There is also some evidence that too much Selenium might also result in prostate cancer or diabetes.
Selenium should not be taken with blood thinners, as there are signs that it could reduce the effects or completely nullify the effects of the medication.
People who are pregnant or lactating should not take Selenium until they consult a doctor. We recommend everyone speak with their doctor before taking any supplements featured on this website.
HOW MUCH SELENIUM DO YOU NEED?
At birth, the recommended daily allowance of Selenium  is 20mcg per day. This amount rises slightly every few years until we reach puberty. Anyone aged 14 and older is recommended to consume 55mcg per day. Women who are pregnant should have 60 mcg per day, and women who are breastfeeding should have 70mcg per day.
ARE THERE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CONSUMING TOO MUCH OF IT?
Selenium poisoning is very rare. Typically, it is only seen in individuals who are taking selenium supplements in doses far higher than what they need, and without consulting with their primary doctors beforehand.
Supplementing with Selenium to the point of toxicity can cause bad breath, nausea, fever, and complications to your liver, kidney, and heart health. Extreme toxicity can cause heart attacks and respiratory distress.
ARE THERE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CONSUMING TOO LITTLE OF IT?
Selenium deficiency  can sometimes be a concern based on where your food is grown. Selenium is only present in foods we eat because of the environment where they are grown.
Foods grown in certain parts of the country or the world will have different levels of Selenium even though they are the same type of food, purely because of the nutrient content of that area’s soil. For example, American populations in the Pacific Northwest who get most of their food from local sources have some of the lowest selenium levels in the country because the soil there has very little Selenium.
Deficiencies can cause weakened immune systems resulting in a greater frequency of illnesses, a cognitive decline, which can show itself in decreased alertness or confusion, and a generally higher rate of mortality.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD SELENIUM SUPPLEMENT
Always look at the label. The safest products are the ones that have the fewest ingredients. There are some that have nothing but Selenium, the capsule, and the delivery method. Those are often the best.
Some companies load up selenium supplements with complementary vitamins like vitamin E to maximize the benefit. It is usually delivered in the form of organic carrots or broccoli. If there are no chemicals in the ingredient list, those are good too if you are willing to spend a little more and are not allergic.
Selenium has a distinctive smell that some people find unpleasant in large quantities. In 2015, it was discovered that there were unscrupulous supplement makers selling products containing fake selenium capsules. They smelled like sawdust. Once you know what Selenium smells like, it is an easy way to sort out the fakes from the genuine article.
Hopefully, now you know a bit more about Selenium, a trace mineral with a big impact. Common enough in foods that we can usually get the small amount we need from our diets, this specialized mineral helps us to stay healthy and feel our best even in the face of potentially damaging concerns such as free radicals, cancer, and attacks to our immune system.