Selenium: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ


Selenium is a trace element that is essential for health.

• Low selenium states have been associated with a variety of conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, atopy, male subfertility, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and anxiety and compromised immune function.

• Studies have identified selenium deficiency in a significant number of people with the HIV infection and suggested a link between selenium levels and mortality rate.

• It is also involved in the detoxification of some heavy metals and xenobiotics.

• Selenium-enriched yeast is the safest way to supplement the diet, but other forms are also used.

Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions

What will this supplement do for me?

Selenium supplementation may reduce the risk of developing certain cancers and heart disease and help to improve a range of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, autoimmune thyroiditis, male subfertility, depression and anxiety.

When will it start to work?

If a protective effect is to occur with selenium against cancer or cardiovascular disease, the effect appears to develop slowly over several years’ consistent intake.

Are there any safety issues?

High intakes of selenium above 1000 µg/day have been associated with a number of adverse effects and should be avoided.