Selenium for Hormonal Health

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Selenium is a trace mineral and an important part of women’s health. Whether you’re getting enough selenium or not will significantly impact your hormonal balance and thyroid function, leading to other symptoms.

In this blog, we’ll look at the following:

Does Selenium Help Balance Hormones?

Selenium is necessary for vital functions in the body that balance hormones. It plays a role in creating thyroid hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, which are all essential to a healthy hormonal balance. Without having these hormones in check, your body may experience adverse side effects, including fertility problems.

What Does Selenium Do For The Female Body?

For women, selenium is an especially important nutrient needed for optimal health. Selenium aids in DNA production, protection against free radicals, thyroid gland function, reproduction, and more. We’ll take a closer look at each of these primary benefits below.

DNA Production

Selenium helps to protect DNA against damage by promoting the activity of the DNA repair enzymes. These enzymes use pathways that perform unique functions in DNA repair to prevent damage that leads to genetic alterations and mutations, including cancer development.

Protection Against Cell Damage And Infections

Many of the body’s enzymes and proteins, known as selenoproteins, are made using selenium as a major component. These proteins aid in DNA production and protect against cell damage and infection. When the body doesn’t have enough selenium, these special enzymes and proteins cannot properly develop, decreasing the body’s defense system.

Thyroid Gland Function

Thyroid dysfunction is a prevalent issue, with one in eight women expected to develop a thyroid disorder in their lifetime. Your thyroid requires adequate levels of selenium for antioxidant function and metabolism of the thyroid hormones. When it doesn’t have enough selenium, thyroid diseases and disorders can develop.

Benefits Of Selenium In Pregnancy

Selenium is believed to be highly beneficial in both fertility and pregnancy. Selenium is a fundamental nutrient in female and male reproduction. In fact, research has found links between selenium deficiency and fertility issues, including implantation failure, changes to embryo development, and infertility. Similarly, studies found that using selenium supplements during pregnancy may help reduce oxidative stress, benefitting both the mother and child.

How Much Selenium Should A Woman Take Daily?

It’s recommended that the daily selenium intake for women be 55 mcg. This increases to 65 mcg in women who are pregnant. Overdoing selenium supplementation can lead to side effects, and you should never exceed the recommended amounts of selenium. Likewise, a lack of selenium can lead to a deficiency over time, manifesting in mild to moderate symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms Of Selenium Deficiency?

If you suspect you may have a selenium deficiency, consider the following symptoms:

  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Mental fog
  • Hair loss
  • Infertility
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Weakened immune system

Who Should Not Take Selenium Supplementation?

People with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), who have had skin cancer, or who take certain medications may not be good candidates for selenium intake. Regardless of whether you have pre-existing conditions, it’s always important to speak with your doctor before starting any new supplementation. 

Does Selenium Affect Thyroid?

Like many other bodily processes, several studies have shown that selenium is essential to thyroid function. People with selenium deficiency were found to have a decrease in the synthesis of thyroid hormones due to the decline in selenoprotein function.

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