Image for selenium Selenium is an essential trace mineral that acts as an antioxidant —a substance that protects the body's cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are normal by-products of metabolism, but they can cause cell damage.

What Does Selenium Do?

Selenium's functions include:
  • Acting as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase
  • Stimulating immune function
  • Ensuring proper function of the thyroid gland
  • Aiding cell growth

How Much Should I Take?

Age Group Recommended Dietary Allowance
micrograms/day (mcg/day)
Male Female
0-6 months No RDA;
Adequate Intake (AI) = 15
AI = 15
7-12 months No RDA;
AI = 20
AI = 20
1-3 years 20 20
4-8 years 30 30
9-13 years 40 40
14 years and older 55 55
Pregnancy n/a 60
Lactation n/a 70

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