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Selenium is an essential element nutrient (symbol SE on periodic table), with multiple roles in the growth and functioning of living cells in humans and other animals. It is found in the earth's crust and soil, but because of uneven distribution of this element around the world, supplementation is sometimes necessary.


Fig 1. Selenium Raw

Table of Contents


Selenium was discovered by mistake in the very early 1800's by Swedish chemists, and named after the Greek word "moon", because of its similarity to tellurium.

Today, it can be found in certain foods and in chelated form as a supplement. In fact, it has gained popularity among athletes as part of supplemental stacks for various health benefits.

How it Works

Selenium is an essential micro-nutrient for animals, and it is a component of amino acids selenocysteine and selenomethionine. In the human body, it acts as a cofactor for reducing antioxidant enzymes. Moreover, selenium plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which helps activate and de-activate various thyroid hormones and metabolites.

It has also been shown to reduce the effects of mercury toxicity, so it can be helpful for people who eat a lot of wild fish.

Foods that contain selenium

Selenium can be found in nuts (especially Brazil nuts), cereals, meat, mushrooms, and certain seafood. Interestingly, some particular soils are high in selenium, where such plants as locoweeeds and goldenweeds are good indicators of high selenium content in the soil. Therefore, if these plants thrive in the soil, you can be sure that the soil contains good amounts of selenium.

Unfortunately, due to the uneven distribution of selenium around the world, many people fail to get enough from foods alone; hence, selenium is also found in chelated form to make it easy to absorb as a supplement.

Selenium deficiency

Selenium deficiency can have a ripple effect of problems with chronic diseases, ranging from cancer to diabetes t0 tuberculosis. This has to do with the fact that selenium prevents cell damage from free radicals and helps generate antioxidant proteins to aid the body, which can not be done when there is a deficiency in this element.

Use for bodybuilders

There are several ways in which selenium can aid bodybuilders. First of all, its ability as an antioxidant will keep the athlete healthy and vibrant. Furthermore, it can enhance the functioning of the glutathione peroxidase enzyme that neutralizes hydrogen peroxide and promotes healthy tissues. This will aid in recovery and keep the soft tissues strong, which explains why selenium works so well when it is stacked with other joint supporting supplements and minerals.

And finally, the athlete will be able to keep a balanced metabolism because selenium plays an important role at keeping a healthy functioning thyroid gland, and we all know about the huge impact of the thyroid gland on metabolic processes in the human body.

Therefore, considering all of the above mentioned benefits of selenium, you can be sure that it is one of the most essential minerals for athletes. Unfortunately, due to environmental soil factors from over farming, and diets too heavy in sugar and dairy products, it is easy to deplete the body of the minerals that make us strong. Hence, a good strategy for athletes is to stack manganese, zinc, copper and selenium, along with vitamins, as part of their daily supplemental stack.

Side Effects

Selenium needs to be taken correctly, too little is bad and too much is also bad. You need a proper amount, and it should never exceed 250 micrograms (mcg) per day. Chelated selenium is easy to absorb and digest, which will prevent any stomach discomfort.


A dosage of around 75mcg per day is what should be aimed for from food sources and through supplementation.

Where to Find

Selenium is found over the counter in vitamin shops and health food stores at a very affordable price. It works best for athletes when taken as part of a complete supplemental stack with other vitamins and minerals, so instead of spending a fortune buying a bunch of vitamins and compounds individually, it would make more sense to buy a single supplement that contains more than a dozen ingredients.

N2JointRx contains 20mcg per serving of selenium, and it has many other ingredients that are all designed for the athlete. This supplement along with proper diet will ensure that you stays strong with ample minerals in the body, and it can be found at n2bm.com.


Want to read about Selenium on our forums? check out these threads:


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Written by
Steve Smi (Also known as Steve Smith), has over 12 years of experience in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. He's the co-Host of the popular Evolutionary Radio Podcast - over 500,000 listens! He has been a personal trainer and writer for the last 10 years with over 1000 articles written. He's been a moderator on forums for over 10 years. Steve holds the following certifications and records: NASM Personal Trainer NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist Florida Local Powerlifting champion Top writer for 2019 Fitness rated

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