Selenium and your thyroid gland



Consume selenium-rich foods: Selenium is another important mineral for thyroid health. Foods like Brazil nuts, sardines, eggs, and spinach are good sources of selenium. It helps in the conversion of thyroid hormones and protects the gland from oxidative damage.


Selenium is an essential trace mineral that plays a vital role in supporting thyroid function. It functions as a cofactor for enzymes involved in the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones. Here's how selenium supports the thyroid:

  1. Conversion of T4 to T3: Selenium is necessary for the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) to the active form triiodothyronine (T3) in peripheral tissues. T3 is the more biologically active form that exerts its effects on various tissues in the body.
  2. Antioxidant defense: Selenium acts as an antioxidant, protecting the thyroid gland from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Thyroid tissues are highly susceptible to oxidative stress, and selenium helps to neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce inflammation.
  3. Regulation of thyroid hormone production: Selenium is involved in the synthesis and regulation of thyroid hormones within the thyroid gland. It helps to maintain proper levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and supports the balance of thyroid hormone production.

The recommended daily intake of selenium varies depending on age, sex, and life stage. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for selenium in adults is 55 micrograms (mcg) per day. However, it's important to note that individual needs may vary, and certain factors such as pregnancy, lactation, and certain health conditions may require higher selenium intake.

It's generally recommended to obtain selenium through dietary sources rather than relying on supplements, as excessive selenium intake can be harmful. Here are some selenium-rich foods and their approximate selenium content per serving:

  • Brazil nuts (1-2 nuts): 68-91 mcg
  • Yellowfin tuna (3 ounces): 92 mcg
  • Sardines (3 ounces): 45 mcg
  • Halibut (3 ounces): 47 mcg
  • Shrimp (3 ounces): 40 mcg
  • Eggs (1 large): 15 mcg
  • Spinach (1 cup, cooked): 11 mcg

It's important to maintain a balanced diet and include a variety of selenium-rich foods to meet your daily requirements. However, if you have specific concerns or conditions related to thyroid health, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized recommendations based on your individual needs.

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