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Optimal Levels of Selenium Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

selenium helps prevent osteoporosis

Story at-a-glance -

  • Selenium is positively associated with bone mineral density in men and women; it’s also inversely related to bone turnover
  • Investigators have found that selenium levels affect heart health, immune function, thyroid function, sperm motility and the development of a healthy egg
  • Selenium supplementation can lead to toxicity; it’s better to get your selenium from food sources
  • The best food sources of selenium are Brazil nuts, sardines, pastured organic eggs and wild-caught Alaskan salmon

Selenium is an essential element your body requires in small amounts. Like all essential elements you get it from your food, but be aware that it can be toxic at high levels if you’re taking supplements.

Selenium functions as part of the amino acid selenocysteine, found in selenocysteine-containing proteins, also called selenoproteins. Those who are deficient may find physiological responses to stress are affected. For example, in parts of Asia, selenium deficiency has been associated with a certain form of cardiomyopathy and a form of osteoarthropathy.

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