Is It Safe To Take Selenium While Pregnant?

What is selenium?

Selenium is a mineral usually found in soil and it plays a vital role in metabolism, used to treat or prevent selenium deficiency. It naturally appears in some food like whole grains sunflower seeds, brazil nuts and many more.

It can be used to treat Hashimoto thyroiditis and high cholesterol. Even though selenium is used to treat a certain illness, it shouldn’t be taken on high doses or for a long period and shouldn’t be taken if you have allergies or allergic to selenium.

Long-time use and a high dose of selenium can increase the risk of diabetes especially if you have skin cancer, underactive thyroid or chronic kidney disease. Your dose must be different in those cases and you must speak to your doctor before use if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

Reason for selenium intake

Selenium has antioxidant properties which protect cells damaging. This is one of the reasons people take selenium supplements to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, asthma, arthritis, dandruff, and infertility.

How to take selenium

Before taking a selenium supplement, speak to your doctor for the right dose, also the dosage varies with age. For a long time use, do not take more than 400mcg (micrograms) a day to avoid serious problems or risk of death. Always follow the dosage on the label as a guide. You must also let your doctor know you are taking selenium before going in for any surgery. Also if you are going for any health check or test, notify your doctor as selenium can affect the test or result.

Selenium dosage according to age

Children between 1-3 = 20mcg a day
Children between 4-8 = 30mcg a day
Children between 9-13 = 40mcg a day
Adults and children between 14 up = 55mcg a day
Women who are pregnant = 60mcg a day
Women breastfeeding = 70mcg a day

Food which contains selenium

Brazil nuts
Whole grains
Fresh and saltwater fish (tuna, snapper, tuna, herring,
Poultry and beef

Selenium deficiency

Selenium deficiency is when your system lacks or not having enough selenium. When you have less or lack selenium in your system can cause health problems. Environmental problems can cause selenium deficiency on the soil in some geographical area which can be attributed to pH levels, rainfalls, and evaporations.

Selenium deficiency symptoms

There are so many symptoms of selenium deficiency which include:
Hair loss in both men and women
A weakness of the muscles
Mental fog
Weak immune system

How to treat selenium deficiency

If you have selenium deficiency this could be due to the area you are living, but most especially if you have selenium deficiency you should eat food that is high in selenium like whole-wheat bread, rice, beans, Brasil nuts and yellowfin tuna, halibut, oysters, sunflower seeds, chicken, sardine and eggs.

Before you start taking any selenium supplements, it is recommended to speak to your doctor to avoid the wrong diagnosis.

Selenium benefits for men

Selenium benefits for men can include:

  • To act as antioxidant
  • To reduce the risk of some types of cancer
  • To protect from heart disease
  • To prevent mental illness
  • To protect the thyroid gland
  • To protect the immune system
  • To protect or reduce asthma symptoms

Selenium benefits for skin

  1. Selenium helps to neutralize free radicals, by protecting skin cells from damaging like wrinkles, skin cancer, aging and protect against UV damage inflammation and pigmentation.
  2. Selenium helps to fight infections by strengthening white blood cells.
  3. Selenium helps to fight inflammations from UV light, molecules build up and protect collagen breakdown.
  4. Selenium can help soothe skin sensitivity, redness, calmed inflamed skin and irritated skin with the help of thermal spring water (from natural spring). Selenium has some important properties the body need like antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  5. Selenium sulfide help in the treatment of dandruff by preventing itchy scalp, fungus, and discoloration.

Is It Safe To Take Selenium While Pregnant?

Selenium is a trace mineral needed by the body in small amounts.

Now the question is, is it safe to take selenium while pregnant? The answer is yes, definitely. In fact, pregnant women have a higher need for selenium compared to anyone else.

The recommended dietary allowance of selenium for pregnant women is 60 mcg per day while for non-pregnant women it’s 55 mcg per day.

During pregnancy, the body needs some minerals more, meanwhile, there are safe and unsafe supplements for both pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. This is when the need for some nutrients increases because they support maternal and fetal growth on every stage like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and vitamins.

Pregnant women living in the United States usually get enough selenium through dietary means and for most pregnant women there’s no need to take additional selenium.

However, people in other parts of the world are likely to have selenium deficiencies due to low soil levels and therefore leading to low food levels of selenium.

Scientists discovered that low levels of selenium in pregnant women may lead to miscarriages. However, an overdose of selenium can cause serious side effects. Although some of the side effects are not serious, they can be a sign of selenium toxicity.

Toxicity can occur at doses higher than 400 mcg of selenium per day. There are death reports due to selenium toxicity.

Reasons why pregnant women may need supplements

  • If they have nutrient deficiency like low vitamins and minerals.
  • If they have severe nausea and vomiting and pregnancy complications like the hyperemesis gravidarum.
  • If they have dietary restrictions like those with specific diets (vegans or food allergies).
  • If they are smokers even though smoking and alcohol intake during pregnancy is restricted.
  • If they are carrying more than one baby or multiple pregnancies.
  • If they have a genetic mutation
  • If they are on a poor diet like eating food with low nutrients.

Some safe pregnancy supplements

Prenatal vitamins which are used to meet up with the needed pregnancy micronutrients.

Folate, a B vitamin needed for the production of red blood cells and fetal development and growth.

Iron for oxygen transport, growth, and development of placenta and fetus.

Vitamin D for the proper functioning of the immune system, bone, and cell development.

Magnesium for a proper chemical reaction in the immune system, and proper functioning of the nerve and muscle.

Ginger spice and herbal supplement for treating pregnancy-related nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, and complications.

Fish oil supplements for proper development of the fetal brain, reduce depression, and fetal eye development.

Probiotics to help the digestive system, reduce risk of postpartum depression, gestational diabetes, dermatitis and eczema in infants.

Some of the reasons why people take selenium

People usually take selenium because of its antioxidant properties which protect cells against damage.

To reduce prostate cancer.

Natural food that contains selenium


  • Brazil nuts
  • Walnuts

Freshwater fish and saltwater fish

  • Tuna
  • Cod
  • Red snapper
  • Herring

Beef and poultry


The side effects of selenium overdose include:

  • Weight loss
  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • Garlic breath odor
  • Shakiness
  • Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain

Selenium has allergic reactions such as:

  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the mouth or throat and
  • Difficulty in breathing.

When pregnant it is advised to have a discussion with your doctor before taking any medication such as selenium supplements.

Selenium supplement products

1. Dr. Tobias Turmeric Curcumin – with Bioperine

  • It contains Bioperine for enhanced bioavailability
  • It is very easy to absorb
  • It contains antioxidant properties
  • It supports the immune system, joints, and overall cell health.

2. Brain Supplement for Focus, Energy, Memory, and Clarity

  • Help to increase focus
  • For mental clarity
  • Boost Mood
  • An anti-fatigue

3. Evening Primrose Oil

  • Help with pre-menopause
  • Boost immune
  • Help with hormone levels
  • Improve healthy BMI

4. Fertilix Max: Premium Male Fertility Supplement

  • A pre-conceptual antioxidant supplements
  • Well optimized for sperm health
  • Help to fight oxidative damage

5. Horny Goat Weed for Men and Women

  • Boost your Energy, Performance, and Stamina
  • Quick absorption
  • Supports both
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Help with digestive enzymes

Read More

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