Published on June 19, 2019
Selenium is an essential nutrient with antioxidant properties that plays a key role in thyroid function, reproduction, and DNA synthesis. Studies have found an association between higher selenium status and a lower risk of cancer, cognitive decline, and cardiovascular disease.
Selenium is a mineral present naturally in water and some foods including Brazil nuts, walnuts, grains, beef, poultry, and some seafood. Selenium is also available as a dietary supplement. Click here to find out more about selenium.
Earlier this year, GrassrootsHealth started offering a selenium test with the Elements Panel, which includes testing your vitamin D level along with essential elements magnesium, selenium, zinc, copper, and copper:zinc ratio, and toxic heavy metals cadmium, lead, and mercury. This test reflects both free selenium in the blood and selenium as a component of selenoproteins (proteins containing selenium). Since heavy metals bind to selenium and reduce its bioavailability, this dried blood spot test is particularly useful for determining if enough selenium is present to counteract these heavy metals in the body.
The test results for the first 122 participants who have tested their selenium levels are shown below. The average level was 178 μg/L which falls within the lab reference range (132-247 μg/L); this reference range only indicates the range of typical results found in the population the lab serves but does not necessarily indicate the optimal range for health.
While higher selenium status has been associated with reduced disease risk, the optimal range for health is not known. Excess selenium can cause nausea, diarrhea, neurological symptoms, and heart problems so it’s important to identify this optimal range. At this point, we have not assessed the correlation between your tested selenium levels and other nutrient levels or health outcomes. Your ongoing participation in this project will contribute greatly to knowing what levels are optimal for health. We will continue to track this data and report any results back to you. We need 1,000 participants to have enough data to assess key outcomes. Keep up the good work!
If you would like to help sponsor others’ participation, please email jen @grassrootshealth.org and let us know!
How does your selenium level compare to others?
Make sure you know your level of selenium and are taking daily steps to keep it within range. Find out your levels today! Log on to the shop (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.
Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!
How can I track my selenium level and intake?
To help you track your supplement use, dietary nutrient intake, and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. You can also track your selenium intake from dietary sources. Check it out today!
How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!
STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health
STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study
STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there
STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)