What is selenium poisoning? Extra dosage of selenium in body causes selenium poisoning.

A raw unshelled Brazil nut has 100μg of selenium. Selenium is an essential component that the human body needs. A few researchers found that low selenium may lead the body to cancer disease.

Selenium is a component that the human body needs, and the normal value is 400μg. That is equal to 4 raw Brazil nuts. The higher intake may lead you to selenium poisoning.

The outcomes of selenium poisoning are baldness, fatigue, gastric problems, and garlic breath. Increased value of selenium can result in liver problems, respiratory edema, and death. Use Brazil nuts according to described values.

Radiation of Brazil Nuts

Brazil nut trees grow with deep roots. The high natural radium in soil is a source of radiation. The roots of plant absorb the radium, which can be found also in nuts.

The radium levels of Brazil nuts can be 1000 times more as compared to other foods. Are Brazil nuts radioactive? No! Brazil nuts are not radioactive.

According to experts, eating large amounts would provide radiation comparable to X-ray radiation. The radiation in Brazil nuts could be harmful but the level is very low.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a mineral found in the soil. Selenium normally found in water and other foods like Brazil nuts. While people need a little amount, selenium takes a key job for digestion.

Why humans need selenium?

Selenium is essential for human cell protection. The anti-cancer agents and selenium protect human cells from damage. According to a study, selenium intake lowers the chances of prostate cancer growth.

Selenium does not appear to enhance the danger of colorectal or lung disease. Be careful high selenium intake increase the chances of skin cancer.

Selenium deficiency is exceptional among healthy people in the United States. Some health conditions, like HIV and chronic diseases, are related to low selenium intake. People Who are at low selenium intake are in danger. Specialists recommend selenium supplements to people with described conditions.

Selenium intake shows positive results in many health conditions. They are useful from asthma to joint pain and dandruff to fertility.

How much selenium should we take?

You can get the RDA of selenium from the diet. Daily selenium intake provides a shield against prostate cancer. Anything over the RDA values considered as overdose. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of selenium is;




1 to 3



4 to 8



9 to 13



14 and Up


Pregnant Women


Breastfeeding Mom’s


Would you be able to get selenium from other foods?

Selenium nourishment is dependent on area and soil conditions, which fluctuate area wise. The normal daily dose in the U.S. is 125μg/Day. people of the Eastern Coastal Plain and the Pacific Northwest need less selenium, which is 60 to 90μg/Day.

These are some great sources of selenium:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Fish/Cod Fish/Red Snapper, and Herring
  • Hamburger
  • Poultry
  • Grains

Always use the recommended values as per your region. Before adding selenium in your diet consult your medical physician.

What are the dangers of a high intake of selenium?

As other minerals selenium has the symptoms of poisoning. An overdose may cause;

  • Awful breath
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney issues
  • Heart Issues

Selenium poisoning if not treated may cause death.

Selenium may be prescribed by your physician for;

  • Stomach issues
  • As a chemotherapy medication
  • As Corticosteroids
  • Niacin increment
  • As cholesterol control medication
  • For contraception

Selenium supplements relate to skin cancer, so people who are suffering skin problems should stay away from selenium intake. According to a study by NCI, men who take high selenium are at great risk of prostate cancer.

Another study found that people who took 200μg/Day of selenium were at a low risk of type-II diabetes. Till now, it’s not clear that selenium may cause the illness. Talk about the hazard with your specialist.

Selenium is a mineral, found in many foods. You can add the selenium enrich diet for a dietary enhancement. Selenium is an essential mineral which contains more than two dozen selenoproteins that are beneficial for;

  • Thyroid hormone digestion
  • DNA amalgamation
  • Prevent many diseases

Selenium exists in two forms;

  • Inorganic
  • Organic

Both forms are great dietary sources of selenium. Soil contains inorganic selenite and selenate, plants get these from soil and stores them. The selenocysteine, selenomethionine and methylated are stored in plants.

The selenium found in animal and human tissues is selenomethionine. It tends to join the amino acid methionine in body proteins. Skeletal muscle is another part of selenium stockpiling, representing roughly 28% to 46% of the total selenium. Both selenocysteine and selenite are decreased to produce hydrogen selenide. That converts to selenophosphate for selenoprotein biosynthesis.

The most utilized proportions of selenium are plasma and serum. Your blood and urine sample report that describes the values of low or high selenium. Hair and nail examinations for selenium intake is good to screen longer-term admissions over months or years.

Plasma or serum selenium centralizations of 8μg/Day or higher show issues of selenoprotein results.

Lack of Selenium

Lack of selenium causes biochemical changes that may affect people to build diseases. For instance, selenium deficiency prompts Keshan’s sickness and cardiomyopathy. These problems found in parts of China according to the selenium supplementation program during the 1970s.

Before that program start, grown-ups in the Keshan sickness had normal selenium intake as 11μg/Day. After the increment of selenium as 20μg/Day protects grown-ups from Keshan illness.

Selenium deficiency and male health are connected. It might be effective in Kashin-Beck sickness. A type of osteoarthritis found in certain low-selenium regions of China, Tibet, and Siberia. Selenium deficiency also affects iodine deficiency.

What are the dangers of selenium overdose?

High intakes of the organic and inorganic types of selenium have comparative impacts. Early signs of overdose are a garlic smell in the breath and a metallic taste in the mouth.

The common signs of high selenium dose or selenosis, are hair and nail issues or weakness. Other side effects are;

  • Sensory system issues
  • Sickness
  • Looseness of the bowels
  • Skin rashes
  • Mottled teeth
  • Fatigues
  • Touchiness

As mentioned before Brazil nuts contain a high amount of selenium (68 to 91μg per nut) and could cause selenium poisoning. In many cases, selenium poisoning found because of miss detailed labeling on products about selenium.

What are the medical advantages of selenium?

By adding selenium in your diet you can get rid of many health issues. Some selenium medical advantages are;

  • Cancer growth
  • Cardiovascular
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Thyroid

Cancer growth

With high DNA fixture qualities, apoptosis, and endocrine Brazil nuts boost immune system. The anti-cancer properties of selenium may help to reduce the chances of Cancer.

Epidemiological studies found a reverse relationship between selenium and the dangers of;

 Colorectal Cancer

  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Gastric Cancer

Epidemiologic studies prove that selenium is a potential prostate cancer preventive. It also decreases the growth rate of prostate cancer cells in humans.


Selenoproteins helps to keep the oxidative change of lipids. Further, lessening aggravation and keeping platelets from clogging. Specialists have recommended that selenium could lower the danger of cardiovascular problems.

Public health studies on selenium for cardiovascular disease have shown positive results. Some studies have discovered the opposite relationship between serum selenium and coronary illness.

A study on 25 patients found that people with low selenium are at higher danger of coronary illness. At the same time, some other studies neglected these results. So, wait for further studies to conclude selenium’s relation with coronary illness.


Studies on selenium and Alzheimer’s have demonstrated inconsistent results. A study among rural Chinese aged 65+ years older was conducted. Their nail and hair samples collected and analyzed for selenium contents.

Lower selenium levels found in nail and hair samples which associates with lower cognitive scores. Results support the hypothesis that low selenium intake relates to lower cognitive function.

Another study on people with lower plasma selenium levels was found to cause Alzheimer’s. Scientists have proved that taking selenium supplement slow down the cognitive decline symptoms.

Thyroid Disease

Selenium is most important for thyroid as compared to other organs. Selenium and iodine take an important role in function of thyroid hormone and digestion.

The controlled intake of selenium in patients with thyroid illness provides positive results.

Several studies have shown that supplementing with selenium reduces thyroid peroxidase antibodies.According to some studies, patients with thyroid issues feel improvement after taking selenium supplements.

Even for people who don’t have a selenium deficiency, taking selenium supplements improves the immune system.

What are the Neurological effects of Selenium?

Selenium poisoning affects your sensory system. You may feel exhausted and irritable. Selenosis causes neuropathy harm to the nerves of the human body. This nerve damage further damages the human spinal cord, mind, and sensory system.

According to a study adult with mental disorders ate one Brazil nut per day for six months. They showed improved results and mental functionality. Low selenium levels associate with neurodegenerative diseases, so add Brazil nuts in your diet.

Other effects of Selenium

You can see the signs of selenosis by yourself, low selenium signs are hair loss and brittle nails. You may see your hair loss or create white blotches on your nails. Low selenium intake can cause skin rashes.

An excessive amount of selenium influences your tract and gut. If you feel garlic breath and upset stomach you are getting selenium poisoning. Immediately cut off the usage and consult with your physician.

Prescribed intakes and a tolerable upper limit of Selenium

You have to eat 55μg of selenium daily, by adding different nourishments in your diet you can achieve this value. A 3-ounce serving of chicken chest piece or hamburger provides around 33% of your daily selenium prerequisites.

An egg gives 21μg of selenium, while a half cup of low-fat yogurt contains 16μg. A half-cup of brown rice or an ounce of sunflower seeds provides vegan selenium 14 or 33μg for every serving. Try not to cross the total selenium intake of 400μg daily otherwise, you may face selenosis.

Stay away from selenium poisoning

Getting selenium from your eating routine is a safe way to avoid selenosis. One remarkable thing is Brazil nuts grown in selenium-rich soil. The nuts can contain 544μg of selenium for each ounce – more than your safe dietary intake levels.

You can be safe from selenium poisoning by maintaining the daily intake values of Brazil nuts. If you take selenium supplements, consult with your doctor about a safe supplementation routine. Never increase the dose without counseling your doctor.

Eating too many Brazil nuts can cause selenosis or selenium poisoning. Selenosis can even lead to difficulty breathing, tremors, kidney failure, heart attack, or even death.


Brazil nuts are nutritious, providing healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals especially selenium. Selenium is a mineral with potent antioxidant properties.

Selenium is an essential mineral that functions as antioxidants in the human body. It also plays an important role in cell reproduction, thyroid, and DNA production. One Brazil nut contains 68 to 91μg of selenium, and the upper limit of consumption for adults is 400μg. Keep your intake below this level so you should not face any health issues.

Brazil nuts contain ellagic acid and selenium, both of which can benefit your sensory system. Selenium acts as an antioxidant that is beneficial for brain health. Brazil nuts reduce inflammation, support brain function, and improve thyroid and heart function. To avoid consuming too much selenium, limit your intake to 1 to 3 Brazil nuts in a day.