Can high doses of selenium increase fertility?

Selenium is a trace element with antioxidant properties that may increase both male and female fertility. Brazil nuts are the best dietary source of selenium. Eating just 1 Brazil nut a day may help you conceive, in case of nutritional deficiency.

Brazil nuts may increase male fertility

Brazil nuts are the richest dietary source of selenium. Selenium is a trace element with powerful antioxidant properties. Above all, selenium is important for male fertility!

According to a study, low levels of selenium are associated with male infertility.[1]

Also, selenium levels between 40-70 ng/ml helped people conceive. On the contrary, lower levels of selenium or selenium levels greater than 80 ng/ml were linked to high abortion rates! High selenium levels may increase infertility in women, as scientists observed signs of ovarian dysfunction!

Is selenium good for female fertility?

Selenium deficiency is bad for female fertility, as well.

Firstly, studies have shown that selenium deficiency may lead to miscarriages. Most noteworthy, selenium deficiency may damage the nervous and immune systems of the fetus! Moreover, low selenium levels in the early stage of pregnancy may cause low birth weight of the newborn.[2]

Furthermore, selenium may protect quality and quantity of follicles and oocytes in the ovary. Women older than 35 years can benefit the most. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and could protect reproductive functions of women over 35, increasing fertility.[3]

Most noteworthy, selenium is beneficial for women undergoing IVF! Scientists observed that the levels of selenium drop in women undergoing IVF. They suggest to increase selenium dosage, in order, to reach normal selenium levels. Copper and zinc levels may drop, as well.[4]

You can find a list of the best sources of zinc here.

What selenium dosage can increase fertility?

The daily recommended selenium dose is only 55 mcg. Brazil nuts are the richest food in selenium. Just 1 nut contains about 68-91 mcg of selenium! Therefore, eating just 1 Brazil nut a day is enough to meet your daily needs!

Selenium in Brazil nuts vs supplements

Brazil nuts are an excellent dietary source of selenium. You should prefer consuming Brazil nuts than taking supplements. Whole foods contain more than just a compound. Food provides many elements that act synergistically. So, food may be more effective than supplements!

Certainly, selenium in Brazil nuts has potent antioxidant activities, protecting the reproductive system from aging in women and men. On the other hand, Brazil nuts contain lots of other antioxidant compounds, as well. For instance, Brazil nuts contain phenolic compounds, such as gallic acid, ellagic acid, vanillic acid, protocatechuic acid, catechin, and many more.[5]

Therefore, food should be your primary source of antioxidants. There are studies that supplementation with antioxidant vitamins didn’t improve oocyte quality and pregnancy rates in women undergoing IVF or ICSI treatment.[6]

Remember… The best supplement you should take to increase fertility is food. For instance, foods rich in zinc or omega-3s are beneficial for male and female fertility!

On the contrary, men and women may need vitamin B12 supplements. High vitamin B12 levels are necessary for increased fertility!

You can learn everything you need to know about a diet increasing fertility here.

Can I eat too many Brazil nuts?

Actually, we should limit the daily selenium dose to 400 mcg![7] Excess selenium may decrease both male and female fertility or cause other health problems.

As Brazil nuts are extremely high in selenium, you shouldn’t eat too many. Just 1 ounce of Brazil nuts (6-8 nuts) contains 544 mcg of selenium. More than the upper daily selenium limit. So, better eat only 1 or 2 Brazil nuts a day. Above all, consult your physician. Especially if you’re on medication.

In any case, high doses of selenium can boost the immune system and fight viruses!