Can selenium help you lose weight?

Selenium supports weight loss. It’s involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones, and plays a key role in metabolism, energy, mood and thermogenesis.

Is selenium good for weight loss?

Above all, selenium is key for the good function of the thyroid gland. Also, selenium is involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones.[1]

The metabolism of energy is among the most important functions of thyroid hormones. These hormones regulate thermogenesis and basal metabolism. Increased thermogenesis means that the body burns more calories. So, we lose weight faster.

Moreover, thyroid hormones are linked to body composition and weight gain or weight loss. For instance, hypothyroidism is linked to a higher body mass index (BMI) and a higher risk of obesity! Even mild thyroid dysfunction may cause obesity.[2]

Therefore, if you have thyroid disease, you better check your selenium and iodine levels.

Always consult your physician about taking supplements or your diet habits.

Selenium may improve insulin sensitivity

Adequate amounts of selenium are linked to low insulin resistance. Low insulin resistance means less hunger, lower blood pressure, and lower risk of development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Hence, lower risk of obesity! In contrast, weight gain is highly associated with insulin resistance.[3]

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But, what’s the best dose of selenium to have a beneficial effect on insulin resistance?

Scientists found that a selenium dose of 1.6 mcg per kg (0.72 mcg per pound) is good for low insulin resistance. So, a daily selenium dose of 140 mcg for men and 110 mcg for women seems ideal for preventing insulin resistance and therefore obesity! Additionally, other studies have shown that a daily selenium dose of 100-150 mcg a day is beneficial against cancer.[4]

However, higher doses aren’t more beneficial. In fact, excessive amounts of selenium may cause to side effects. Overdose of selenium may cause insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus!

The maximum selenium dose for teens and adults is 400 mcg.[5] Excessive selenium may be toxic for the body. It may cause skin rashes, fatigue, brittle nails, hair loss, and even weight gain.

The recommended daily intake of selenium for adults is only 55 mcg.

Therefore, a daily dose of 100-150 mcg seems good for your health and for keeping a healthy weight. Certainly, there is no need for selenium supplements. Food is enough. Eat just a Brazil nut daily. It’s the richest food in selenium. It contains 68–91 mcg of selenium!

Zinc and copper are important for insulin sensitivity as well. We can get more than enough zinc and copper from food.[4]

Selenium may help you lose belly fat

According to another study with 37 overweight participants, selenium intake helped people lose more fat. All the participants followed a low-calorie diet in order to lose weight. Those who received a selenium supplementation of 240 mcg a day lost more fat, though.[6]

Although there wasn’t a great difference between the total weight loss between the placebo-group and the selenium-group, the selenium group lost much more fat. Most noteworthy, the selenium group slightly increased lean mass! People who received selenium supplements changed their body’s composition!

Furthermore, according to the famous CODING study, obesity is associated with low dietary selenium intakes. Every increase of 1 mcg of selenium per kg causes 3–6% decrease in the proportion of body fat mass!

Selenium may make you feel more energized

Additionally, adequate amounts of selenium might improve the mood of overweight people.[6]

People in a good moon tend to be more active. Even walking is important for losing weight. Losing weight takes time. Being in a good moon is important for following a low-calorie diet for a long time.

The best source of dietary selenium

Fish, meat, whole cereals, and vegetables are good dietary sources.

However, the best source of selenium is Brazil nuts. Just 1 nut contains 68–91 mcg of selenium. More than the recommended daily intake!

Hence, you should eat only 1-2 Brazil nuts a day if you want to lose weight. According to studies, up to 150 mcg of selenium a day are beneficial.

Certainly, you shouldn’t consume more than 400 mcg of selenium a day. Excess selenium may cause weight gain and even can be toxic! Just 1-oz of Brazil nuts (6-8) contains about 550 mcg of selenium! Don’t eat too many.