Selenium belongs to the group of trace elements and must therefore be absorbed through food since the body cannot produce it itself. It is one of the vital trace elements. There are many stores of selenium in our body, including the liver, muscles, kidneys, blood plasma and other organs.  


Selenium as a component of many enzymes

Selenium's job is to be a component of many enzymes in our body and to enable their activity. It is therefore essential for many biological reactions in our body. Many enzymes that contain selenium have antioxidant effects and are therefore necessary to protect our cells from damage caused by radicals. Some selenium-containing enzymes are also involved in the balance of thyroid hormones and ensure healthy regulation. In men, one of the enzymes is involved in the formation of sperm and thus ensures properly regulated fertility . Other important roles are played in the immune system and brain function.  


Selenium – the most important tasks in brief  

The following selenium-related health claims have been evaluated and approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) through scientific studies:  

  • Selenium contributes to normal spermatogenesis 
  • Selenium contributes to the maintenance of normal hair 
  • Selenium helps maintain normal nails 
  • Selenium contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system 
  • Selenium contributes to the normal functioning of the thyroid gland 
  • Selenium helps protect cells from oxidative stress 


Your daily need for selenium 

The German Nutrition Society recommends 70 µg selenium per day for men. Women and pregnant women should consume 60 µg of selenium per day, while breastfeeding women should consume 75 µg.  


Plant sources of selenium include cabbage (e.g. broccoli, white cabbage) and onion vegetables (e.g. garlic, onions) as well as mushrooms, asparagus and legumes such as lentils. Brazil nuts have a very high selenium content. However, since these also accumulate radioactive radium, they should only be consumed in small quantities. Because the selenium content in plants depends on the selenium content in the soil, the amount varies depending on the growing region. Compared to the USA, the soils in Europe are less rich in selenium.  

In the European Union, animal feed may be fortified with selenium. In Germany, animal foods such as meat and eggs as well as fish are the more reliable sources of selenium.  


Diet-related selenium deficiency only occurs in certain rural areas with low selenium content in the soil and predominantly consumption of regional products. This particularly affects regions at high altitudes in Central Africa and Asia. In Germany, this is generally not a danger and the risk of a selenium deficiency only exists in the case of diseases that lead to lower selenium utilization or increased selenium loss. Examples of this are chronic inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis or kidney failure and chronic dialysis.  



Be careful with too much selenium 

It is important to pay attention to your selenium intake, as too much selenium can be harmful. Consuming too much selenium can lead to selenosis, which manifests itself in neurological disorders, fatigue, joint pain, nausea and diarrhea. It is also accompanied by hair loss, impaired nail formation and a characteristic garlic-like smell in the air we breathe. Acute selenium poisoning caused by the intake of several grams of selenium can lead to heart failure.  

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an intake of 300 µg selenium per day is tolerable for adults without the risk of harmful side effects. Since most dietary supplements contain a maximum of 200 µg per day, it is unlikely that negative effects will occur from taking supplements in Europe if you follow the instructions when taking them.  

With our selenium-containing product DetoxAgil, the daily amount of selenium when taken as directed is 55 µg and therefore 5 times less than the maximum tolerable amount of selenium.  



How a selenium deficiency can manifest itself  

Since selenium is necessary as a building block in many different enzymes, a long-term lack of selenium intake can lead to numerous, diverse damages. Neurological disorders can occur, which can also manifest themselves in depressive or highly hostile behavior. A selenium deficiency impairs the immune system and muscle function and disrupts fertility in men. In addition, the thyroid hormone balance is impaired. The heart can also be at risk if there is a deficiency. In certain regions of China, deficiency diseases such as Keshan disease (heart muscle disease) or Kashin-Beck disease (joint changes, reduced bone growth) have occurred.  



Which AgilNature products contain selenium? 





55 µg per daily ration (6 capsules each)  



16.5 µg per daily ration (3 capsules each)  



27.5 µg per daily ration (3 capsules each)  


DermAgil Beauty 

44 μg per daily ration (1 capsule each) 


*Nutrient Reference Value = Percentage of the reference value according to Appendix XIII of the Food Information Regulation (EC) No. 1169/2011.  




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  2. Zhang F, Li X, Wei Y. Selenium and Selenoproteins in Health. Biomolecules. 2023 May 8;13(5):799. 
  3. Dou Q, Turanov AA, Mariotti M, Hwang JY, Wang H, Lee SG, Paulo JA, Yim SH, Gygi SP, Chung JJ, Gladyshev VN. Selenoprotein TXNRD3 supports male fertility via the redox regulation of spermatogenesis. J Biol Chem. 2022 Aug;298(8):102183. 
  4. Shreenath AP, Hashmi MF, Dooley J. Selenium Deficiency. 2023 Oct 29. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. 
  5. Biesalski, Hans Konrad; Bischoff, Stephan C.; Pirlich, Matthias; Weimann, Arved (ed.) (2018): Nutritional medicine. According to the nutritional medicine curriculum of the German Medical Association. With the collaboration of Michael Adolph, Jann Arends, Ulrike Arens-Azevêdo and Christine von Arnim. 5th, completely revised and expanded edition. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag. 
  6. Johnson, Larry E.: Selenium. In: MSD Manual patient edition. Available online at (accessed on February 22, 2022)  
  7. Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 (Health Claims) 
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