Selenium is used as a dietary supplement mainly in the treatment of selenium deficiency affecting young women and children with Keshan disease
It is also used for treatment of osteoarthiritis associated with poor selenium levels in body called Kashin-Beck Disease
Selenium supplements are also used in patients with HIV/ AIDS to maintain the adequate selenium levels
Mechanism of Action
Selenium is an integral part of glutathione peroxidases (GPx) that act as potent antioxidant (substance that protects against cell damage) by neutralizing the free radicals (waste products formed in the body during energy production) such as reactive oxygen and nitrogen species
Thus selenium participates in vital redox reactions of the body
Also, a selenoprotein (iodothyronine deiodinases) is essential for the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to the biologically active thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) thereby indicating the importance of selenium in thyroid hormone functioning
Chronic selenium toxicity with symptoms such as hair and nail brittleness and loss
Garlic breath odor
Do not take this drug if you are allergic to selenium. Always consult your doctor before using selenium supplementation:
If you have chronic kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis).
If you have underactive thyroid.
If you have skin cancer.
Do not take this medicine without consulting a doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Using selenium long-term or at high doses may increase your risk of developing diabetes or other serious medical conditions. Ask your doctor about your specific risk