Selenium and Fertility

Fertility may be linked to various factors including the diet, lifestyle and the environment of the couple. Selenium is a substance that can be beneficial for male fertility, but may also be toxic in high doses.

Selenium Benefits for Male Fertility

Selenium, also known as Se, is a chemical element and non metal that is useful in the human body and is an important antioxidant. Se can protect the body from free radicals.

Selenium is considered to be beneficial for male fertility, as a diet high in selenium can improve the sperm quality. A research has shown that fertile men have a higher amount of selenium in their body and blood than infertile men. A number of infertile male patients have been given selenium for a few months, and there has been an increase in their fertility and sperm count. Selenium helps in the formation of sperm.

The reason why selenium is good for the quality of sperm is due to the fact that Se fights the free radicals, so it may also prevent the breakage of chromosome, which is known to cause infertility or failure to conceive and birth defects.

Selenium Benefits for Female Fertility

To date, there is no proof to support that selenium can benefit female fertility. However, the selenium intake in the diet of a woman should be normal, so that her diet is balanced and the free radicals are eliminated effectively from the body.

Additional Benefits of Selenium

Selenium can be beneficial for men, as studies have demonstrated that a high intake of selenium can prevent the early onset of prostate cancer.

Sources of Selenium

Selenium can be introduced as supplements for men that have fertility problems. However, selenium can also be obtained from a number of foods such as:

  • Brazil nuts, known to have the highest levels of selenium
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Cereals
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Meat, especially kidneys
  • Fish such as tuna and crab
  • Lobster
  • Eggs

Ideally, a person’s intake of selenium should be between 15 and 100 micro grams. The amount of selenium in soil grown foods can depend on the type of soil used to grow those ingredients. Selenium rich soils will produce selenium rich products.

Warning: Selenium Toxicity

Selenium in high doses is toxic, so the intake of selenium should not exceed 200 micro grams per day. A fertility doctor should be consulted for the right dose for each patient in part.

A dose of over 400 micro grams of selenium can lead to selenium toxicity or selenosis. The selenium toxicity will manifest through:

  • Vomiting
  • Bad breath (garlic breath)
  • Hair loss, if administered for a longer time
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Neurological damage
  • Liver disease

The selenium toxicity can be deadly, if administered for a longer period of time and if the selenium attacks the liver or the lungs.