We only need trace amounts of selenium, but it’s a key player in mental health. It helps regulate metabolism, and DNA synthesis and neurotransmission, and it’s a component of potent antioxidants. “Antioxidants help protect cells, including brain cells, from damaging, inflammatory molecules called free radicals,” explains psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, MD, author of Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety. “In order to make those antioxidants, however, the body needs the appropriate ingredients. Selenium is one of these.”
Mothers-to-be who increase their selenium intake before giving birth are less likely to develop postpartum depression, and selenium can also reduce depressive symptoms among those who do develop the disorder.
One meta-analysis published in 2022 found that supplementation “significantly reduced depressive symptoms” in subjects with depression, even as researchers couldn’t fully account for the effect. One explanation might be selenium’s ability to help regulate inflammation, as increasing evidence points to chronic inflammation as a factor in mental illness.
How to Supplement: Selenium supplements are typically available in capsule form. Adult men and women need around 55 mcg daily. Pregnant and lactating women require 60 and 70 mcg daily, respectively.
This was excerpted from “8 Key Supplements to Boost Your Mental Health — Naturally” which was published in Experience Life.
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