Definition of Selenium

Selenium: An essential mineral that is a component of an antioxidant enzyme, glutathione reductase, that is key in tissue respiration. Food sources of selenium include seafoods; some meats, such as kidney and liver; and some grains and seeds. Too much selenium may cause reversible balding and changes in the nails, give a garlic odor to the breath, and cause intestinal distress, weakness, and slowed mental functioning. Deficiency of selenium causes Keshan disease.

Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

Healthy Eating Pictures Slideshow: Fat-Fighting Foods
Search MedTerms:

Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.