Recommended Dietary Allowance; None has been established at this time, and it is recommended that no selenium supplement be ingested. The mineral should be obtained naturally from brewer's yeast, where the amount is infinitesimal.
Therapeutic Dose: None has been established because of selenium's toxicity.
Megadose: None has been established because of selenium's toxicity.
The toxicity level for selenium is five to ten parts per million. Micronutrients, such as molybdenum, cobalt and chromium, can accent the toxic effects of selenium, which interferes with sulfur compounds in the body and interferes with the action of certain enzymes.
The liver would be the first organ to be affected by an overdose of selenium: it would either begin dysfunctioning or stop functioning completely. In animals toxicity is known as "alkali disease" or "blind staggers": the muscles lose their ability to work properly. Moreover, there is dullness and sleepiness, the gait or walk is staggering, and the animal falls down if turning quickly. The respiration is also slow and irregular, and the appetite is not good. There is a tendency toward constipation as well.
Chick embryos given toxic amounts of selenium during fetal development were deformed upon hatching. With less toxic amounts malformations occurred, but no duplication of body parts resulted.
If selenium is ingested in too large amounts, certain types of arsenic are antidotes for cleansing the deadly mineral from the system.
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