Selenium is a trace element that is naturally present in many foods, and has been added to many different supplements, which are promoted to improve immune function and nail and hair health as well as support a healthy thyroid.
- Selenium supports glutathione production which helps to support thyroid health, and low levels of selenium may impair the production of thyroid hormones – which may lead to a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium.
- In mice, it has been shown that both selenium deficiency and excess can lead to hair loss, indicating that the amount of selenium beneficial to the body may be tightly regulated.
- The clinical evidence suggests that selenium levels may be lower in patients with alopecia areata however these results were not significant and the effect of selenium on hair regrowth was not studied. Studies utilizing selenium alongside other vitamins and minerals have been shown to reduce hair shedding, however it is not known whether this was due to selenium or the other ingredients. Furthermore, some studies have shown that high levels of selenium can induce hair loss, as well as increase the risk of prostate cancer in men that already have high levels of selenium and then take selenium supplements.
- Our experience tracking members: selenium by itself is not enough to improve hair loss outcomes.