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Selenium and Mood

Selenium is an essential mineral that supports brain health and is recognized as a powerful antioxidant. Research supports the important role selenium plays in supporting a healthy mood.

Adequate selenium intake is associated with better mood.

Selenium plays an important role in supporting healthy mood (1).

A study with 50 people showed those supplementing with selenium experienced a substantial improvement in mood at 2.5 and 5 weeks compared to those taking a placebo (2).

A larger study with 978 young adults found a reduced association with symptoms of poor mood in those whose selenium levels were within an optimal range (3).

An additional study showed significant improvements in OCD testing measures compared to placebo after six weeks for patients with OCD who added selenium to their standard care regimen (6)(7).

Our brains need selenium.

It has been found in times of deficiency, the brain retains selenium at a higher rate than other organs in the body, Researchers believe this helps exhibit how important selenium is to our brain (8).


1) Rayman, M. P. (2000). The importance of selenium to human health. The Lancet, 356(9225), 233–241.
2) Benton, D., &; Cook, R. (1990). Selenium supplementation improves mood in a double-blind crossover trial. Psychopharmacology, 102(4), 549–550.
3) Conner, T. S., Richardson, A. C., &; Miller, J. C. (2015). Optimal serum selenium concentrations are associated with lower depressive symptoms and negative mood among young adults. The Journal of Nutrition, 145(1), 59–65.
4) Pasco, J. A., Jacka, F. N., Williams, L. J., Evans-Cleverdon, M., Brennan, S. L., Kotowicz, M. A., Nicholson, G. C., Ball, M. J., &; Berk, M. (2012). Dietary selenium and major depression: A nested case-control study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 20(3), 119–123.
5) Ferreira de Almeida, T. L., Petarli, G. B., Cattafesta, M., Zandonade, E., Bezerra, O. M., Tristão, K. G., &; Salaroli, L. B. (2021). Association of selenium intake and development of depression in Brazilian farmers. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8.
6) Sayyah, mehdi, Andishmand, M., &; Ganji, R. (2018). Effect of selenium as an adjunctive therapy in patients with treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder: a pilot randomized double blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 20(4), 57–65.
7) Kuygun Karcı, C., &; Gül Celik, G. (2020). Nutritional and herbal supplements in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. General Psychiatry, 33(2).
8) Benton, D. (2002). Selenium intake, mood and other aspects of psychological functioning. Nutritional Neuroscience, 5(6), 363–374.