The properties of Selenium
Selenium is an ingredient in many multivitamins and other dietary supplements, including infant formula. It is a component of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase (which indirectly reduce certain oxidized molecules in animals and some plants). It is also found in three deiodinase enzymes, which convert one thyroid hormone to another.
Selenomethionine is a naturally occurring amino acid. The L-selenomethionine enantiomer is the main form of selenium found in Brazil nuts, cereal grains, soybeans, and grassland legumes, while Se-methylselenocysteine, or its γ-glutamyl derivative, is the major form of selenium found in Astragalus, Allium, and Brassica species.
Selenomethionine’s antioxidant activity arises from its ability to deplete reactive oxygen species. Selenium and methionine also play separate roles in the formation and recycling of glutathione, a key endogenous antioxidant in many organisms, including humans.