What can cause high selenium levels?

Dariush Mozaffarian, MD
Internal Medicine
The amount of selenium in foods varies widely, as it depends on the selenium content of the soil where plants are grown or animals are raised. For example, the high plains of northern Nebraska and the Dakotas are rich in selenium, and people living there have the highest selenium intakes in the United States. People who snack on Brazil nuts (found in some canned nut mixtures) may also have high selenium levels because these nuts contain as much as 10 times the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) -- a value so high that you shouldn't eat them on a regular basis. Meats, breads, and other nuts are the most common sources of selenium in the American diet, and most people get the RDA.

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