Selenium is a little-known mineral with a variety of industrial uses. What’s even less well known is what impact it may have on health–specifically Testosterone health. Even some of the absolute best T-Boosters on the market have been slow to include it in their supplements. That can also have to do with cost and efficiency in formulas.
There is one high-rated product, Prime Male, that has had Selenium in their ingredients from the very beginning. We’ll dig into the science behind this mineral to find out what the effects really are.
What You Need to Know
Some of the earliest experiments with Selenium and male health outcomes was conducted quite a bit ago, but their data remains empirically valuable. In the study, over 400 infertile men were selected for either placebo or Selenium treatment. Results showed that Selenium was able to improve all measures of sperm health–the count, the morphology, and the motility.
Those are all fancy words for “made a lot more good swimmers.” This study didn’t directly measure Testosterone, but the male hormone is the only one responsible for sperm health, which indicated for one of the first times that this mineral improved T outcomes.
Next was a group of studies conducted quite recently. One experimented with young male animals and how their testes developed. Scientists found that the more Selenium ingested, the better testes and testosterone developed..
We’ll get back to this correlation between growing young males and Selenium later, especially as it pertains to other mineral intake. But this initial research led even Harvard Medicine to recommend higher levels of Selenium in breastfeeding and pregnant mothers–because, after all, babies can’t take supplements.
Lastly we have a case-study of infertile men in Nigeria. Researchers there found that the higher the intake of Selenium in men the higher their testosterone. Interestingly, these scientists noted a drop in testosterone with Zinc consumption–contradicting the overwhelming consensus that Zinc is good for T-Boosting. Given this discrepancy, it’s time to look at how Selenium really interacts with other ingredients and total T health.
Selenium and Other Minerals
Reading and writing about the sciences means keeping an important aspect of the field in mind: not every experiment has identical results. This can be frustrating because it may mean that we have to sift through thousands of pages of data to find a majority consensus. The good news is that once we do we can be confident we’ve looked at the data. The great news for you is that at the Great Green Wall, we do the reading for you.
I bring all this up because of the Nigerian study showing a negative correlation between Zinc and Testosterone, which contradicted what I’ve previously researched. It got me down a rabbit hole, and I found out that some of Zinc’s most powerful effects are in combination with Magnesium and Selenium.
Case in point, going back to childhood development and Testosterone health, we have a a study involving over 1,000 adolescent human males and females. Researchers found that higher Selenium resulted in higher estrogen in females, and highfmagneer Testosterone in males. How could it be raising both?
The answer brings us back to an old bugbear in these Testosterone fields: sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG). I’ve noted in other articles, this is a red blood cell that binds to free testosterone, making it unavailable for use. In this Selenium study, all SHBG markers were decreased. This may indicate that Selenium is actively separating testosterone from blood cells, making it available for whatever the body needs: muscle and sperm production in men; conversion to estrogen (via aromatase) in women.
Finally, this team pointed out that when they factored in the consumption of copper and zinc the correlations between Testosterone production and Selenium were even stronger.
Following that thread, we have a recent study of lab animals that were given either a placebo (nothing), magnesium, zinc, Selenium, or a combination of all three minerals. They found that the combination had the highest total and free Testosterone gains. Additionally, this led to higher strength tests and muscle development.
Lastly we have another conflicting data set. In this one, elite male bicyclists were given Zinc, Selenium, or a combination of both. The only group with measurably high testosterone was the Zinc group. Now, what to make of that?
For this we only need context to find out what’s applicable. If you’re a male suffering from diagnosed hypogonadism, odds are you’re already in conversations with your doctor. And if you’re an elite bicyclist, your diet better already be packed with all the minerals and vitamins you need.
Which leaves the rest of us–right in between clinically infertile and elite athlete. And all of the studies conducted on this population indicate that Selenium, especially in combination with other minerals, is beneficial for Testosterone.
Scientific literature provides us with perspectives from around the world, and from fields as far apart as animal sciences to female reproductive medicine. It also provides us with conflicting data we need to contextualize. But in the main, it seems that Selenium is a great addition to any T-Boosting regimen, especially one that already contains Zinc and Magnesium.