How Much Selenium is in Prawns

Prawns are a popular seafood that are enjoyed all around the world. They are a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals such as zinc and selenium. Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining our health. It is an antioxidant that helps to protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Selenium also helps to support our immune system and thyroid function.

The amount of selenium in prawns can vary depending on a number of factors such as the species of prawn, where it was caught, and what it was fed. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, the selenium content of prawns can range from 13 to 60 micrograms per 100 grams of raw prawn meat. This is a significant amount of selenium, as the recommended daily intake for adults is 55 micrograms per day. However, it is important to note that consuming too much selenium can be harmful, so it is important to consume prawns in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

What is Selenium and Why is it Important?

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a trace mineral and an essential nutrient for humans and animals. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. Selenium is also important for proper thyroid function and immune system health.

Why is Selenium Important?

Selenium is important for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to protect cells from oxidative damage and supports a healthy immune system. Secondly, selenium is essential for thyroid function and helps to regulate metabolism. Finally, selenium plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair.

Selenium Deficiency

Selenium deficiency can lead to several health problems, including Keshan disease, a type of heart disease that occurs in selenium-deficient areas. Other symptoms of selenium deficiency include muscle weakness, fatigue, and an increased risk of certain types of cancer.

Sources of Selenium

Selenium can be found in a variety of foods, including brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, beef liver, ham, turkey, chicken, eggs, brown rice, oatmeal, spinach, lentils, whole-wheat bread, sunflower seeds, and yogurt. The amount of selenium in these foods varies depending on the soil content where they were grown or raised.

FoodServing SizeSelenium Content
Brazil Nuts1 oz544 mcg
Tuna3 oz68 mcg
Sardines3 oz45 mcg
Beef liver3 oz28 mcg
Ham3 oz23 mcg
Turkey3 oz22 mcg
Chicken3 oz22 mcg
Eggs1 large15 mcg
Brown Rice1 cup19 mcg
Oatmeal1 cup13 mcg
Spinach1 cup11 mcg
Lentils1 cup6 mcg
Whole-wheat bread1 slice6 mcg
Sunflower seeds1 oz5 mcg
Yogurt1 cup8 mcg

In conclusion, selenium is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in several bodily functions. It can be found in a variety of foods, and a balanced diet should provide adequate amounts of selenium. However, individuals who live in selenium-deficient areas or have certain health conditions may need to supplement their diet with selenium.

Selenium Content in Prawns

How Much Selenium is in Prawns?

Prawns are known to be a good source of selenium, an essential mineral that plays an important role in various bodily functions, including thyroid hormone metabolism and antioxidant defense. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 100 grams of prawns contain approximately 45 micrograms of selenium. This is about 65% of the recommended daily intake of selenium for adults.

Comparison to Other Seafood

Compared to other seafood, prawns are a good source of selenium. For example, 100 grams of salmon contains approximately 25 micrograms of selenium, while the same amount of halibut contains about 34 micrograms. Other seafood such as sardines, yellowfin tuna, and crab contain varying amounts of selenium.

Bioavailability of Selenium in Prawns

The bioavailability of selenium in prawns is an important factor to consider. Bioavailability refers to the amount of a nutrient that can be absorbed and utilized by the body. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the selenium in prawns is highly bioavailable, with an absorption rate of approximately 94%.

It’s worth noting that the bioavailability of selenium in prawns can be affected by various factors, including the cooking method and the presence of other nutrients. For example, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the bioavailability of selenium in prawns was reduced when consumed with phytate-rich foods.

Overall, prawns are a good source of selenium, with a high bioavailability rate. However, it’s important to consume a variety of seafood and other protein sources to ensure adequate selenium intake. Additionally, individuals who are deficient in selenium may benefit from selenium supplementation, although this should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

SeafoodSelenium Content (100g)
Prawns45 mcg
Salmon25 mcg
Halibut34 mcg
Sardines36 mcg
Tuna68 mcg
Crab41 mcg

Health Benefits of Selenium in Prawns

Selenium is a trace element that is essential for maintaining good health. Prawns are a healthy and nutrient-rich food that contains a significant amount of selenium. In this section, we will discuss the various health benefits of selenium in prawns.

Selenium and Heart Health

Selenium is an antioxidant that helps to protect the heart from damage caused by free radicals. Studies have shown that people who consume adequate amounts of selenium have a lower risk of developing heart disease. Prawns are an excellent source of selenium, and regular consumption of prawns can help to maintain a healthy heart.

Selenium and Thyroid Function

Selenium is essential for proper thyroid function. The thyroid gland requires selenium to produce hormones that regulate metabolism. A deficiency in selenium can lead to thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism. Regular consumption of prawns, which are rich in selenium, can help to maintain proper thyroid function.

Selenium and Immunity

Selenium is essential for a healthy immune system. It helps to protect the body from infections and diseases. Studies have shown that people who consume adequate amounts of selenium have a stronger immune system. Prawns are an excellent source of selenium, and regular consumption of prawns can help to boost the immune system.

Selenium and Cognitive Decline

Selenium is essential for brain health and cognitive function. Studies have shown that a deficiency in selenium can lead to cognitive decline and memory problems. Prawns are an excellent source of selenium, and regular consumption of prawns can help to maintain cognitive function and memory.

Selenium and Reproduction

Selenium is essential for reproductive health. It plays a role in sperm production and egg development. Studies have shown that a deficiency in selenium can lead to infertility problems. Prawns are an excellent source of selenium, and regular consumption of prawns can help to maintain reproductive health.

Selenium and Cancer Prevention

Selenium is an antioxidant that helps to protect the body from cancer-causing free radicals. Studies have shown that people who consume adequate amounts of selenium have a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer. Prawns are an excellent source of selenium, and regular consumption of prawns can help to prevent cancer.

In conclusion, prawns are a healthy and nutrient-rich food that contains a significant amount of selenium. Regular consumption of prawns can provide numerous health benefits, including maintaining heart health, proper thyroid function, a strong immune system, cognitive function and memory, reproductive health, and cancer prevention.

Risks and Precautions

Selenium Toxicity

Although selenium is an essential nutrient, excessive intake can lead to toxicity. The tolerable upper intake level for selenium in adults is 400 mcg/day. Prawns are a good source of selenium, with 100 g of prawns containing approximately 60 mcg of selenium. Therefore, it is important to monitor your overall selenium intake from all sources, including supplements, to avoid toxicity. Symptoms of selenium toxicity include hair loss, nail brittleness, and neurological abnormalities.

Allergies to Seafood

Prawns are a type of shellfish and can cause allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms of a shellfish allergy can range from mild to severe and may include hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis. If you have a shellfish allergy, it is important to avoid consuming prawns and other shellfish.

Interactions with Other Nutrients

Selenium interacts with other nutrients in the body, including vitamin E, zinc, and iron. Consuming high levels of selenium can interfere with the absorption of these nutrients. Therefore, it is important to maintain a balanced diet and not rely solely on prawns as a source of selenium.

Special Populations

Certain populations may be at a higher risk of selenium deficiency or toxicity. For example, pregnant and breastfeeding women require more selenium than the general population. However, excessive selenium intake can also be harmful to the developing fetus. Therefore, it is important for pregnant and breastfeeding women to consult with their healthcare provider to determine the appropriate intake of selenium. Additionally, individuals with certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, may require lower levels of selenium.

In summary, prawns are a good source of selenium, but it is important to monitor your overall selenium intake from all sources to avoid toxicity. Prawns can also cause allergic reactions in some people, and excessive selenium intake can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and individuals with certain medical conditions should consult with their healthcare provider to determine the appropriate intake of selenium.

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About the Author Adam


As a health and fitness writer, Adam combines his two passions—weightlifting and writing. With a creative writing degree under his belt, he spends his mornings lifting weights, his nights putting pen to paper, and eating too many snacks in between.

Health Disclaimer

  • Any products written about is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
  • Results may vary/may not be typical. 
  • This information does not constitute medical advice and it should not be relied upon as such. Consult with your doctor before modifying your regular medical regime.

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