Selenium (Se) is a micronutrient and nutritional antioxidant essential for human health. Dietary Se strongly influences inflammation and immune responses to viral infections.

Selenium status is likely to influence human response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and it is one risk factors which may impact on the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Selenium supplementation may be beneficial in limiting the severity of symptoms, especially in countries where Se status is regarded as sub-optimal.

The very recent article by Bermano et al. highlights the importance of Se status in Covid-19 infections. Further articles recently published also show the ability of Se to prevent, forestall and/or alleviate the clinical course of Covid-19 infection.

Finns, however, now derive enough Selenium from food, as agricultural fertilisers are supplemented with Se, a measure which Finland was the first country in the world to introduce as early as 1984.

It turned out that, after the introduction of Selenium fertiliser, the level of Se in the blood of the Finnish population increased by about 55 % and the Finnish level is thus high by international standards.


  • Giovanna Bermano # 1, Catherine Méplan # 2, Derry K Mercer 1, John E Hesketh. Selenium and viral infection: are there lessons for COVID-19? Br J Nutr. 2021 Mar 28;125(6):618-627. doi: 10.1017/S0007114520003128. Epub 2020 Aug 6.
  • Zhang J, Saad R, Taylor EW, Rayman MP. Selenium and selenoproteins in viral infection with potential relevance to COVID-19. Redox Biol. 2020 Oct;37:101715. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2020.101715. Epub 2020 Sep 10.
    Moghaddam A, Heller RA, Sun Q, Seelig J, Cherkezov A, Seibert L, Hackler J, Seemann P, Diegmann J, Pilz M, Bachmann M, Minich WB, Schomburg L. Selenium Deficiency Is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19. Nutrients. 2020 Jul 16;12(7):2098. doi: 10.3390/nu12072098.
  • Hiffler L, Rakotoambinina B. Selenium and RNA Virus Interactions: Potential Implications for SARS-CoV-2 Infection (COVID-19). Front Nutr. 2020 Sep 4;7:164. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2020.00164. eCollection 2020.
  • Peter R. Hoffmann and Marla J. Berry. The influence of selenium on immune responses Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Nov; 52(11): 1273–1280.

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