Can Selenium Help Knee Arthritis?

Can Selenium Help Knee Arthritis?

An astounding, yes! Knee arthritis or Osteoarthritis, is caused by wear and tear. It occurs more commonly as we get older. Researchers at the University of North Carolina found a link to deficiencies in selenium and knee arthritis.

Selenium is a mineral that helps boost the immune system and fight off infection. It is an antioxidant that reduces molecules called free radicals that can damage healthy cells and is therefore useful in fighting the effects of aging. Selenium has been known to reduce the risks of lung cancers, prostate cancers, and colorectal cancers, as well as cataracts and macular degeneration. All diseases that are more common as we age.

What is Osteoarthritis of the knee?

It most often occurs in those 65 or older. It affects one’s ability to engage in simple activities like climbing stairs or walking. The cartilage of the knee is damaged and without that cushion the bone begins to deteriorate. Victims of the disease experience pain with weight bearing and their movements of the joint decrease. With this decrease in movement comes a wasting of the muscles, or atrophy, and the ligaments of the joint become loose or lax. It affects 21 million people in the U.S. annually. According to the University Of North Carolina study, selenium may strengthen joint cartilage. They compared the amount of selenium in the toenails of 940 men and women and found that those with the most selenium were 38% less likely to have knee arthritis.

How can you increase selenium in your diet?

The RDA of selenium is 55 mcg and that amount is supplied in most daily multivitamins.

Other sources include:

Brazil nuts

1 ounce of Brazil nuts can supply 544 mcg of selenium. Deficiencies in selenium causes health problems but too much selenium is not good either, so you may only want to eat Brazil nuts occasionally.


3 ½ ounces of Turkey provides 32mcg of selenium. So, gobble up on Thanksgiving. Your knees will love you.


Who doesn’t like tuna salad? 3 ounces of light tuna in oil, drained, provides 63 mcg of selenium.


Like eggs in your tuna? I medium egg is 14 mcg of selenium.