By Julian Hattem - 04/15/13 03:26 PM EDT
Typically found in plant foods, selenium helps prevent cellular damage from chemicals known as free radicals, which are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism. The heart ailment Keshan disease has been linked to a deficiency of selenium, and too much of the mineral can lead to hair and nail loss, fatigue and a host of other symptoms.
The mineral has also been linked to reducing risks of prostate cancer and diabetes.
The agency is requiring the between 2 and 7 micrograms per 1,000 calories of the mineral, a level of which most infant formulas are already in compliance.
The FDA is collecting comments on the proposal for 75 days.