Selenium is a mineral that is found naturally in the soil and that also appears in certain foods high in selenium, and there are even small amounts in the water. Being an extremely vital mineral for the human body, the benefits of Se increase immunity, participate in the antioxidant activity that defends against free radical damage and inflammation, and plays a key role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. According to studies, consuming abundant selenium of natural origin has positive antiviral effects, is essential for successful fertility and reproduction of men and women, and also reduces the risk of cancer, autoimmune and thyroid diseases. That is not all that selenium helps.
How Selenium Benefits Your Body?
Selenium is able to play such a protective role in the body because it increases the antioxidant capacity and the quality of blood flow; therefore, it improves the body’s resistance against disease and stress.
“Selenium is often praised for its role in antioxidant activity, which reduces damage and inflammation of free radicals”.
It is believed that this is due to different types of selenoprotein found in selenium. This means that it benefits your body by potentially helping to prevent common forms of cancer, fighting viruses, defending against heart disease and reducing symptoms related to other serious conditions such as asthma. Natural sources of foods high in Se include Brazil nuts, eggs, liver, tuna, cod and sunflower seeds, as well as poultry and certain types of meat.
Whole foods are the best sources of selenium, especially when these foods are handled and prepared in a delicate way, since selenium can be destroyed during processing and cooking methods at a very high temperature. Among healthy people in America, a Se deficiency is believed to be uncommon. However, people with certain health conditions, such as HIV, Crohn’s disease and other disorders that alter nutrient absorption, are associated with low levels of selenium that can lead to selenium deficiency.
1. Acts as an Antioxidant and Defends Oxidative Stress:
The benefits of selenium include the ability to fight the aging process and help the immune system by reducing free radical damage. It is believed that selenium tends to have certain synergistic effects to mix with other antioxidants, in particular with vitamins such as E, which is quite good because it allows the body to fight against oxidative stress and protect against certain types of cancers such as of colon and prostate. It is an essential component of glutathione peroxidase, which is an important enzyme for the processes that protect lipids (fats) in cell membranes. It is necessary to combat oxidative degradation of cells and protect against mutation and DNA damage that can cause disease.
2. It Can Help Defend Against Cancer:
Selenium is especially useful if you have a weak immune system or a history of cancer in your family. Interventions that use selenium treatments at high doses have shown that selenium benefits anti-cancer abilities within the body. According to studies, the benefits of it are effective in reducing the risk of cancer incidence, cancer mortality and severity of cancers, specifically in the liver, prostate, colon and lung. It acts as a small mechanic within the body. It enters the nucleus of the cell where the DNA and genome are stored and finds damage. It adheres to protective antioxidants such as glutathione and then works to reduce and repair the damage caused to DNA, which if left unchecked could cause cancerous cell mutation and tumor growth. It does this because it has a special job of activating selenoproteins, acting in an enzymatic role that helps antioxidants do their best work. There is evidence that the benefits of selenium include not only the possibility of reducing the risk of cancer, but also helping to slow cancer progression and tumor growth. Other studies show that in areas of the world where the soil is lower in Se, the risk of cancer increases when compared to areas that have higher levels of naturally available selenium. Therefore, in certain cases, selenium prevents the growth of cancer.
3. Increase Body Immunity:
Several studies have found that the benefits of selenium are necessary to achieve the proper functioning of the immune system, in addition, it can be an excellent nutrient when it comes to counteracting the progress of some viruses, including HIV. In patients who have already contracted HIV, selenium has also been shown to be useful in slowing the progression of the disease to AIDS.
4. It Improves Blood Flow and Decreases the Probability of Heart Disease:
Low concentrations of selenium are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Selenium supplements or an increase in selenium-rich foods can help prevent coronary heart disease. It is believed that selenium can benefit heart health once again for its ability to fight inflammation, increase blood flow, reduce oxidative stress from free radicals and help with antioxidant activity. To date, its concentrations have been inversely related to the risk of coronary heart disease in observational studies. However, observational studies can sometimes lead to misleading tests and, therefore, the findings are still inconclusive as to whether selenium will be commonly prescribed for patients with heart disease in the future.
5. Regulates Thyroid Function:
Research is now showing, through numerous studies, that there is a link between thyroid metabolism and selenium deficiency. It acts as a catalyst for the production of active thyroid hormones. If you imagine that your body is a manufacturing facility, then your thyroid would be the main head in charge of regulating the entire operating system, so when the thyroid does not work properly, there are many serious and notable consequences. The thyroid gland controls numerous important daily body functions, which include appetite, sleep, temperature, weight, energy and more. A problem with proper thyroid function can cause negative symptoms, such as irritability, muscle weakness, fatigue, weight gain or loss, difficulty sleeping and many other reactions, so acquiring adequate amounts of selenium benefits the thyroid and body in many important ways. A deficiency in it correlates with problems within the thyroid and the way it synthesizes the right hormones. Therefore, we can increasingly see the value of the use of Se supplements to treat autoimmune and thyroid disorders.
Selenium acts as a powerful thyroid protector, and regulates the production of reactive oxygen within the gland and protects it from the antibodies that can create thyroid disease. For these reasons, the benefits of Se are also being investigated to see if they can help patients with Hashimoto’s disease , Graves ‘ disease and pregnant women with anti-TPO antibodies. Selenium can increase immunity, reduce autoimmune reactions and reduce inflammation in these populations.
6. Increase Longevity:
Studies have shown how important this mineral is vital to our health and longevity. If you want to live a long and vibrant life, selenium is definitely a mineral that you want to include in your diet. It has also been studied for the treatment of dozens of diseases ranging from asthma to arthritis, thyroid disorder and heart disease. The risk of these conditions increases as we get older, so consuming this can help defend the body and contribute to a long life. It is a trace mineral, which means we only need a small amount of it. However, the body can remove selenium from its system quite quickly, since it plays an actionable role in many important functions of the body; therefore, it is important to consume it regularly, especially as you get older, to take advantage of everything mentioned about the benefits of selenium.
7. It Is Good to Reduce the Typical Symptoms of Asthma:
According to studies, when people with asthma took selenium supplements, they experienced fewer asthma-related symptoms than those who took a placebo. It is believed that the Se supplements may work well in those patients suffering from chronic asthma conditions. However, more research is needed before this becomes a regular practice, as researchers have yet to determine the full effect of selenium on lung function.
8. It Can Help Increase Fertility:
Selenium is necessary for proper sperm motility and also increases blood flow, two key components involved in conception and infertility. Selenium is incorporated into the sperm mitochondrial capsule and can affect sperm behavior and function as they move through the vaginal canal. It seems that low and high sperm selenium concentrations have a negative influence on sperm count, therefore, it is important for fertility to comply with the recommendation, but not exceed it. Some studies also show that it may even reduce the risk of spontaneous abortion, but at this time more research has been devoted to infertility in men than in women when it comes to selenium supplements.
It is important to keep in mind that if you already consume adequate amounts of selenium from a healthy diet, consuming more selenium may not be beneficial, and high doses that reach 400 micrograms may even be harmful. Experts warn that it is crucial for the public to understand that the benefits of it work best when levels are reached through the consumption of foods rich in selenium. No one should exceed the recommendations by supplementing with very high doses without consulting a doctor. According to studies, the additional intake of Se may benefit people with a low state, but at the same time those with adequate or high levels of selenium in their bodies could be adversely affected, experience toxicity and should not take these supplements deliberately by this reason. The recommended daily amount of selenium depends on your age and is as follows, according to the USDA:
- Children 1-3: 20 micrograms / day
- Children 4-8: 30 micrograms / day
- Children 9-13: 40 micrograms / day
- Adults and children 14 years and older: 55 micrograms / day
- Pregnant women: 60 micrograms / day
- Lactating women: 70 micrograms / day
The Best Sources of Selenium:
Here are the 12 best foods naturally high in trace mineral selenium (RDA based percentages of 55 mcg / day for adults):
1. Brazil nuts – 1 cup: 607 microwams (1,103 percent DV)
2. Eggs – 1 medium egg: 146 micrograms (265 percent DV)
3. Sunflower seeds – 1 cup: 105 micrograms (190 percent DV)
4. Liver (lamb for beef) – 3 ounces: 99 micrograms (180 percent DV)
5. Rockfish – 3 ounces: 64 micrograms (116 percent DV)
6. Tuna – 3 ounces: 64 micrograms (116 percent DV)
7. Herring Fish- 3 ounces: 39 micrograms (71 percent DV)
8. Chicken breast – 3 ounces: 33.2 micrograms (58 percent DV)
9. Salmon – 3 ounces: 31 micrograms (56 percent DV)
10. Turkey – 3 ounces: 25 micrograms (45 percent DV)
11. Chia seeds – 1 oz: 15.6 micrograms (28 percent DV)
12. Mushrooms – 1 cup mixed: 15 micrograms (27 percent DV)
Get Enough Benefits of Selenium in Your Diet:
- To add more selenium to your diet naturally, try any of the recipes below that contain selenium-rich foods.
- If you like salmon, try making these salmon cakes or some delicious Terriyaki Salmon.
- Coconut Curry Chicken or Chicken Salad.
- As an accompaniment, you can make mushroom soup or the green bean Casserol mail that also has mushrooms in it.
- As a snack or dessert snack for some frozen organic yogurt, try this Grainless Granola and add Brazil nuts or sunflower seeds to reinforce selenium.
You can also supplement with selenium in the form of s elenomethionine. When taking Se supplements, adults should take up to 55 micrograms of selenomethionine per day, while pregnant women can take up to 60 micrograms and women who breastfeed can take up to 70 micrograms.
Selenium Side Effects:
Taken in normal doses, it generally has no negative side effects. An overdose of selenium can cause reactions such as bad breath, fever, nausea and possible liver complications, or even kidney and heart problems, although they only occur at very high levels of Se that reach the state of “intoxication.” Again, the toxicity of most forms of selenium is rare and is usually only experienced in people who are supplemented with high levels of Se. Too high a level can lead to selenium poisoning or toxicity, and this can be life-threatening or cause a heart attack and respiratory depression (lung). The US National Toxicology Program. UU. It also lists certain types as an animal carcinogen, but there is no evidence that all types can harm animals and that this poses a serious risk in everyday situations. It can also interact with other medications and supplements. These include antacids, chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, niacin, statin drugs that lower cholesterol and birth control pills. If you take any of these medications, you should talk to your doctor before taking vitamin and mineral supplements, including selenium.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Selenium:
- Selenium is a trace mineral that is found naturally in the soil and also appears in certain foods and there are even small amounts in the water.
- Selenium benefits the body in many ways. The main health benefits of it include defense against oxidative stress, heart disease and cancer; increase immunity; regulating thyroid function; increasing longevity; reduce asthma symptoms; increase fertility.
- It helps the body thanks in large part to its role as an antioxidant.
- The best food sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, eggs, sunflower seeds, liver, rock fish, tuna, herring, chicken breast, salmon, turkey, chia seeds and mushrooms.