Selenium is a trace mineral that has a role in a variety of body functions. However, because it is a trace mineral, few of us are familiar with it. Selenium has been shown to help fight oxidative stress and prevent a variety of ailments in studies.
Selenium, on the other hand, serves a purpose other than scavenging free radicals. This article will explain why getting enough selenium is so crucial.
Health benefits of selenium
Selenium contains potent antioxidant qualities that may help with cancer and heart disease treatment. Selenium supplementation has also been related to increased cognitive health and immunity.
1. Improve cardiovascular health
Selenium has been shown to help with cardiovascular health.
Selenium has been related to a lower risk of coronary heart disease in observational studies. This is due to the mineral’s strong antioxidant properties.
Selenoproteins play a function in this as well. They protect against the oxidation of LDL, vascular inflammation, and atherogenesis. They also assist in the reduction of cardiac stress by combating reactive oxygen species in the heart.
Supplementing with selenium may also be good for heart health. C-reactive proteins (body proteins whose concentration rises in reaction to inflammation) are reduced by the mineral, potentially reducing inflammation and associated cardiovascular disease.
However, several types of research on the advantages of selenium for heart health are still equivocal. Another study found that taking selenium supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease is ineffective.
2. May Prevents Cancer
According to research, selenium may have a deleterious impact on cancer progression. This impact can be linked to selenium-associated molecules known as selenoproteins.
Selenium has anti-cancer properties in the breast, lung, prostate, colon, and skin malignancies. It also aids in the prevention of cancer metastasis (development of secondary tumor growth away from the original cancer site).
Prostate cancer prevention was found to be most effective when selenium was used. Prostate cancer fatalities were reported to be 63 percent lower in males who took selenium.
However, other investigations yielded contradictory results. This was notably true in the case of unsupervised selenium supplementation, which has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
3. Prevents Cognitive Decline
Selenoproteins counteract oxidative stress, which may help reduce cognitive impairment as people age. The brain is the only organ that contains selenium for the longest time in the case of selenium shortage. This demonstrates the importance of selenium in brain health.
Low levels of selenium were linked to decreased cognitive performance in an elderly rural Chinese study. Higher selenium levels have also been linked to improved cognition.
Selenium is also involved in the production of glutathione peroxidases, which are key antioxidant enzymes found in the brain. The concentration of reactive oxygen species in the brain is reduced by these enzymes.
4. Strengthens the immune system
The selenoproteins included in dietary selenium have been demonstrated to improve immunological function. Selenium can improve immunity while also regulating overactive immune responses and persistent inflammation.
By increasing immunity, selenium boosts one’s resilience to viral infections. The mineral has an impact on all aspects of the immune system. It’s found in large amounts in immunological tissues like the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver.
T cells, which are crucial components of the human immune system, benefit from adequate selenium.
Asthma treatment may be aided by selenium. Though the use of selenium to treat asthma has yet to be researched, sources suggest that it may be used in conjunction with other asthma treatments.
5. May improve thyroid function
Selenium is found in the thyroid gland in the highest concentration per gram of tissue. According to some studies, selenium supplementation can improve thyroid function, particularly in people with hypothyroidism.
Selenium supplementation may potentially help to prevent thyroid illness. Another study looked into the possibility of selenium deficiency triggering thyroid gland damage.
The proteins associated with selenium play a function in thyroid hormone regulation.
6. May increase fertility
Selenium is important for human reproduction. Low selenium levels have been associated with male infertility in studies.
Another small study indicated that selenium may help to prevent infertility by preventing free radical damage.
These advantages demonstrate the significance of selenium. Despite being a trace mineral, it plays a critical function in human health.
Eating foods high in selenium is the best method to obtain enough of the mineral.
Best Selenium-Containing Foods
Selenium can be found in a variety of everyday foods like brazil nuts, cooked halibut, sardines, roasted ham, cooked macaroni, canned shrimps, roasted beef steak, hard-boiled eggs, and cooked brown rice.
Make sure you eat these meals regularly. Not doing so could result in selenium deficiency.
What are the symptoms of selenium deficiency?
The heart and joints are the most common symptoms of selenium insufficiency. In men, the moderate deficit might cause infertility and neurological problems.
Other symptoms include fatigue, physical weakness, brain confusion, hair loss, and a compromised immune system.
For adults, a daily selenium dosage of 55 mcg is suggested. The maximum amount of this mineral that can be consumed in a day is 400 mcg. Any amount of selenium above this can cause selenium poisoning.
Excessive selenium use might potentially cause difficulties. Taking more than 400 mcg of selenium every day for a long time can produce the following symptoms.
- Skin Rashes
- Brittle Nails
- In the mouth, there is a metallic taste.
- Bad Garlic is like a breath
Selenium’s antioxidant capabilities not only aid to improve your cardiovascular health, but they may also help to lower your cancer risk. Selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts, sardines, and hard-boiled eggs can contain selenium. However, you must be cautious not to drink too much of it to avoid toxicity and negative effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary for you to take selenium supplements?
It is dependent on your health. The most common way to cure selenium insufficiency is to eat enough foods that are high in minerals. However, if you have a medical issue, your doctor may advise you to take supplements. Because selenium supplements can interfere with other medications, it’s best to take them under the supervision of a doctor (24).
Is it possible to combine selenium with zinc?
Selenium and zinc supplements should not be taken together, according to research. Minerals may interact with one another, lowering bioavailability.
Is selenium beneficial to the skin and hair?
According to certain studies, selenium may help with skin and hair health. However, more research is required.
When it comes to selenium, how long does it last in the body?
The majority of selenium that enters the body departs within 24 hours.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not to be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.