Health and Nutrition Articles

Selenium

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Selenium - Powerful Ally Against Free Radicals

Selenium is an essential mineral found and required in small amounts in the body.

Selenium mainly functions as an antioxidant; helping to fight free radicals and prevent cellular damage from free radicals.

Scientists are still not exactly sure how selenium works but have found that those who live in parts of the world with selenium rich soil have lower rates of cancer.

Selenium Benefits

  • Many antioxidant properties in selenoproteins
  • Help prevent cellular damage from free radicals
  • Helps to prevent the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease
  • Plays a role in thyroid function
  • Needed for proper immune system functioning

Selenium Benefits

  • Plant foods -- depends on the area they were grown in, as certain soils have food that is richer in selenium than others
  • Meats and seafood
  • Tuna
  • Cod
  • Turkey meat
  • Chicken breast
  • Beef chuck roast (lean only)
  • Egg
  • Crab
  • Liver
  • Fish

Selenium Benefits

  • If you are healthy and eat a well-balanced diet your selenium levels should be fine
  • No obvious symptoms
  • May have a weakened immune system
  • Possible fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle wasting and heart problems
  • May have lower levels if you
    • Smoke cigarettes
    • Drink alcohol
    • Take birth control pills
    • Have a condition that prevents body from absorbing enough selenium
      • Crohn's Disease
      • Ulcerative colitis

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References

Quick Facts

  • Selenium is a mineral that plays a role in such functions as thyroid health, preventing cell damage, and synthesizing antibodies
  • Your body only needs a small amount of selenium to function healthily
  • Selenium also helps your body produce antioxidant enzymes and boosts normal cell growth
  • Selenium deficiencies are rare but may be experienced by those with such health conditions as HIV or Crohn's disease
  • Eggs, meats and seafood are rich natural sources of selenium
  • An overdose of selenium may result in bad breath, fever, nausea, and liver, kidney and heart problems, or death in extreme cicumstances.
  • Selenium may interact with other medicines and supplements, including antacids, chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, niacin, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, and birth control pills.