Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that also provides energy to the body. In addition, it is actively involved in the cell metabolism.
What is selenium?
It is an essential trace element that our body cannot produce, so why we need to obtain it from the diet.
Above all, it is present in the muscles, kidneys and liver. Our body has approximately 10-15mg of selenium. We can measure the levels of magnesium with a blood test.
In short, this mineral works like an antioxidant that deals with the free radicals and prevents the cell degeneration.
Moreover, it stabilizes the immune system, improving the wound healing processes. Selenium also produces the anti-bodies that defend the body against any threat. In fact, the clinical studies have shown how it inhibits the onset of tumor cells.
It protects the cells against the harmful effects of the free radicals and UV rays. Otherwise, they would damage the cell walls and genotype. Moreover, selenium also inhibits the oxidative stress and the negative charge of toxic heavy metals. For instance, lead and mercury.
In addition, it strengthens the immune system due to its anti-inflammatory effect. Apart from being involved in the optimal functioning of the thyroid gland.
A selenium deficiency can trigger the following symptoms:
- Muscle weakness, difficulty to walk
- More susceptibility to infections, like colds
- Dry skin
- Weakness and a bad aspect of the hair and nails
Sources of selenium
Above all, it is specially available in animal products. For instance, meat (specially liver and kidneys), fish, seafood and milk. Some of the vegetables rich in selenium are walnuts and Brazil walnuts.
In order to stay healthy, an adult should take between 30 and 70 micrograms of selenium daily.
Like we mentioned, its supply can change depending on where we live. That is why it is advisable to take dietary supplements to ensure that we meet the requirements.
The selenium requirements can be higher in certain groups of people. For example, it can depend on their health or diseases. But a way to improve the effects of selenium on the organism is taking additional vitamins like: A, C and E.
Moreover, a good way to strengthen the immune system consists of combining selenium and zinc.
Selenium is available in several formats:
- Trimethylselenium ion
Who can benefit from this mineral?
Some people may need to increase their selenium intake due to different circumstances. In fact, the clinical studies have proven that it is an important elements to treat several disorders.
According to this, taking additional selenium is crucial for the following cases:
- Pregnant or lactating women
- All those people with a weak immune system
- Vegans who only eat vegetable proteins
- Patients with tumors
- Men with lazy spermatozoa
- Women with an abundant menstruation
- Patients of dialysis
- People who suffer mellitus diabetes
- Those who suffer heart diseases
- People with a chronic intestinal disease
- All those people who drink a lot of alcohol
- If you follow a bad or unhealthy diet
- For protection against oxidative stress
- Protection against sun radiation
- Hair loss
- Abdominal pain
- Selenium liquefies the blood, which is why it is not advisable for who suffer abundant nosebleeds.
- Men who want to have children should not take selenium supplements because it hinders the motility of the spermatozoa.
- Finally, those who have had or have prostate problems should no take selenium, unless your physician tells you to.
What do the experts think?
Stronger immune system
Combine a proper intake with a balanced diet and regular physical exercise. Consequently, your anti-body production will improve. Selenium enhances the defenses and reduces the inflammation, protecting the body against the onset of diseases.
Prevention against cell degeneration
The clinical studies have shown how it has a positive effect on the medicines and radiotherapy used against cancer. Moreover, it also helps to prevent the onset of cancer itself. Above all, this is due to the fact that it protects the body against the free radicals. More specifically, having enough selenium lowers the risk of suffering prostate cancer.
- Hasani M, Djalalinia S, Sharifi F, Varmaghani M, Zarei M, Abdar ME, Asayesh H, Noroozi M, Kasaeian A, Gorabi AM, Qorbani M. Effect of Selenium Supplementation on Lipid Profile: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Horm Metab Res. 2018 Oct;50(10):715-727. doi: 10.1055/a-0749-6655. Epub 2018 Oct 12.
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