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Today, I am going to write about an amazing mineral called Selenium. This mineral is present as a trace mineral in the body’s skeletal muscles. It is an essential mineral which acts as a coenzyme to some almost 25 proteins in the body. Its main function is that it is a powerful antioxidant, protects our body from the damage of oxidative stress caused by free radicals, helps in maintaining a healthy immune system, also improves our cognitive functions. The ideal dose of Selenium as a daily intake is 55 mcg. The therapeutic dose is usually recommended as 200 mcg. A person can tolerate safely up to 400 mcg of selenium daily but beyond that, there are chances of selenium toxicity. Researches have shown that there are 2 forms of Selenium: Organic as selenomethionine and inorganic as selenite or selenate. So, the sources of selenium can be both dietary and supplementation.
8 amazing benefits of Selenium are :
1.The most powerful benefit is that selenium is involved in the synthesis of glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, heavy metals, harmful chemicals, or too much sugar causing damage to the nerve, muscle cells in the body. This is why selenium is very useful for people with chronic conditions like Diabetes, heart issues, peripheral neuropathy. It also helps in reducing the complications of such chronic conditions. It protects the brain and nervous system.
2.Another important benefit of selenium is that it helps in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the synthesis of the thyroid hormones. Therefore, a person with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid diseases where the production of thyroid hormones become low, selenium is of great help. It also helps in reducing significantly the thyroid peroxidase antibodies. This is why, selenium is recommended as therapeutic supplement in such conditions.
3.Selenium has a high impact on our immune system. It helps in the increase production of activated T cells and natural killer cells making the immune system strong and reduces the susceptibility to viral infections, diseases and tumours. It also reduces inflammation in the body.
4. It helps to protect us from the damage of mercury. Consuming fishes and shellfish, we are exposed to Methylmercury, an organic form of mercury which isn’t good for the body at all. It may have a toxic effect on the nervous system, kidney, lungs, skin and in eyes. Selenium which is also present in fishes counteract with the mercury and make it inactive thereby protecting the body from the toxicity.
5. Anti Cancer effect: Since it reduces the oxidative stress in the body , therby reducing the damage to DNA Mitochrondria. This effect can counteract the carcinogens of harmful chemicals and toxins that enters the body through various sources.
6. Liver disease: Selenium helps to prevent or rather helps in reducing liver damage caused like alcohol use, obesity and liver scarring called Cirrhosis.
7. Prostate : It helps to reduce certain condition of prostate like Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy.
8. Arsenic: It helps to reduce the effect of Arsenic Poisoning.
Though selenium has some amazing benefits, it is wise to take the appropriate amount daily. Just as the deficiency can cause certain problems in the body, the excess quantity can cause certain toxicity.
Deficiency of Selenium:
Compromised immune system causing us more susceptible to disease.
Cognitive problems like difficulty in thinking and concentrating.
Some effects of Selenium toxicity :
Nervous system abnormalities.
Finally, the dietary sources of Selenium:
Brazil nuts: Though brazil nuts are highest in selenium concentration. They have another substance called Phytic acid which makes the selenium difficult to absorb in the body. So, brazil nuts should be soaked overnight so that the layer of Phytic acid is removed and the selenium can be absorbed properly.
Fishes like tuna, salmon, sardines, halibut.
Thanks for reading.
Blessings and much love to all 💐