A mixture of vegetation, water, and soil produces the selenium trace mineral. The body obtains this essential mineral through eating, but not so many foods contain generous amounts. Despite its importance to general health, before the early 1800s, scientists were unaware that it existed. Even today, except for those who take a keen interest in natural health, many ordinary people have not heard of selenium. Researchers continue to investigate its health benefits. It is apparent from the information already available that it boosts health in several key areas, and future research is likely to reveal additional benefits.
A difficulty conceiving children is one of the most difficult challenges for a couple to face. The fact that most people know of someone in this situation hints at the numbers affected. Modern medical techniques make hopes of becoming parents achievable in some of these cases. The role of selenium infertility is one of the subjects the scientists are investigating. Their studies indicate that this mineral improves blood flow and sperm distribution. Research also suggests that it can have a role in lowering the risks of miscarriages.
A delicate balance exists in the body between the free radical and antioxidant compounds. Both of these elements need to be present, but if the equilibrium is disturbed, this person's health is at risk. For example, poor quality diet could lead to a situation where the free radicals attack body cells and tissues. The damage this causes opens the way to infection and serious health problems. Selenium reinforces the antioxidants that protect from the harm that free radical activity causes.
Preventing the development of cancerous cell is one of the most significant ways that selenium can be of benefit. Several studies suggest that it could play a role in destroying such cells. Some scientists also believe that selenium contributes to DNA repair. Research points to a link between selenium intake and a reduction in risks of several types of cancer, for example, in the lungs and prostate. Additional investigations will hopefully lead to an increase in the rates of prevention and cure for this dreaded disease.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are two of the main ways to preserve cardiovascular health. Specialists recognize clear links between a lack of selenium in the bloodstream and increased incidences of heart disease. They also know that selenium helps to keep cholesterol levels well within the safe limits and this reduces the chance of artery blockages. For these reasons, cardiologists recommend including foods with good selenium content in the diet. In this context, chicken and tuna are excellent items to include in menu plans. Vegetarians might consider selenium supplements.
A basic schoolchild's knowledge of human biology is all it takes to appreciate the essential function of the liver in the digestive process. Through diets containing too much junk food and other bad meal choices, toxins accumulate in the liver and impair its operations. Damage from living and working in polluted environments has a similar effect. Selenium helps to remove these toxins from the liver to help ensure it continues to work effectively.
Asthma is one of those health conditions that need not be life-threatening, but its flare-ups are very distressful and life-disrupting. Use of an inhaler is usually sufficient to keep the condition under control, but failings in asthma care may have serious consequences. For these reasons, researchers have become interested in how selenium seems to lessen asthma symptoms. Some recommend that it ought to be included in child meal plans to reduce the chances of them developing this condition when they get older.
The connection between diet and skin condition is well-enough. Nobody can expect to have well-moisturized, healthy skin if they eat poor quality foods that lack vital minerals and nutrients. Using creams may help somewhat, but without improving diets, benefits are likely to be limited. Selenium is one of the minerals that make a difference. The logic is simple. If selenium deprivation has a negative effect on the body, it follows that getting a sufficient amount of selenium strengthens health and thus improves skin condition.
In addition to improving the body's resistance to disease, some experts argue that by boosting the body's antioxidant properties, selenium could slow down the aging process. Selenium has a proven value holding back the free radicals in a natural way. Since these compounds speed up aging, inhibiting their activities naturally should delay its onset. This approach is much preferable than relying on anti-aging creams or solutions that lack any scientific basis.
Improvements in general health have increased life expectancy, but this positive development brings its own health problems. Health systems need to cope with a rising number of elderly patients with symptoms of senility, Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases. Medical researchers search for solutions to both the treatment and prevention of this decline in mental faculties. Some natural treatment experts associate this decline with excess free radical activity. Since selenium improves defenses against free radicals, it could lessen exposal to the forces of mental degeneration.
A whole hair care products industry caters to our concerns over maintaining hair quality. Many individuals have their favorite shampoo, cream or other lotion that they believe helps to keep their hair in good condition. They view hair condition as a key element that shapes their appearance. Natural health specialists are dubious over the long-term value of such products. They suggest that use of selenium supplements brings lasting results in terms of keeping hair fresh and retaining it's natural moisture, and avoiding damage.
Selenium is a key component of enzymes that activate or metabolize thyroid hormones and antioxidants, and the thyroid has the highest concentration of this mineral of any organ. Low levels of selenium are associated with autoimmune thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and Graves’ disease. Although selenium alone is not a treatment for thyroid disorders, it is frequently given as a supplement in combination with other medications.
Asthma is an inflammatory disorder influenced by many factors. Low levels of selenium have been associated with asthma, but the exact relationship isn't straightforward. Some types of asthma are related to allergies, while others are not. Selenium affects parts of the immune system involved in allergic responses. This important mineral also helps reduce oxidative stress that contributes to the severity of asthma symptoms. The mineral may be beneficial in reducing asthma symptoms in some cases. Research continues to explore the role of selenium in asthma development and symptoms.
Selenium and selenoproteins may slow the progression of dementia and certain neurodegenerative disorders, such as Huntington's, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's disease. Selenium supplements have also had positive effects in the treatment of epilepsy. Researchers are still working to understand how selenoproteins slow these disorders and determine selenium's protective effects against dementia. Selenium supplements at the recommended daily value may help prevent or slow cognitive decline, but high levels of selenium can actually be toxic to neurons. It is important to speak to a doctor to determine an appropriate supplement dose.
The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, of selenium is 55 micrograms per day for adult men and women and children aged 4 years and older. Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding need an additional 60 to 70 micrograms per day. The tolerable upper intake level, or UL, is the maximum daily amount of a vitamin or mineral within current safety parameters. Selenium's UL is 400 micrograms for adults.
Selenium content in plant-based foods varies according to the amount of selenium in the soil where they were grown. Common sources for Americans include grains, bread, fish, eggs, poultry, and a variety of meats. The richest sources of selenium overall are seafood, organ meats, and brazil nuts. The latter contain up to 544 micrograms of selenium per ounce, which means one nut could be higher than the entire RDA for an average adult.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.