February 9, 2017

Health Benefits of Selenium | Deficiency

Basic Characteristics of Selenium


Selenium is a microelement, that is essential for the organism, because it does not create and is not deposited in the body, so it must be taken daily through food. 

The characteristic of selenium is that the daily needs are very small.

Name selenium comes from the Greek word for Moon goddess - Selena, and its discovery is attributed to scientist Paracelsus, who discovered this important mineral 1781.

The concentration of selenium found in plants that are used as food, influences the level of selenium in the soil. 

Today is present globally less selenium in the crust of the planet earth, which consequently affects the reduced incorporation of selenium in plants, which are food for humans and animals.

It is also shown that excessive use of artificial inorganic fertilizers, in order to bigger yields, leading to a reduction of selenium in the soil. 


The Presence of Selenium in Food


We have already noted that the concentration of selenium depends on the soil type. 

That is why the presence of selenium in plants is very little and does not fully meeting the daily requirement for selenium.

As a relatively good sources of selenium are cereals (whole grain), sunflower seeds, wheat germ, brewer's yeast, garlic.

One very positive and encouraging fact is that only one Brazil nut contains a daily dose of selenium necessary for the functioning of the organism. The Brazil nut is a mine of mineral selenium.

Also date palm is an excellent source of selenium, and knowing that, it should be consumed as often.

Of the remaining fruit, selenium is present in the dry grapes, berries, mushrooms and some in bananas.

Foods of animal origin are meat of animals fed in natural conditions in the open pastures, and then animal offal, seafood, crabs.

daily dose of selenium is very small and ranges from 55 micrograms for women and 70 micrograms for men.

If you opt for supplements of selenium in combination with other minerals and vitamins, pay attention to the composition - the organic form of selenium in the form of selene-methionine is the only exploitable form.


Health Benefits of Selenium


Selenium owns property that enhances the immune response during infection by affecting the synthesis of antibodies.


1. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant, and it usually works in conjunction with vitamin E, which is also registered as a great protector of the body from oxidation and the formation of harmful free radicals that damage cells and lead to a series of pathological changes.

2. Selenium protects organism from infections, harmful agents, heavy metals and microbes. 

Selenium owns property to enhances the immune response during infection by affecting the synthesis of antibodies.

3. The most important role of  selenium is regulation of muscle work, because muscles are deposits of selenium. 

Selenium is also important in the work of the heart muscle, preventing closure of blood vessels and the creation of atherosclerosis, a condition in which the blood vessels are damaged. 


4. People who have AIDS are people who have really poor immunity, which make them as good subject to various infections. 

Selenium is used as a supplement for people with HIV, in manner to enhance immune response and to prevent infections.

5. Selenium is a mineral that is present a lot in sperm cells and is responsible for their mobility and quality. 

Each selenium deficiency will be reflected negatively on fertility and impotence.

6. Studies have shown a positive effect of selenium on the mental state in humans – experimental group were given daily doses of selenium through a couple of weeks and the final result came to the positive results in terms of improved mood, stress reduction, increased energy, and the reduction of tension and depression.

7. Due to the presence of antioxidants, selenium fights against aging factors, most often in combination with vitamin E.

8. Anticancer properties of selenium are still under investigation, but the results of selenium effects on the prevention of breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate are very positive.

9. Selenium is important for the function of the thyroid gland, and for the synthesis of iodine which is important in metabolism. 

In people with hypothyroidism, it was determined the decreased levels of selenium in the blood.

Deficit of Selenium


Obvious symptoms of selenium have not been established, and it is not possible to identify a lack of selenium through external symptoms.

Groups at risk for the occurrence of selenium deficiency are smokers, alcoholics, people exposed to radiation, and women who use the pill.

People who have some degenerative changes in the muscles (muscular dystrophy and muscle degeneration) are subject to a deficit of selenium.

Whether selenium can be overdosed?


As a result of taking excessive doses of selenium can be produce toxic effects, which were first found in China and labelled as selenosis

It is characterized by changes in the skin and nails, dental caries, as well as non-specific gastrointestinal and neurological disorders.