Selenium is an essential mineral for the body. For the body, it requires small amounts of the mineral.
Selenium Foods Sources
Mostly, its source is found in the soils. It occurs in the foods we eat. Additionally, selenium can also occur as supplements or naturally in foods or water. Food containing selenium include meat, seafood, chicken, milk, cereals, mushrooms, and garlic.
Selenium Daily Requirements
The daily requirement allowance will depend on either if its supplement or food intakes. On daily basis, the upper limit is 400 micro grams in adults. In prostrate cancer patients in men, they take 100 micro grams for the patients.
- Infants 1-3= 20 micro grams daily
- Children 4- 8= 30 micro grams daily
- Children 9- 13= 40 micro grams daily
- Adults from 14 and up= 55 micro grams daily
- Pregnant Women= 60 micro grams daily
- Breastfeeding women= 70 micro grams daily
Selenium Health Benefits
The main function of the mineral is to help in metabolism and also its antioxidants properties.
As an Antioxidant
It contains compounds that prevent cell damage which is caused by free radicals. Free radicals might occur as byproducts of processes like metabolism.
Additionally, they can occur in things like smoking, alcohol use, and stress. After continuous excessive free radicals, it will result to oxidative stress which will damage the cells.
Selenium will take up the free radicals and prevent any reactions with the cell.
As selenium will react with the free radicals, it prevents the occurrence of cancer. Thus, the mineral will prevent DNA damage and oxidative stress. Also, selenium will destroy cancer cells.
In a certain study, people with high blood levels of selenium were at a lower risk of cancer. The types of cancer include breast, esophageal, lung, prostate and colon cancer.
Additionally, some researchers say that selenium supplements will reduce the side effects of radiotherapy patients. For example, one study found that oral selenium supplements improved the overall quality of life and reduced radiation-induced diarrhea in women with cervical and uterine cancer.
In certain research, selenium was recommended to reduce inflammation effects. Inflammation is one of the main reasons for heart diseases. Although selenium will not prevent heart diseases, it will lower the risk of it occurring. Selenium does this by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in your body.
Prevents Mental Decline
When one is under oxidative stress, he/she might develop Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s will develop memory loss and also affects thinking and behavior negatively. Additionally, some studies have found that antioxidants in both foods and supplements may improve memory in patients with Alzheimer’s.
In addition to that, Alzheimer’s patients are recommended to take the Mediterranean diet. Mediterranean diet includes food sources that are high in Selenium content.
For Thyroid Health
In comparison to other body parts, the thyroid gland contains higher amounts of selenium than in any body part. The mineral helps the gland in the production of the thyroid hormones. Additionally, it will prevent oxidative damage factors.
According to research, selenium supplements are known to reduce the pain of Hashemoto diseased patients. Also, leads to improvement in moods and abnormal thyroid gland patients.
Boosts your Immune System
By defending the cell from reacting with free radicals, selenium boosts the well functioning of the cell. A well functioning cell will boost the immune system. Additionally, selenium supplements will help strengthen the immune system in people with influenza, tuberculosis, and hepatitis.
Reducing Asthma Symptoms
Asthma has been related to inflammation and oxidative stress as its causes. Patients affected by asthma have low blood levels of selenium. In fact patients with high blood levels of selenium have a good functioning of the lungs. Also, patients taking 200 mg of the supplements will have improved health compared to the other patients.
Selenium Side Effects
The mineral will affect you either when taken in high amounts or lower amounts. High toxicity will affect the body in more countries than low levels. Its toxicity will happen more likely from taking supplements than taking foods.
Selenium Toxicity Signs and Symptoms
- Hair loss
- Facial flushing
- Muscle soreness
In severe cases, acute selenium toxicity can lead to serious intestinal and neurological symptoms, heart attack, kidney failure and death.
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