Humans are made from earth, within the soils of the earth are some important nutrients. Selenium is an essential trace element for humans and other animals. Essential trace element is a substance that is required by the body in very small amounts for proper growth and functioning. Usually obtained from the diet, small amounts of selenium are known to be necessary for several human biologic processes, including immune response and thyroid function. Selenium is incorporated into molecules of an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase (GPX). This vital enzyme protects red blood cells and cell membranes against undesirable reactions with soluble peroxides. Good selenium nutrition is of key importance for antioxidant defense as well as efficient energy metabolism.
Selenium is required for the activation of an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme is an antioxidant that quenches hydroperoxides,
"high energy" oxygen-containing molecules that are produced during the metabolism of fat and that are highly toxic to cells. Recent research showed
that selenium could reduce the severity of some cancers. This is thought to be due to selenium inducing "apoptosis" (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.
Selenium is also involved in a healthy immune system and proper thyroid function.
Where is selenium found?
- Brazil nuts
- Whole grains
Do I need selenium?
Deficiency is rare in Western countries. Soils in some areas are selenium deficient, and people who eat foods grown primarily in those soils are at risk for deficiency. However, in today's supermarket, foodscome from far and wide, thus compensating for poor local soil conditions.
What causes Selenium deficiency?
Chronic alcohol use depletes selenium stores in the body. widespread infections can also lead to decreases in selenium. Individuals with long-term gastrointestinal illnesses, such as Crohn's disease, may not absorb enough selenium from foods
What diseases show Selenium deficiency?
Abnormally low levels of selenium in the body may also be associated with a numbermedical conditions, including anxiety disorders, asthma, depression, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and seizures.