With the prices of pharmaceutical drugs increasing, people are looking for ways to improve their health without having to visit a doctor. More and more people are turning to holistic medicine to promote their overall physical health. Many even undertake to research a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that can have a positive effect on health. Such is the case with selenium supplements.
What is selenium
Selenium is a mineral that many people have been discovering that has multiple health benefits. Like magnesium and calcium, this is one of the minerals that we do not require large amounts of. Still, when you don't have the correct amount in your body, you can experience problems that can negatively affect your health.
People receive most of the required daily amount of this mineral through their diets. However, doctors may recommend that some take a supplement.
The RDA for this mineral in healthy adults of any gender is 55 micrograms per day. However, doctors may direct men at increased risk of developing prostate cancer to take 100 micrograms of the mineral daily.
Similarly, obstetricians may recommend that pregnant women take 60 micrograms per day. Additionally, they can instruct breastfeeding women to increase that amount to 70 micrograms per day.
Adults (men or women) should never take more than 400 micrograms per day. This is because consuming more than that number can cause an overdose.
Who needs more selenium?
What people should take esl selenium? Specific health problems predispose people to lack this critical element. These problems include being fed intravenously (using a feeding tube), having HIV, or having Chron's disease.
That is why doctors advise that these people take supplements very frequently. Because above-average levels are associated with adverse side effects, you should consult your doctor before beginning a supplement routine that includes this mineral.
How to get the recommended daily amount of this mineral from your diet
Start by eating specific foods that are rich in this mineral. You can get a lot of this mineral from walnuts, particularly Brazil nuts. Selenium is one of the natural antioxidants contained in walnuts.
On the other hand, many types of shellfish contain selenium, including the following:
Meats such as beef and poultry also contain this mineral, as well as grains (wheat).
9 health benefits of selenium
Let's review the benefits of getting the recommended daily amount of this mineral.
First, selenium is naturally present in nuts and fish. Both nuts and fish are known for their antioxidant content, and selenium is one of the antioxidants naturally found in fish and nuts. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals in our environment.
Stress, smoking, and excessive use of alcohol lead to excessive free radical production or oxidative stress. Oxidative stress produces free radicals that can damage healthy cells (which can cause cancer or other problems).
This mineral is responsible for neutralizing excess free radical cells, which, in turn, prevents oxidative stress damage in healthy cells. In this way, this mineral can help prevent heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.
1 - Prostate Cancer and Selenium
This mineral is linked to the prevention of certain types of cancer. The most prevalent evidence refers to prostate cancer. This is the reason why some doctors advise men to increase their intake of this mineral to 100 micrograms per day.
Many of the studies on selenium and prostate cancer are observational. There seems to be conflicting information, so better talk to your doctor and decide what is best for you.
2- Reduces oxidative stress in the human body
Not only is this mineral believed to reduce the amount of oxidative stress that affects the body, it is also capable of reducing DNA damage.
Also, we know that antioxidants can destroy or weaken cancer cells. This mineral can also boost the immune system. Many studies indicate that people with higher blood levels of this mineral are less likely to suffer oxidative damage to their bodies.
However, it is important to note that studies linked decreased incidence of oxidative stress to people who received their supply of the mineral through their diet, not just supplements.
3 - Minimizes the damage caused by radiation treatment
Selenium can help relieve some of the side effects of radiation treatment. When people with cervical or uterine cancer experience diarrhea associated with their radiation treatments, taking this mineral helps reduce this side effect of treatment.
In addition, women undergoing this type of treatment said that increased consumption of this mineral helped improve their overall quality of life during radiation therapy.
4 - Protect the heart
Just as we know that antioxidants protect against heart disease, so does this mineral. The deficiencies of selenium are directly linked with health problems of the heart.
One reason this mineral is believed to reduce the risk of developing heart disease is that it naturally reduces the amount of inflammation in the body.
Since inflammation is one of the most influential risk factors for heart disease, lowering the marker by getting the right amount of this mineral in your diet is a great way to lower your risk of heart disease.
5 - Selenium increases antioxidants
Surprisingly, this mineral can raise the levels of a very healthy antioxidant, glutathione peroxidase, which is well known as a powerful antioxidant. In this way, this mineral not only reduces oxidative stress, it can also reduce the amount of inflammation in the body.
Inflammation in the body can lead to plaque buildup, causing atherosclerosis (a blockage in the arteries). Atherosclerosis can lead to not only heart attacks, but it can also cause strokes.
Ensuring that one is taking the proper amount of this mineral can help prevent heart disease and stroke.
6 - It shows promise in fighting Alzheimer's disease
Earlier, it was mentioned that those who get adequate amounts of selenium through their diet may see a reduction in the chance of developing Alzheimer's. This is because the same antioxidants that we have mentioned lead to a reduction in oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress in the brain is considered by many to be the main cause of Alzheimer's disease. Degeneration in brain cells can be accelerated by the presence of cell damage due to oxidative stress.
Taking the right amount of this mineral means that free radicals that damage healthy cells are reduced, and this, in turn, reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's.
7 - Promising in slowing the progression of Parkinson's disease
Eating the right amount of this mineral in your diet not only improves your chances of preventing Alzheimer's, but it also helps slow the progression of Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. Researchers continue to work to strengthen these claims. But in the meantime, this news is encouraging to many.
8 - Improves thyroid function
Another great benefit of taking the correct amount of this mineral is an improvement in thyroid health. The thyroid regulates many functions in the body, one of which is metabolism. The thyroid also controls development and growth, so the intake of selenium in pregnant or nursing women and young children is essential.
When the thyroid is not working properly, the hormones it releases naturally are released too often, not enough, or not released at all.
Also, thyroid malfunction can be the direct result of a lack of selenium. Research has shown that Hashimoto's thyroiditis is directly linked to a deficiency of this mineral in the diet.
9 - Strengthens the immune system
Selenium promotes immunity. Again, remember that it reduces oxidative stress, and this helps fight certain diseases. Those with higher levels of this mineral in their blood often experience an improvement in their immune response.
In healthy individuals, blood glucose levels are carefully maintained in a narrow range secondary to a complex interplay between several hormones, which act on biochemical reactions such as glycolysis and glycogenolysis. Therefore, variation of blood glucose is often a manifestation of illness, as in the occurrence of hypoglycemia in liver failure.