Selenium Benefits

Selenium is a trace mineral found naturally in soil and in some foods, and in large amounts is toxic in humans. Although the body does not require a lot of selenium to receive the maximum benefits, it nevertheless plays a vital role in various health issues including its fight against cancer.

Selenium is present in almost every cell in the body, but more concentrated in the kidneys, liver, muscles, thyroid, spleen, testes and pancreas. It is necessary to convert the thyroid hormone from a less active form to an active form needed for the proper functioning of every cell within the human body.

It is possible to consume enough selenium through certain foods like Brazil nuts, liver, whole grains, shellfish, and even water to obtain the benefits the body requires. However certain conditions and diseases can deplete the body’s level or inhibit absorption, or food processing may destroy selenium content.

Recently there has been much research done in selenium’s role in preventing and combating cancers of various kinds by controlling cell damage. Together with Vitamins C and E it has proven to effectively reduce the incidences in prostate tumours, colorectal cancers and lung malignancies and is showing promise as well in areas of the cervix, rectum, ovaries, bladder, oesophagus, pancreas and liver.

selenium benefits

Some of the best sources of selenium

Another health benefit of selenium is its action as an antioxidant and its role in boosting the immune system (other immune system vitamins) along with its use in fighting viral and bacterial infections. It has shown effectiveness in combating the herpes virus responsible for cold sores and shingles.  It may also be useful in slowing down the process of HIV/AIDS and in the promotion of healthy liver functioning.

Maintaining a healthy heart and protection from disease of the heart are more selenium benefits. It reduces the risk of clotting thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes as well as improving the ratio of the good cholesterol HDL to the bad cholesterol LDL. Smokers and those who have already suffered a heart attack may benefit greatly from a selenium supplement.

Selenium benefits also include neutralization of effects of smoking (as above), as well as alcohol and fats.

Combined with Vitamin E, selenium seems to have anti-inflammatory properties which are helpful in controlling conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, eczema and psoriasis.

Other benefits of selenium include:

  • Maintenance of healthy hair, skin and eyes.
  • In common with one of the zinc benefits is an increase of male potency
  • Protection against toxic minerals.
  • Preventing cataracts and macular degeneration the leading causes of impaired vision and blindness in the elderly (more healthy vitamins for eyes information)
  • Helps maintain our tissue elasticity.

Research study results are showing that selenium supplements in men high at risk for prostate cancer are beneficial in preventing onset of this disease as well as gastric cancer. So along with many other prostate vitamins selenium seems to be quite important for men. Other studies show people with lower levels of selenium in the blood are at higher risk for colon cancer.

Studies for selenium benefits are ongoing for numerous illnesses and the potential for even greater benefits is a possibility we may see in the future.

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