The Benefit of Selenium


All about the health benefit of selenium, foods high in selenium, selenium supplements, and the use of selenium...

Selenium is a trace mineral that comes from the soil and is found in small amounts in many animal and plant foods.

The human body requires very small amounts of this trace mineral, but don't be fooled because this vital nutrient plays some very important functions in the body.

Over the years, selenium has gained the interest of many health professionals for its possible therapeutic uses. In addition, studies have shown this "super-star" mineral may help prevent various forms of cancer and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, among other beneficial uses.

How Can Selenium Benefit You?

Specifically, it functions as a component of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, the body's primary antioxidant that is found in every cell.

In addition, selenium is a powerful antioxidant that works synergistically with vitamin E, which means that each increases the potency of the other.

Antioxidants are needed to protect the body from the continuous onslaught of free radicals, which are reactive chemical substances that can cause cellular damage if left unchecked. In other words, selenium works with vitamin E in preventing free radical damage to cell membranes.

Selenium is also believed to have an important role in boosting immune function by strengthening the disease-fighting properties of phagocytes, the white blood cells that kill invading micro-organisms.

Another important benefit of selenium is that it binds with arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and other toxic metals to reduce their toxicity.

Lastly, selenium plays a role in the production of thyroid hormone.

Health Conditions...The Benefit of Selenium

May be beneficial for a compromised immune system such as in HIV/AIDS. Individuals with AIDS tend to have low levels of this mineral.

May help in the prevention of certain types of cancer. It's been noted through several studies that low levels of selenium are associated with an increased risk of cancer, particularly stomach, rectal, prostate, colon, and esophageal cancers.

May reduce the risk of heart disease. Laboratory studies have shown that there is a link between low levels of selenium and heart disease.

May help protect the eyes against cataracts. Laboratory studies show selenium deficiency can lead to cataracts in rats.

May be beneficial for infertility. Animal studies have linked selenium deficiency with sperm abnormalities and an increased risk in early pregnancy loss.

May be beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, especially when combined with vitamin E. Some experts believe that the combination of selenium and vitamin E helps relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

May protect newborns from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome.) Some researchers speculate that a selenium deficiency may be a factor in SIDS.

Foods High In Selenium

The Benefit of Selenium

Indeed, to reap the full benefits of selenium one needs to consume foods rich in this mineral. However, this nutrient is found in soil, which varies in mineral content. This is because it depends on where foods are grown or raised.

Keeping that in mind- the best food sources to provide you with the health benefits of selenium include: Brazil nuts, oats, red grapes, seafood, liver, wheat germ, bran, tuna, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, garlic, brown rice, whole grains, chicken, and kidney.

Also, New Zealand, Europe, and parts of China and the United States are noted to be low in selenium content. Therefore, many experts recommend taking a selenium supplement in order to achieve the full health benefits of selenium.

Benefit of Selenium: Precautions

It is important to understand that taking too much of this mineral is not healthy and can produce toxic effects.

In order to maximize the benefits of selenium, the daily recommended allowance is 55 mcg daily for women and 70 mcg daily for men. However, taking up to 200 mcg per day is considered to be safe for most people. Pregnant women should always talk to their physician before taking any dietary supplements.

It is not recommended that people consume doses of 600 mcg daily for prolonged periods of time. In fact, as little as 900 mcg has shown to be toxic. Toxic symptoms include fatigue, irritability, dry hair, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, depression, garlic odor breath, brittle nails, gastrointestinal disorders, yellowish skin, metallic taste in the mouth, tooth loss, kidney and liver problems, and skin eruptions.

We suggest that you always speak with a physician before taking any dietary supplements.

Tips On Choosing A Selenium Supplement

Benefit of Selenium

1. Selenium works synergistically with vitamin E. Therefore, to maximize the full benefits of selenium, one should generally look for a product that contains these nutrients together, rather than take a stand-alone selenium supplement. In fact, you may want to consider taking a high quality comprehensive scientifically formulated multivitamin and mineral supplement.

2. Select a product that contains natural vitamin E over its synthetic form. When reviewing the supplement label, natural vitamin E is listed as d-alpha tocopherol; the synthetic form is listed as dl-alpha tocopherol. Put simply, watch for the l after the D. Natural d-alpha tocopherol is the most effective form, as it is the best absorbed.

3. Select a chelated form selenium supplement. Chelated minerals are ones that are bonded to protein molecules that transport them to the bloodstream. As such, it enhances their absorption.

4. To achieve the full benefits of selenium be aware that all supplements are not created equal. Select a supplement from a manufacturer that follows pharmaceutical GMP compliance, which is the highest standard possible.

This is CRUCIAL because dietary supplements in the U.S. are unregulated and purity as well as potency has been reported to be an issue.

In fact, consumers only have a 1 in 5 chance of buying a product that actually contains the amount of ingredients stated on the label or one that does not harbor harmful contaminates.

GMP compliant facilities adhere to stringent manufacturing procedures.

A Comprehensive Product

The benefit of selenium plus more!

Looking for the health benefits of selenium?

One company that meets the above requirements -- and more -- is Xtend-Life Natural Products from New Zealand. Their flagship product called Total Balance contains chelated selenium and natural vitamin E.

In fact, Total Balance is a highly sophisticated comprehensive multi-nutrient product, containing over 70 specialized nutrients including vitamins, minerals, potent antioxidants, amino acids, specialty nutrients, herbal extracts, and enzymes that the body needs for optimum health.

All of the ingredients are scientifically combined in a synergistic way to enhance and maximize the efficacy of each other.

We have been taking Total Balance for several years now and can personally attest to its excellent results such as significantly more energy, vitality, and an improved sense of well being.

We hope webpage discussing the benefit of selenium useful to you!

To Your Health!

The Editors

Much more than the Benefit of Selenium can be found at our Mineral Information web-page

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