Selenium is required by the body as a trace element for the production of an important antioxidant called glutathione peroxidase. Selenium can prevent oxidization and thereby protect cells and tissues from free radicals. It can also assist the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells.
Selenium has the ability to rid the body of heavy metals like mercury and arsenic. It has also been found to slow down the process of aging, and maintain elasticity of the tissues. Selenium can help prevent viral replication and is effective in controlling infections. It also has an anti-inflammatory property, and may be used to reduce pain and stiffness experienced by arthritis patients.
Selenium is concentrated in the kidneys, liver, muscles and the thyroid. It boosts and helps regulate the immune system and fights back infections, some harmful bacteria and viruses.
Selenium has been shown to prevent some health conditions like, heart diseases, arthritis, muscular degeneration, strokes, gray hair and different types of cancer. Selenium has also proved effective in fighting viruses that cause cold sores and shingles. Some studies have shown that consumption of selenium is helpful in making the blood “less sticky” which prevents heart strokes.
Selenium supplementation was observed to reduce the severity of epileptic seizures in children. Selenium supplementation is also reported to improve mental fatigue and anxiety in adults. Selenium deficiency reduces the activities of the selenium-dependent antioxidant enzymes, leading to a number of functional disorders including skeletal muscle dysfunction, cardiac dysfunction, hepatic degradation, increased capillary permeability, and pancreatic degeneration.L-selenomethionine is easily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and is better absorbed and retained in the body than other forms including selenite or selenate. Organic forms of selenium, such as selenomethionine, are selenium bound to methionine, an essential amino acid.
Cancer: Several research reports indicate the inverse relationship between higher blood levels of selenium and mortality from cancer including lung, colorectal, prostate and skin cancer. Laboratory studies indicate the potentially beneficial role of selenium in the management of mammary cancer.
Prostate Cancer: The Journal of National Cancer Institute revealed that men with high blood levels of selenium were about half as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer as the men with lower blood selenium. This study had a sample size of over 1000 healthy males and a study period of over 13 years. The duration is significant because prostate cancer is a slow growing disease.
Thyroid Function: Selenium can help to regulate thyroid hormones. Thyroid enzymes depend on selenium to balance out metabolic levels, which can also play a key role in weight management.
Free Radical Damage: Selenium can help the reduction of free radical damage in cells. Selenium helps create antioxidants in the body, which protects cells from damage.
Heart Disease: Selenium deficiency may be a significant contributor to heart problems, including an enlarged heart and heart disease. Many physicians recommend getting adequate amounts of selenium to combat heart disease.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Low levels of selenium have been reported in rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile chronic arthritis. Additionally, research indicates that individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in joints, have reduced selenium levels.