Selenium supplements

Selenium is a mineral that plays an important part in your good health. The mineral in used by the body with proteins to create selenoproteins which are vital antioxidant enzymes. Antioxidant enzymes are used by the body to prevent the damage that occurs to the cells by free radicals. It is thought that free radicals are contributors to the development of conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

Plants that grow in soils that have high levels of selenium are rich in selenium content. Meats and seafood’s can also contain selenium if the animals eat plants that are grown in selenium rich soil. What makes eating foods that are rich in selenium difficult is knowing which vegetables have been grown in selenium rich soil. The bottom line is that you will have no way of knowing if you are getting selenium into your diet. Selenium supplements can be used to ensure that the body is getting all of the nutritional benefits required from the consumption of selenium.

It is very rare for someone to be deficient in selenium, however. Some people who may be at risk for a selenium deficiency are those with gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease. This disease and other gastrointestinal conditions will inhibit the absorption of selenium in the body. A multivitamin and mineral supplement is recommended for those who are suffering from a gastrointestinal condition and this will ensure that they are getting the selenium supplements they require.

Selenium supplements are available in selenium yeasts which are the preferred method of supplementing with selenium on its own. The current recommendations for selenium supplements are 55 mcg per day. Many doctors will recommend an intake by adults of up to 200 mcg per day.

Studies on the use of selenium supplements has shown a fifty percent drop in cancer death rates for those who used two hundred mcg of a yeast based selenium supplement for more than four years. Patients who suffered from heart disease also had a positive response to the supplement, according to research.

While selenium deficiency is rare, as mentioned above, the symptoms can include weakness, high cholesterol, poor liver function, poor pancreas function and having more than usual infections. A weakened immune system resulting from selenium deficiency is responsible for the higher than average rate of infections.

It is estimated that the average diet contains 100 mcg per day of selenium and most people will not suffer from a deficiency because of this intake. Although the average person will not need selenium supplements, there can be tremendous antioxidant benefits from adding the supplement to your diet. Also, foods containing selenium should not be overcooked or the benefits of selenium will be lost from the cooking process.

Selenium has been shown to lower the rate of cancer and heart disease. A recent study has shown that patients who have rheumatoid arthritis have a lower level of selenium in their daily diet. Because of the antioxidant effect of selenium, it is recommended for patients who have arthritis.

Selenium supplements are being researched for patients with HIV. Patients who have HIV or AIDS have a nutrition absorption problem which could lead to a selenium deficiency. This deficiency can lead to an immune system that is further weakened. Selenium supplements and their antioxidant affect can be recommended for these patients to help boost the immune system.

There are a number of health benefits with selenium supplements. While there can be a toxicity problem if too much selenium is taken, it is far above the recommended daily amounts of selenium. Use care to stay within the recommended amounts of this supplement and the antioxidant benefits of selenium can lead to a strengthened immune system and a resistance to many health problems.


Last updated on Aug 15th, 2009 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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