Selenium is an essential mineral and is present in all tissues of the body. It’s a component of Glutathione which inhibits free radicals, helps white blood cells, kills bacteria and is a powerful anticancer and antioxidant. It is essential to good health because it acts as a scavenger to protect the body from free radicals and heavy metal damage. Selenium is also considered an immune stimulant. It works with vitamin E to prevent cholesterol build up and enhances skin elasticity.
Studies have shown that selenium defends the body from chronic diseases such as heart disease. Low levels of selenium have been linked to an increase of coronary artery disease. There is also a link to certain types of cancer including breast, lung, colon and prostate cancer with low levels of selenium. It may also reduce the side effects of people undergoing radiation treatment. Japan has the lowest rates of cancer and the highest amount of selenium in their soils. The United States has the highest rate of cancer and the lowest amount of selenium in our soils. Selenium has shown to regulate the thyroid hormones. Low levels of selenium can have an effect on the regulation of iron as well as Hashimoto’s disease.
A diet rich in selenium may prevent mental decline and improve memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease. It boosts the immune system and has shown to improve asthma symptoms.
Deficiency in selenium may cause the following; age/liver spots, anemia, cancer risk, growth issues, liver sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, scoliosis, asthma, ALS, cardiomyopathy, cystic fibrosis, heart palpitations, impaired immunity, low birth weight, pancreatitis, SIDS, thyroid and Hashimoto's, Alzheimer's disease, cataracts, fatigue, infertility, multiple sclerosis, parkins's disease, sickle cell anemia, macular degeneration.
Foods that are the richest in selenium are seafood, organ meats and meat including the following; bran, brazil nuts, broccoli, brewer's yeast, cabbage, cashews, celery, chicken, corn, cucumbers, garbanzos, garlic, kelp, meats, mushrooms, navy beans, onions, walnuts, wheat germ, whole grains.
Selenium is a mineral you should consider adding to your daily regime of vitamins and minerals. To have good health, it is essential to incorporate selenium into your diet.