What are the health benefits of selenium? It is an important mineral that can be obtained through a healthy diet. And this mineral helps to support the immune system, metabolism, and thyroid function. Selenium is a strong antioxidant that helps fight oxidative stress and helps defend your body from chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, etc.
What are the health benefits of selenium? Photo credit: iStock-Zerbor
There have been over 60 studies that have shown that a high level of selenium can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer like lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, etc.
It can help protect against heart disease
A diet that is high in selenium can potentially help keep your heart healthy. There was an analysis of 25 observational studies that showed a 50% increase in blood selenium levels that was associated with a 24% reduction in the risk of heart disease. Selenium has shown it can potentially lower markers of inflammation in the body.
There was a review of over 16 studies that showed in over 433,000 people with heart disease that taking selenium supplements decreased the levels of the inflammatory marker C reactive protein. This is indicative that it can help lower heart disease by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
Improving The Health Of Your Thyroid Gland
Research studies have shown that selenium can improve the health of your thyroid gland. In fact, your thyroid tissue contains the highest amount of selenium than any other organ in the body.
Improving Your Immune System
Selenium plays an important role in the health of your immune system. This antioxidant helps fight lower oxidative stress in the body while reducing inflammation and enhancing your immunity. Research studies have shown that selenium supplements can increase the immune system in people who have influenza, hepatitis, etc.
Some of the best dietary sources of selenium are:
- Sardines- 4 sardines is 46% of the Daily value.
- Eggs- 2 eggs is 56% of the Daily value.
- Oysters- 3 ounce is 238% of the Daily value.
- Chicken Breast- 4 ounces- 12% of the Daily value
- Sunflower seeds- 1 ounce- 27% of the Daily value
- Brazil nuts- one nut- 174% of the Daily value
- Mushrooms- one cup- 10% of the Daily value
What Are The Dangers Of Excessive Selenium Intake?
Some of the sign and symptoms of overconsumption of selenium is:
- Hair Loss
- Muscle Soreness
Some of the serious symptoms of selenium toxicity is heart attack, kidney failure and possibly death. It is important to make sure you stay with the recommended daily amount of 55 mcg per day. And try not to exceed the highest daily amount of 400 mcg per day.
The Bottom Line is selenium, a powerful antioxidant that is essential to the health of your immune system and thyroid function.
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- USDA- https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/index.html
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