Selenium: a nutrient that the body needs


Selenium: a nutrient that the body needs

Selenium is one of the minerals and antioxidants that the body needs, so what are the benefits of selenium specifically? What are its natural sources? Does he have any damages?

Selenium: a nutrient that the body needs

The body needs various antioxidants to fight diseases, and here we will talk specifically about one of the important types of antioxidants, which is selenium:

What is selenium?

Selenium is one of the minerals and minor elements that the body needs, and it is usually found naturally in some types of foods, and it is found in very small amounts in drinking water and soil.

Selenium plays an important role in the body, especially when it comes to tissue regeneration and damage repair because it has anti-oxidant properties. Selenium also helps protect the body from free radicals that cause various diseases, and it enters the production of DNA, in addition to its role in the work of thyroid hormones.

selenium benefits

There are many benefits and potential uses of selenium in various parts of the body, including:

1. Cancer prevention

Selenium has the potential ability to prevent cancer in general and may play a role in reducing the chances of developing some types of cancer, such as colon cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.

The reason for the effectiveness of selenium in this regard may be its ability to prevent damage to the DNA of cells, in addition to its ability to strengthen the immune system and destroy cancer cells.

It is worth noting that most studies and research have contradictory results in this regard, so it is advised not to rely on selenium supplements for this purpose.

2. Strengthen the immune system

Selenium greatly helps to improve the body's immunity and strengthen it against various diseases, and it may also help to slow the development and deterioration of the condition of people with some diseases, especially AIDS.

3. Fertility improvement 

Selenium may have a role in improving the quality of sperm in general, as it helps to improve their motility, enhance blood flow to the reproductive organs, and improve the performance of sperm as they travel through the vagina and cervix.

Some studies also indicate the possibility of the role of selenium in reducing the chances of miscarriage in women.

4. Maintain the health of the circulatory system

Selenium deficiency may increase the chances of developing various heart diseases, so getting an adequate daily dose of selenium is essential, as it may reduce inflammation and prevent the accumulation of fat on the walls of blood vessels, but so far there is no evidence to support the use of selenium for this the purpose.

5. Maintain the health of the thyroid gland

It is worth noting that the thyroid gland plays an important role in many vital functions and functions in the body, such as appetite, sleep, body temperature, metabolism, activity, and energy levels.

6. Protect the brain and nervous system

Selenium may help prevent diseases, especially those that affect the brain and memory, such as Alzheimer's and dementia, and may have a role in slowing the decline in brain function in the elderly.

Some studies also indicate that getting the right dose of selenium and trying to treat any deficiency in it, may help significantly improve the condition of people with diseases that affect brain functions.

selenium sources

Food is the best way to obtain selenium, and its percentage increases in different foods depending on the percentage of its presence in the soil. Here are the most prominent foods rich in selenium in the following:

  • Brazil nuts.
  • Seafood and fish, such as tuna, halibut, sardines, and oysters.
  • eggs.
  • brown rice;
  • chicken.
  • white bread.
  • Sunflower seeds.
  • Oats.

The recommended dose of selenium

Here is the recommended daily dose of selenium for different age groups:

  •  Children 1-3 years old: 20 mcg
  •  Children 4-8 years old: 30 mcg.
  • Children and adolescents 9-13 years old: 40 mcg.
  • Teens and adults over 14 years old: 55 mcg.
  • Pregnant women: 60 mcg.
  • Breastfeeding women: 70 mcg.

Categories at risk of selenium deficiency

The following groups are more likely than others to develop selenium deficiency:

  • People undergoing regular dialysis.
  • People with AIDS.
  • People who live in areas where soil selenium deficiency is common.

Important information about selenium

Here is some additional information about selenium:

  • Excess selenium often occurs when taking selenium supplements, so it is always best to get selenium from natural sources and not to excess.
  • Selenium may interfere with some medications, such as chemotherapy, lipid-lowering drugs, and birth control pills, so it is advised not to take it before consulting a doctor.
  • Taking selenium in the normal dose does not cause health damage, but it may lead to serious symptoms in the event of taking excessive doses, as excessive selenium leads to a condition called selenium poisoning, and selenium poisoning may worsen and develop into serious diseases and complications, such as heart attack and kidney failure. These are some of the symptoms that may appear on the patient:
  1. Vomiting, nausea, and bad breath.
  2. Nervous leprosy.
  3. dizziness and lightheadedness;
  4. blushing.
  5. hair loss ;
  6. muscle pain