Selenium is a trace element that is naturally found in many foods. In addition to food sources, it is also available in a dietary supplement form. As a nutritional essential for humans, selenium is a component of more than two dozen selenoproteins that play vital roles in reproduction, DNA synthesis, regulation of thyroid hormones, and protection from oxidative damage and infection. It is a key mineral that is that many processes depend on, such as:
- Metabolism of thyroid hormones
- DNA synthesis
- Normal response to infections
Several systems depend on selenium to function properly. These include the endocrine, cardiovascular systems and immune system. The thyroid, an organ in the endocrine system, is where the highest concentration of selenium per gram of tissue is found in the body. It is estimated that 500 million to 1 billion people worldwide suffer from selenium deficiency due to inadequate intake of the mineral. Selenium deficiency is uncommon however, making sure you get enough of it and absorb it properly is crucial. Several factors affect the concentration of selenium in soil, including rainfall, evaporation, and ph. Selenium deficiency can be challenging for doctors to diagnose since there isn’t a widely available test for it.
Levels of glutathione peroxidase (a selenium-dependent enzyme) can be measured by your doctor in some cases. Selenium may be insufficient if your level is low.
Common Signs you may be Selenium Deficient
- Fatigue- The mineral selenium contributes to the conversion of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), and a deficiency can lead to symptoms of hypothyroidism including extreme fatigue.
- Brain Fog- Insufficient selenium intake can cause mental fog. According to one study, older adults with low selenium levels performed worse on cognitive tests.
- Hair Loss- In order for hair to grow and regenerate, thyroid hormones are crucial. Thyroid hormone production slows down without selenium. Hair follicles respond to this drop in production by falling out faster than usual.
- Weakened Immune System- Selenium deficiency may increase the risk of infectious diseases or cause other harmless pathogens to develop into life-threatening conditions.
- Muscle Weakness- Our skeletal muscles are what we think of when we think of muscles, but our cardiac muscles are often forgotten. Low levels of selenium are associated with skeletal muscle disorders that are characterized by weakness, pain, and fatigue.
- Infertility- During spermatozoa formation and development, selenium is required to synthesize testosterone. Selenium is abundant in testicular tissue, which is critical for sperm quality and male fertility. It is not only infertility issues that can be caused by a lack of this mineral, but its deficiency may also cause pregnancy complications.
What are the benefits of Selenium?
Powerful Antioxidant Properties- An antioxidant is a compound that prevents free radicals from damaging cells. Free radicals are controlled by antioxidants like selenium that neutralize excess free radicals, reducing oxidative stress which prevents oxidative damage to cells. May Improve Thyroid Heath- The thyroid hormone is produced by this powerful mineral, which protects it from oxidative damage. We need selenium to make thyroid hormones and protect the organ from oxidative damage. You need a healthy thyroid gland to regulate your metabolism and to control growth and development.
Boosts your immune system- Keeping your immune system healthy and functioning properly requires selenium. It helps reduce inflammation and enhances immunity by lowering oxidative stress in your body. Studies have demonstrated that the immune response is enhanced when blood levels of selenium are increased. Deficit, however, can harm immune cells and cause a slower immune response.
Healthy Heart- Selenium may help maintain a healthy heart by increasing levels of glutathione peroxidase, a powerful antioxidant that helps maintain proper oxidative stress in the body.
Helps prevent mental decline- Some studies have found that Selenium has antioxidant effects that help improve memory in patients with Alzheimer’s.
Can Selenium help with my Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that hinders the airways that carry air in and out of the lungs, resulting in symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Several studies have shown that asthma is associated with increased levels of oxidative stress and inflammation
These studies suggest that selenium may help reduce asthma-related symptoms.
Suggested Usage: Take 1 capsule with a meal twice per day.
Caution: For adults only. Consult a physician if pregnant/nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition. Persons living in areas of high soil selenium, such as the Dakotas, should consult a physician prior to use. Keep out of reach of children. Natural color variation may occur in this product.