WHY SELENIUM IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS FOR OUR HEALTH
Selenium is a trace mineral naturally occurring in the soil, in certain foods, and in a very small amount it can be found in natural water sources. A mineral refers to a naturally occurring inorganic element or compound responsible for various roles in the body such as keeping our bones, muscles, heart, and brain working properly, as well as producing enzymes and hormones.
Selenium is of essential importance for our health – and has benefits for both physical and mental health.
Selenium is one of the great antioxidants that help shield our bodies against oxidative stress and free radicals.
Antioxidants are compounds that help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals - unstable atoms that can damage cells. They neutralize the free radicals by sacrificing some of their electrons - a negatively charged subatomic particle). This process naturally switches off a free radical, breaking a chain reaction that can affect other molecules in the cell as well as other cells within the body. Free radicals are byproducts of normal cell metabolism and can also come from environmental stressors such as smoking, medications, and pollution. While free radicals are a very normal part of our biology, an abundance of free radical activity can contribute to oxidative stress, which is linked to many chronic, degenerative diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disorders.
This is where selenium comes in. Optimal selenium intake can help reduce and protect against oxidative stress.
We cannot talk about selenium without mentioning its ability to boost the immune system.
Our immune system keeps the body healthy by identifying and fighting off potential threats such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Selenium has been shown to be beneficial in enhancing the immune response and reducing inflammation. Studies have demonstrated that increased blood levels of selenium are associated with enhanced immune response. On the other hand, selenium deficiency is linked to a slower immune response, hence a weaker immune system.
There is a belief in the medical community that having a healthy thyroid gland is the answer to having good physical and mental health. It is through the production of thyroid hormones, especially one thyroid hormone known as thyroxine (T4), that the thyroid gland can control just about everything that is happening in the body.
Selenium is essential to thyroid function, as it is needed for the metabolism of thyroid hormones. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that selenium supplementation is beneficial for individuals with thyroid disease.
Improvements in general health have increased life expectancy, but this positive development brings its own health problems. The number of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease is staggering, and sadly, is steadily increasing.
When free radicals outnumber antioxidants, it can lead to a state known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is thought to be linked to both the onset and progression of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Alzheimer’s disease. Since selenium improves defenses against free radicals, it could lessen exposure to the forces of mental degeneration.
Moreover, research has indicated that supplementing with selenium may enhance verbal fluency and other mental processes in patients with mild cognitive impairment.
Selenium is beneficial in enhancing the immune response and reducing inflammation, protecting the body against specific pathogens, such as viruses. Multiple studies have shown that a selenium deficiency is linked to a slower immune response, hence a weaker immune system.
Not only can this essential mineral protect against specific viruses, but it has also been shown to slow disease progression in immune-compromised individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death, and ways to both prevent and treat different types of cancer are constantly being researched. Preventing the development of cancerous cells is one of the most significant ways that selenium can be of benefit.
This is explained by selenium’s ability to destroy cancer cells, reduce oxidative stress, and boost the immune system. Research shows a correlation between high levels of selenium and a lower incidence of certain cancers, especially breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancers. Multiple studies have suggested that selenium supplementation can increase the quality of life, decrease side effects in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment, and contribute to DNA repair.
Cancer is not the only chronic disease that selenium offers to keep away from us. Selenium can also help against heart disease, mainly by acting as an antioxidant. Selenium reduces oxidative damage in the body, which is known to cause inflammation. Oxidative stress and inflammation have been linked to atherosclerosis or the buildup of plaque in arteries.
Atherosclerosis can lead to dangerous health problems like strokes, heart attacks, and heart diseases. Selenium may have the potential to lower levels of inflammation in the body which is one of the primary risk factors for heart disease.
Studies have also shown that selenium helps to keep cholesterol levels well within the safe limits which in turn, reduces the chance of artery blockages.
Antioxidants play an important role in the human body, as these compounds help keep us in better health as we age. Antioxidants work by binding to dangerous free radicals in our body that lead to oxidative damage to cell tissues. Selenium has been shown to have high antioxidant properties which makes it even more important to our overall health and slowing down the aging process. Selenium has a proven value in holding back the free radicals in a natural way. Since free radicals speed up aging, inhibiting their activities naturally should delay its onset.
Last but not least important is the ability of selenium to help soothe asthma symptoms. Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways to become inflamed.
According to the research, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of selenium help reduce the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. Research suggests that people who have asthma have lower blood levels of selenium. Having an optimal selenium status has been linked to better lung function in patients with asthma.
Selenium is a popular trace mineral found in many delicious foods such as Brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, bread, and eggs. Selenium has many benefits and takes part in several important bodily functions.
There are many reasons to ensure optimal selenium intake- from reducing oxidative stress, supporting immune and thyroid function to preventing cognitive decline and cancer. Luckily, there is an abundance of selenium-rich whole foods we can choose from to meet our body's recommended amounts. However, individuals who are unable to reach the daily requirements of Selenium from food sources would require supplementation.
Rejuvii offers intravenous (IV) Selenium as a part of our Immunity Boost and other drips.
Give us a call for a consultation about the benefits of Selenium.
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