- HEALTH & NUTRITION
Science-based health benefits of selenium supplements
Sure, we're all familiar with the different types of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin E, vitamin C, CoQ10, iron, magnesium and calcium, but have you ever come across selenium?
May 10, 2023|
May 10, 2023
This lesser-known nutrient offers a range of important health benefits for the human body. From maintaining a healthy metabolism to supporting healthy brain function and neutralizing free radicals, this essential nutrient is vital for optimal bodily function and well-being.
What is selenium?
Selenium is an essential trace mineral that occurs naturally in a range of different food sources, including brazil nuts, seafood, poultry, meat, whole grains and dairy products. While your body doesn't need a lot of selenium for optimal function, this essential mineral is still vital for a range of different bodily processes.
Here are six science-backed health benefits of selenium:
- Powerful antioxidant properties
Selenium is known for its antioxidant properties that can help to maintain cell health and neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative damage to cells, proteins and DNA.
Your body constantly produces free radicals as a byproduct of normal metabolic processes. And while free radicals play their own important role in human health, exposure to environmental factors like alcohol, air pollution, stress and UV radiation can lead to an excess of free radicals. This imbalance of free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which can cause damage to healthy cells,
Selenium helps to combat oxidative stress by acting as a cofactor for the production of several antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase. These enzymes work by neutralizing free radicals to help support healthy cells and tissue.
- Support cardiovascular health
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, selenium benefits heart health by decreasing oxidative stress in the body. Incorporating selenium-rich foods into your diet is a great way to maintain healthy blood selenium levels, which helps to keep oxidative stress in check.
- Support your immune system
Your immune system is responsible for keeping your body healthy by identifying any potential threats and neutralizing them before they attack your body.
By lowering oxidative stress, selenium can aid regular immune function, including initiating and regulating immune responses.
- Support healthy metabolism and thyroid function
Selenium concentration in the thyroid gland is higher than any other organ in the body, so it's no wonder that this mineral is so important forthyroid health. The thyroid gland produces two thyroid hormones that are crucial for regulating the body's metabolism, growth and development, as well as maintaining a healthy weight.
Selenium plays an essential role in maintaining thyroid hormone metabolism, particularly in the production of thyroid hormones. It also assists in thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism, which is the process of turning food into energy.
- Support cognitive function
As we age, our cognitive health tends to decline along with selenium concentrations. Over time, oxidative stress can impair your brain's health and function. Selenium benefits cognitive function and helps to reduce the risk of cognitive decline as we age.
Recommended dietary selenium intake
Because selenium is a trace mineral, your body doesn't need much of it for optimal function. For most adults, the recommended dietary allowance for selenium is 55 mcg per day with a maximum daily intake of 400 mcg.
Most people are able to obtain sufficient selenium from their diet, so selenium deficiency is relatively uncommon. But as you age and your selenium concentration declines, taking selenium supplements can help you to reach your recommended dietary intake. Some selenium supplements are formulated with other antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin E or vitamin C, for additional antioxidant benefits.
Dietary sources of selenium
Selenium is an essential mineral, so it must be sourced from selenium-rich foods or selenium supplements. Brazil nuts, grains, seafood, organ and muscle meats and eggs are all great natural food sources of selenium. People with low blood selenium levels or a selenium deficiency may need to include fortified foods or take selenium supplements to help maintain a healthy selenium status. With that said, chronically high intakes of selenium can lead to acute selenium toxicity and associated health problems, so always consult your doctor before introducing selenium supplements to your routine.
How to add more life to your years
Nov 15, 2023|
How to bio-hack your hormones
Nov 13, 2023|