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Selenium Supplements

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About Selenium Supplements

Selenium is an important trace element needed for dozens of enzymatic reactions in the human body. Though Selenium receives less attention than more well-known nutrients, such as zinc and iron, this does not detract from its importance to human health. In 2005, the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology published an article stating that approximately 1 billion people worldwide are deficient in Selenium, which is a staggering figure. New Zealand soils are believed to be some of the most selenium deficient in the world, according to the British Journal of Nutrition in 2004, which leads to low contents in locally grown food and deficiencies in the consumers of this food. 


Selenium is a cofactor for antioxidant enzymes that we synthesize in the body. A cofactor is the fuel that powers some antioxidant enzymes to do their work, two of which are glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase. For this reason, Selenium is essential for maintaining cellular health and protecting against free-radical damage. The British Journal of Biomedical Science published a research paper in 2009 that highlights the importance of Selenium as a cofactor for iodothyronine deiodinase, which activates thyroid hormones. Without enough Selenium, we may exhibit signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism even with a normal T4 level. This may be caused by low T3 levels.


In November 2008, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research published a review article highlighting the ability of Selenium to bolster the aging immune system and to increase protection against pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. This is not surprising, given the importance of Selenium in enhancing overall antioxidant status. It is also believed that Selenium can assist in the management of allergic diseases, such as asthma, and reduce the damaging effects of chronic low-grade inflammation. The best dietary source of this mineral is Brazil Nuts, if grown in the Amazonian basin where the soil is especially rich in this mineral.