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Selenium Supplements

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About Selenium Supplements

Selenium is an important trace element required for dozens of enzymatic reactions in the human body. It is an often forgotten nutrient, with most people favouring well-known minerals like zinc and iron. However, Selenium's importance should not be judged based on its small microgram dosage. In 2005, the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology published an article stating that approximately 1 billion people worldwide are deficient in this important nutrient, which is an absolutely 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. This leads to low contents in locally grown food and consequently deficiencies in humans. 


Selenium is needed for many important chemical reactions. It is a cofactor for antioxidant enzymes that we naturally synthesize. A cofactor can be compared to the petrol in a car. No matter how good the car, without fuel it won't become active. Selenium is the fuel that powers some antioxidant enzymes to do their work, two of which are glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase. Therefore, 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 can be cause by low T3 levels.


In November 2008, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research published a review article highlighting the ability of Selenium to support the aging immune system and to enhance 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 help assist with allergic diseases, such as asthma, and help manage 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.