Sophie's World Blog

What we need to know about Selenium?

What we need to know about Selenium?

Nutrient deficiency is one of the most significant causes of getting viruses. A couple of years ago H1N1 was a big issue. Instead of promoting to taking magnesium salts, iodine, sodium bicarbonate, selenium, vitamin C and vitamin D3, the vaccination seemed to be the solution according to dcotrs. Some countries people like France, refused to take the vaccination. The French government had to sell the vaccines to the third world. In some countries like Finland, where they follow science letter by letter pregnant women were the first to the get the vaccine. I was on the list that time, refusing to take it, all my family was in shock. How can I dare to do that? I never got the virus. And later there were lots of issues about miscarriages potentially due to the vaccination. Selenium is essential in this fight. It is a newly recovered mineral but very important for the immune system.

How much Selenium do we need?

Selenium is a mineral, found in many plants and food. The amount of selenium in food depends on where it was grown or raised. Animal products contains selenium depending on the food that they ate.

The human body needs a small amount of selenium that can be provided by a well-balanced diet. The recommended daily amount of selenium increases according to the age of the person. Babies (from birth to 6 months) need 15 mcg daily, a child needs 20-40 mcg, depending on the age, and an adult needs 55 mcg daily.

Selenium deficiency is a very rare condition, since the intake depends on the food, and a plant raised on soil that is rich in selenium supports us more than a daily amount. Deficiency may lead to heart disease, kidney problems, digestive problems and male infertility. A human body with selenium deficiency starts to have problems including thyroid disorder, psoriasis, heart problems and viral infections.

There are groups that are more likely to risk not getting enough amount selenium, people who have kidney diseases, HIV or mostly eat food that was grown in soil that is low in selenium.

What food to eat?

Selenium is found naturally in many plants and animal products. The main sources are seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, Brazil nuts, breads, cereals or other grain based products.

What helps to absorb Selenium?

Selenium compounds can be absorbed in the intestines easily, but depending on the compounds the bioavailability of the selenium in food differs. Researchers demonstrated that the bioavailability of selenium in wheat is quite good (usually 80 percent or better), but tuna seems to have lesser availability (around 20-60 percent). Brazil nuts and beef kidney have an excellent, 90 percent or more bioavailability, as do seafoods except tuna.

Selenium is more effective when taking together with Vitamin E. Selenium also seems to increase the action of antioxidants.

Selenium can be taken in organic and inorganic form. The inorganic form can be obtained from selenium yeast that is produced when selenium is naturally incorporated into the protein growing yeast under optimum conditions. The inorganic form is not so effective taken as a supplement or with food as the organic or even the yeast itself.

Selenium is a stable nutrient, while cooking methods leads to some loss, it’s not significant, and the remaining amount is more than we need daily.

What is Selenium for in the body?

Selenium is an essential nutrient for the human body, responsible for supporting the whole immune system helping protect it from infections, oxidative stress, supporting growth and development and also supporting the cardiovascular system.

Selenium promotes the release of the enzyme that can eliminate peroxides which destroy essential lipids.

Is too much Selenium dangerous?

Taking occasional higher doses of selenium is probably safe. Although they can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, nail changes, loss of energy and irritability, they don’t cause unchangeable damage in the body in the short term. Using high doses for a long time is similar to arsenic poisoning, with the symptoms of hair loss, white horizontal streaking on fingernails, nail inflammation, garlic breath odour, metallic taste, muscle tenderness, tremor, facial flushing, blood clotting problems, liver or kidney problems. Long term consumption of selenium as a supplement may cause type 2 diabetes. So if there’s no serious reason to take it for a long term in high doses, please don’t do it. Naturally, by just eating well you cannot poison yourself with selenium.

Does pregnancy increase the need for Selenium?

Yes, but only for the term of pregnancy and lactation and only by a minimal percent, as these conditions require more energy and health from the mother’s body. Breast milk, formula, and food should be the only sources of selenium for infants.

About Selenium supplements

A well-balanced diet provides the daily need of selenium, so there’s no need for taking it as a supplement, except in pregnancy, lactation or diseases that must be treated with a higher dose of selenium. It can be bought as a compound in a multivitamin supplement or alone, but it’s not necessary to take it as a supplement. This is a good example of “small dose is essential, higher is toxicity”.

Best Selenium based dishes:

We could add tons of fish recipes to this article. But to be simple eat 3-4 brasil nuts every day and your daily intake is solved!



Copyright: Zsófia Michelin-Corporatum Oy, Content pictures copyrigh: Shutterstock, Development: e-Com