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What is Selenium Good For in the Body?

You may never think of selenium, but it’s essential for good health. Here we delve into what selenium is good for along with detailing its many benefits.

In This Healthy Insight:

What is Selenium?

Found in the soil, water and some foods, selenium is an essential trace mineral your body needs for many bodily processes. It’s mainly found in human tissues, especially muscles. Food sources include: Brazil nuts, seafood, meats, poultry, bananas, eggs, and mushrooms to name a few. The amount of selenium in food often depends on the amount of selenium found in the soil and water where the food was raised or grown. Although you only need a tiny amount of selenium, it’s essential for metabolism. Certain issues related to digestion, kidneys or thyroid can make selenium more difficult for your body to absorb.

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What is Selenium Good for in the Body… 8 Big Benefits

  1. Fights oxidative stress. Selenium is popular for its antioxidant properties that offer protection from free radical damage.That means it balances out free radicals in the body to thwart them from causing cellular damage. It’s important to note that free radicals can be created by natural processes within your body and external factors like pollution. 
  2. Supports a healthy heart – Oxidative stress is a contributing factor in cellular damage which can lead to heart and other serious health issues. With it antioxidant properties, selenium can combat this cellular damage.
  3. Fosters a healthy immune system – Decreasing oxidative stress also strengthens your immune system. Furthermore, selenium supplementation may also foster an increase in a specific type of beneficial white blood cells.  
  4. Has a positive effect on the circadian rhythm – Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural 24-hour sleep/wake or light/dark cycle. Selenium can help re-balance this rhythm, especially important for those who struggle with sleeplessness.
  5. May support cognitive function – Again, due to its ability to fight oxidative stress, selenium appears to support overall memory, verbal memory and executive level functioning (control and coordination of other cognitive abilities and behavior). Low levels of selenium are linked to poor memory and lower neurotransmitter activity in the brain.
  6. Important for thyroid health – Your thyroid gland has the highest concentration of selenium in your body where it helps to regulate thyroid function. A healthy thyroid is essential for metabolism, hormones, energy, skin, growth and much more.
  7. May support prostate health – Because selenium is necessary for producing sperm and testosterone, it’s particular important for prostate health, fertility and reproduction.
  8. Fosters positive outlook and eases anxiety – Low levels of selenium have been linked to lethargy, sadness, and confusion. In one small study, individuals taking selenium reported their mood and energy levels rose while anxiety eased up.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied upon. Before making any changes to your health plan, always seek advice from your doctor about your concerns, risks and benefits.

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