Selenium is a trace mineral extremely powerful as an antioxidant. It’s involved in a lot of different enzymes as a helper mineral that’s called a cofactor. Its main job as an antioxidant is to protect against oxidative damage, so it’s really good for any chronic health problem reducing the complications of chronic issues like diabetes, auto-immune, conditions where there’s inflammation; it helps buffer that.
The benefits of selenium for human health
1. Helps Make Glutathione
It helps make something called glutathione which is the most powerful antioxidant in your body, especially in the liver.
2. Oxidative Stress Reduction
It reduces the free radicals in the body that create a lot of damage. And that’s why it has pretty powerful anti-cancer effects. Because if you can protect the DNA, damage in your mitochondria, in the nucleus of the cell, you can counter the effects of carcinogens and their impact on different parts of your body. Carcinogens are things that cause or trigger cancer.
3. It’s Important for Thyroid Function
Selenium is required for the conversion of T4 to T3. So it’s essential and getting your thyroid to work correctly, especially in Hashimoto, the auto-immune hypothyroidism. It’s just as crucial for the thyroid as iodine, if not more important; 90% of hypothyroid conditions are auto-immune.
4. Reduces complications
It reduces complications of certain diseases, for example, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy cataracts. It can help counter the effects of anything that’s producing a lot of free radical damage.
5. May Help Prevent Cancer
From the late 1960s, a few observational studies reported that people with high selenium levels in their diet or body tissues had a lower risk of cancer. In addition, some laboratory studies showed that selenium could inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
6. Alcohol-related Liver Disease
If you have cirrhosis in the liver or a fatty liver and you have a lot of oxidation, you want to take selenium.
7. Arsenic Poisoning
In the blood, selenium interacts with arsenic to form a complex excreted in the bile, thereby lowering the arsenic body burden. Thus, higher selenium intake may be crucial to combat arsenic toxicity.
8. Helps Immune Defense (especially against viruses)
It can significantly reduce something called thyroid peroxidase antibodies and hydrogen peroxide, which generates many free radicals. You want to use selenium as the main antioxidant.
9. Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)
Enlarged prostate selenium is good for that
10. Pre-diabetes Insulin Resistance
Because of its antioxidant properties, selenium might thus prevent the development of diabetes
11. Detoxify Mercury
It has the ability to detoxify mercury. So if you’re consuming fish that has mercury, fish usually contain selenium. But really, the negative effects of mercury have to do with blocking the antioxidant with selenium. So if you have enough selenium, you’re not going to have near the side effects from mercury.
How much selenium do we need?
Now realize the RDAs for selenium are 55 micrograms daily, but the therapeutic dosage you would want to take if you had any of these conditions would be 200 micrograms.
Now, are there any toxic effects of selenium? If you take way too much, like if you take lots of grams of this product. You can have certain health problems that are related to digestion, heart cognitive function. Still, it’s improbable you’re going to overdose from that, especially if you’re getting it from a supplement because the supplements usually come in micrograms, not milligrams.
Which type of selenium should we take?
Selenium supplements may contain three different forms of selenium: selenomethionine, selenite, and selenate.
Now the type of selenium you would want to get for in these conditions would be selenomethionine.
Selenium yeast is produced using the microorganism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, better known as baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast. When the yeast is grown in a selenium-enriched medium, it absorbs the selenium and converts it into selenium, naturally found in foods, selenomethionine. The final product is used as supplements in fortified foods.
Selenium yeast is referred to as organic selenium. While it’s safe for most people, selenium may become toxic if those who consume the amount exceeds the maximum safe intake.