Last week I wrote of the benefits of supplementing selenium with a prostate formula when treating, or as a preventative to prostate problems. As a follow on, this week I will elaborate on why it is important to supplement with selenium, for our general wellbeing not just for prostate health.
Selenium is known to be essential for our health as it activates the anti-oxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is present in our body cells. This enzyme actually prevents the generation of free radicals which cause the destruction of cell membranes and may encourage cancer growth.
One would think, this in itself would be a good reason to supplement with selenium. Low selenium levels may be linked to a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. It is also believed selenium may also reduce the risk of breast, colon, gastric and lung cancer.
Another concern is the link between low selenium levels and Alzheimer’s disease. It seems selenium is important for safeguarding brain health and supporting cognitive function. Many believe Alzheimer’s disease is associated with progressive oxidative damage to nerve cells by free radicals. Putting it simply, when brain cells are injured by oxidation the nerve cells which act like wires in the brain also become damaged by oxidation which in time leads to memory loss and cognitive deterioration.
It appears selenium may also lessen heart disease by shielding against oxidative damage to blood cholesterol. Supplementing with selenium may increase the good cholesterol, HDL levels and decrease the bad cholesterol, LDL levels. It is thought selenium may also inhibit platelet aggregation, reducing the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries.
Selenium is also involved in the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland contains a high concentration of selenium and a deficiency of selenium can worsen iodine deficient hypothyroidism.
Plants will normally take up selenium from the soil however depending on where the plants are grown, selenium content can be low in some soils. This then leads to a low dietary intake of selenium in humans.
There are also some factors which increase the need for selenium such as pollution, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, ageing, immune deficiency, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
For further information on selenium or any other health issue, call to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop at 5 North St, Batemans Bay or phone on 0244729737. Don’t forget to tune into Bev and Marianne on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.15.