Approximately 30 years ago we thought Selenium was a toxic element. But we have now learnt much about selenium and it is really a very important and essential element for us. It is important for our health.

The vital works done by Selenium include:

• Selenium helps in the removal of other toxic elements like mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead from our body
• It decreases the viral load for HIV
• It reduces the incidence of cancers, particularly lung, colorectal and prostate cancers
• It plays also a vital role in thyroid hormone metabolism
• It is vital for antioxidant defence system. As apart of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase it helps the free radicals scavenging
• Selenium is involved in maintaining normal liver function
• It is needed in protein synthesis
• It defends sperms from the attack of free radicals, that is why it is present in high concentration in semen

Although it is the most important antioxidant nutrient, many Americans do not know about selenium and many doctors there consider this very shameful.

What are the foods rich in selenium?

• Meats
• Seafood
• Poultry
• Eggs
• Nuts
• Seeds
• Pulses
• Whole grains
• Yeast

What is the reason for selenium deficiency?

The problem is in most countries the soil is poor in selenium and the local food contains almost no selenium. Marginal selenium deficiency is possible in alcoholics and those who eat mostly refined and processed foods. That is why in most of the developed countries it is added in bread or in other food stuff or in animal feed. Or they must eat enough nuts imported from tropical countries.

If nothing helps supplementation is the last step.

What is the daily intake of selenium?

From 1986 it was continuously increased and it is now 200µg per day. The supplementation amount is also 200µg per day if the deficiency is established.

Selenium from the yeast is better than the inorganic salts.

As usual, the dose makes the poison. 600 to 750 micro g per day is the toxic dose.

The signs of selenium toxicity include:

• Fatigue
• Irritability
• Dry hair
• Caries in children
• Hair loss
• Abnormal nails
• Depigmentation of the skin
• Bad breath
• Vomiting
• Problems with the nervous system