Selenium is a trace element that is critical for health. Selenium deficiency is a major reason for the epidemic levels of thyroid problems in people today. So many enzymes rely on selenium to be able to perform their task efficiently.
Mental health - It is required for the development of certain higher brain centers and gives a smooth, flexible and soft quality to the personality and even to the body tissues.
Selenium, along with Zinc is one of the major minerals needed for development.
It is essential for thyroid activity - It is needed to produce T4 and the conversion of T4 to T3. It also helps with Hashimoto`s autoimmune thyroiditis.
It can help with the eye dysfunction encountered with hyperthyroidism.
Selenium is used to support adrenal activity in the body.
It is needed for protein synthesis
Selenium helps fight infections and enhances the immune response.
It helps the body eliminate mercury and cadmium, which are toxic elements
It is needed for antioxidant production (glutathione peroxidase) Glutathione is one of the most important substances in the human body. It is required by the liver for detoxification and by every bodily cell. Selenium also helps scavenge or neutralise the single oxygen atoms in the body that can cause oxidant damage.
Good sources of selenium are:
Yeasts - nutritional yeast
Refines foods such as white breads, pastas and rices lose a great deal of selenium in the refining process (along with B vitamins and many other trace elements) Brown rice has 15 times as much selenium as white rice. Whole wheat bread has twice as much selenium as white bread.
Sources of selenium that are not as good
Certain sources of selenium are considered very Yin in Eastern medicine and as most people are yang deficient, they are not recommended as often. These include:
Liver and Kidney
If you have been recommended to use selenium in a supplement, it is important to try to find food-based selenium where you can, as opposed to selenium selenite, which is not absorbed as well.
Deficiency symptoms Selenium deficiency is extremely common today. Most diets are lacking in selenium.
Physical symptoms often include fatigue (that can be severe), nervous sensitivity, irritability, tendency for infections, cancers,impaired immune response, weak adrenal activity, thyroid dysfunction -( even if serum thyroid appears normal), hypoglycemia, allergies, asthma, high/low blood pressure, arterial disease, an impaired growth of hair or nails.
Mental or emotional symptoms may include irritability, anxiety, feeling hopeless, depressed, negativity, not being pleasant to be around.
Toxicity Selenium can be toxic if consumed incorrectly.
Interesting fact - Human milk contains 6 times as much selenium as cows milk.