Table of contents:
- 1. Act as an antioxidant
- 2. Prevent cancer
- 3. Prevent cardiovascular disease
- 4. Improve thyroid function
- 5. Strengthen the immune system
- 6. Help with weight loss
- 7. Prevent Alzheimer's
- When supplementation is needed
- Risks of excess selenium
Selenium is a mineral with a high antioxidant power and therefore helps to prevent diseases such as cancer and strengthen the immune system, in addition to protecting against heart problems such as atherosclerosis.
Selenium is found in the soil and is present in water and in foods such as Brazil nuts, wheat flour, bread and egg yolk, and its supplementation should only be done with the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist, because excess selenium in the body can bring harm to he alth. See all foods rich in selenium.
1. Act as an antioxidant
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce the amount of free radicals in the body.These free radicals are formed naturally during the body's metabolism, but can cause damage such as inflammation, changes in cell function, and aging.
People who smoke, consume alcoholic beverages regularly and who live under a lot of stress end up producing a greater amount of free radicals, having a greater need to consume antioxidant nutrients. See which foods are rich in antioxidants.
2. Prevent cancer
As an antioxidant, selenium protects cells against changes in their DNA that lead to the production of tumors, being important to prevent mainly lung, breast, prostate and colon cancers.
3. Prevent cardiovascular disease
Selenium reduces the amount of inflammatory substances in the body and increases the amount of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant in the body. These actions reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol in blood vessels, which when it happens ends up producing atheroma plaques, which clog arteries and cause problems such as heart attack, stroke and thrombosis.
4. Improve thyroid function
The thyroid is the organ that stores the most selenium in the body, as it is essential to maintain a good production of your hormones. Selenium deficiency can lead to problems such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a type of hypothyroidism that occurs when defense cells attack the thyroid, reducing its functioning.
5. Strengthen the immune system
Adequate amounts of selenium in the body help reduce inflammation and improve the immune system, even helping people with diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis C to have more immunity against opportunistic diseases.
6. Help with weight loss
Because it is important for the proper functioning of the thyroid, selenium helps to prevent hypothyroidism, diseases that end up slowing down the metabolism and favoring weight gain.
In addition, excess weight increases inflammation in the body, which also deregulates the production of satiety hormones. Thus, by acting as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, selenium also helps to reduce hormonal changes linked to excess fat, which favors weight loss.
7. Prevent Alzheimer's
By acting as an antioxidant, selenium helps prevent and reduce the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis.
This benefit is even greater when selenium is consumed from foods that are sources of good fats, such as Brazil nuts, egg yolks and chicken.
When supplementation is needed
In general, most people with a varied diet obtain the recommended amounts of selenium to maintain he alth, but in some cases its deficiency is more common, such as in people with HIV, Crohn's disease and people who are fed with nutritive serums injected directly into a vein.
In these cases, the doctor or nutritionist may prescribe the use of selenium supplements.
Risks of excess selenium
Excess selenium in the body can cause serious problems such as shortness of breath, fever, nausea and malfunction of organs such as the liver, kidneys and heart. Very high amounts can even lead to death, and therefore its supplementation should only be done under the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist.