Selenium is an essential mineral that’s required to make the antioxidant enzyme called glutathione. It can also be used to make selenoproteins which transport selenium around to body and reduce inflammation.
1. A Powerful Antioxidant
Antioxidants are important molecules that can combat damaging free radicals and reduce their harmful effects. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells and cause a number of issues.1
The main group of damaging free radicals are called reactive oxygen species. When the body produces too many free radicals due to excess stress, smoking, alcohol use, drug use, etc then oxidative stress increases.
Selenium can help reduce the level of oxidative stress in the body by neutralizing free radicals.5
Selenium can act as an antioxidant to lower oxidative stress and help reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions.
2. Thyroid Health
The thyroid gland contains the highest amount of selenium in the human body.6
A study of 6,152 participants found a low level of selenium is associated with an increased risk of thyroid disease.8
Selenium is essential for thyroid hormone production and can help protect the thyroid.
3. Immune System Health
Selenium can also help a person’s immune system to keep their body healthy from potential threats such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.
A study found selenium supplementation resulted in an 82.3% increase in natural killer cell activity.16
It can also help protect immunity while aging.17
Selenium can help boost immunity.
4. Heart Health
Selenium is required to produce the antioxidant called glutathione which can reduce oxidative stress.
Low levels of glutathione are associate with heart disease and in a 2009 study researchers suggested that blood levels of glutathione could be tested to determine if heart disease is present.18
Supplementation also can help prevent platelet clumping.19
Selenium can boost levels of glutathione which can help protect the heart.
5. Hair and Skin Health
As noted earlier, selenium plays a key role in preventing oxidative damage. It is also important in hair follicle morphogenesis.20
Selenium is essential for hair and skin health.
6. Helps Prevent Mental Decline
Oxidative stress can wreak havoc on the brain and may contribute to conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.23
Since selenium is a potent antioxidant and can increase levels of glutathione it may be able to help prevent mental decline.
Selenium may help prevent prevent mental decline and improve mental functioning.
Selenium is an important mineral that may help improve thyroid, immune, heart, hair and skin health in addition to it’s function as a potent antioxidant.*
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