OVER 50 HEALTH
Selenium is a mineral found in many foods and even in water. For the body, it is a trace mineral because your body needs very little of this nutrient, but that does not mean its job within the body is not important.
Selenium plays an important role in metabolism. And it is an antioxidant, so it helps protect cells in your body from damage.
Reason to Take Selenium
Because selenium has antioxidant properties, it can help treat or prevent many common conditions, including:
• Cancer- selenium may prevent tumor growth of malignant cells
• Heart disease
• Hair loss
• Crohn's disease
It is also thought that taking selenium can prevent the spread of chronic infections. Selenium is known as a virus fighter and those who are deficient are more prone to getting common cold and flu viruses. So, you may think about upping your intake of selenium rich foods or take a supplement during cold and flu season.
Recommended Daily Allowance
The recommended daily allowance for adult males and females is 55 to 70 micrograms. Taking high doses of selenium, more than 200 micrograms a day, can cause problems.
High levels of selenium in the body can lead to the following:
• Bad breath
• Liver, kidney and heart problems
• Stomach pain
• Loss of sensation in the hands and feet
Taking 800 micrograms or more a day can lead to tissue damage.
Who's At Risk for Deficiency?
Selenium deficiency is rare, but people who get most of their food from selenium poor soil are at risk.
Elderly people and those with conditions that prevent them from fully absorbing nutrients from foods are at risk. Even though deficiency is not common, you should be aware of the symptoms:
• Muscular pain
• Hair and skin discoloration
• Muscular inflammation
• Joint pain
• Cataract formation
• Macular degeneration
• Enlarged heart
People that do not get enough selenium have a higher risk of cancers. They are also at risk for low immune function. Problems associated with selenium deficiency can be corrected by eating selenium rich foods and adding supplements to your diet.
Natural Food Sources of Selenium
Shellfish is an excellent source of selenium, but don't worry if you don't like seafood, you do have other choices to get your recommended daily allowance:
• Brazil nuts
• Sunflower seeds
If you don't eat enough of these foods, or if you have a condition that may be helped by selenium, you can take a supplement to get the extra nutrients you need. Talk to your doctor about how much selenium is right for you. Price compare over 50 supplements on filtur and save time and money.