Selenium is an antioxidant that is present in every human cell, and it's essential for the maintenance of a healthy body. This naturally-occurring substance is mostly found in the liver, kidney, testes, pancreas and spleen. It helps to limit the activities of free radicals, which can be harmful to the body. Selenium promotes the release of an enzyme called glutathione peroxidise, which can eliminate peroxides that destroy essential lipids. When the body experiences selenium deficiency, a variety of health problems can develop, including thyroid disorder, psoriasis, heart illness and viral infections.
1. Fights Prostate Cancer
Low level of selenium in the body may increase the risk of prostate cancer. It is known that selenium can enhance the antioxidant capacity of the body, and it may help to reduce cell damage that is associated with prostate cancer. Those who are affected by selenium deficiency can become less vulnerable to prostate cancer if they increase their intake of selenium.
2. Prevents Keshan Disease
Keshan disease is a fatal condition that is characterized by inflammation of heart muscles, and the problem is mostly found in areas in China where the soil has low levels of selenium. Those who suffer from this disease will become more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and strokes. Since selenium assists in the functioning of the thyroid gland and it offers protection against heart conditions, taking selenium supplements can help prevent the disease.
3. Reduces Mal-Absorption
Mal-absorption refers to abnormal absorption of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract. It is found mostly in children who suffer from selenium deficiency. Selenium supplements can help improve digestion and reduce the problem of mal-absorption.
4. Lowers Risk of Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy is another disease that causes the muscles of the heart to deteriorate. Low levels of selenium result in the lack of antioxidants in the heart and the muscles, and it's one of the factors that contribute to the development of cardiomyopathy.
5. Cures Intracranial Pressure Symptoms
Intracranial pressure symptoms include headache, speech disorder, nausea, vertigo and fatigue. According to research, these symptoms can be treated by increasing intake of selenium.
6. Treats Asthma
It's been found that people who suffer from asthma don't have sufficient amounts of selenium in their bodies. Selenium as well as beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E are antioxidants that can prevent and control asthma attacks.
7. Helps to Eliminate Dandruff
Selenium is beneficial to the hair and scalp. As such, shampoos that contain selenium are effective in treating dandruff problems.
Selenium can be found in foods such as wheat germ, garlic, walnuts, raisins, saltwater and freshwater fish, onions, Brazil nuts and radishes. If you're experiencing a deficiency, you can take supplements to increase selenium levels in your body. However, you should consult a health practitioner before taking such supplements, as excessive intake of selenium may result in stomach problems, fatigue and other health problems. Once the amount of selenium in your body has reached a healthy level, you can start to reduce the consumption of supplements.