The most important biological role of selenium was discovered not so long ago – only about 40 years ago. As it turned out, selenium is very necessary for any cell of the human body. And today, thanks to the functions that it performs, it is rightfully called an element which prolongs life!
The main source of selenium for the body is plant and animal food. It is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, and 60-80% is absorbed from plant foods, and only 8-25% when using products of animal origin because of the difficulty of cleavage.
Having a very well-balanced diet, our body receives a maximum of 20-40 micrograms of selenium per day. And the established daily rates are: for men – 70 μg, for women – 55 μg, for children – 1 μg of selenium per kg of weight.
Thus, naturally, our body does not receive enough this trace element and is forced to function in a state of selenium deficiency.
What is the role of selenium for human?
SELEN also belongs to the group of essential (vital) microelements. It is part of more than 200 hormones and enzymes, so it is not possible to cover all the processes in which this element participates. The list below gives only an approximate idea of the importance of selenium for our health.
Selenium strengthens the body's immunity (contributes to the formation of white blood cells, interferon and macrophages, antibodies and killer cells). It does not allow evil viruses, including the AIDS virus, to escape from cells and begin to sow death and destruction. When the content of selenium decreases in our cells – and it always happens with age – our immune system gets frustrated, and we are more prone to infections, cancer and heart diseases.
It is a very strong antioxidant (it prevents the development of tumor processes and prevents the aging process, activates vitamin E, and neutralizes and removes foreign substances from the body). Vitamins, flavonoids, coenzymes cannot replace selenium.
Selenium not only has its own antioxidant effect, but it is also an important building block in the creation of glutathione peroxidase, one of the most important enzymes in our body that neutralizes the most dangerous and aggressive free radicals, especially those that attack fat molecules, literally turning them into rancid. Other antioxidants cannot cope with this.
Since glutathione peroxidase has anti-inflammatory attributes, selenium has a beneficial effect on rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma and other diseases, such as colitis and psoriasis.
Selenium reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (it interferes with muscular dystrophy of the heart, activates hemoglobin synthesis, neutralizes toxins, takes part in the formation of coenzyme Q10 and erythrocytes). Deficiency of selenium increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 70%.
It is an effective antitumor factor (inhibits, and sometimes stops the formation of malignant tumors).
It promotes the regulation of the endocrine system. Important for the function of the thyroid gland, because it depends on the enzyme, which activates the main thyroid hormone. Deficiency of selenium can lead to a slow metabolism and even obesity, and the effect of thyroid-replacement therapy may be incomplete.
Selenium protects against poisoning by lead, cadmium, mercury, tobacco smoke and exhaust gases. It prevents destruction and necrosis of the liver, contributing to the removal of heavy metals from the body. Allergic diseases and the risk of developing bronchial asthma are closely related to the exchange of selenium.
It promotes stimulation of reproductive function (it is a part of spermatozoa). The lack of selenium leads to male infertility and weak labor activity among women.
Selenium also normalizes the work of the nervous system.
It has a beneficial effect on the condition of nails, hair and skin.
Enough intake of selenium prolongs the youth of the human body and improves the quality of life!