Why Selenium is So Important for Human Health

Selenium chemical element

#Selenium: A Brief History

Selenium was recognised as an essential mineral in 1957 as it is required for the normal functioning of enzymes which control and reduce the damaging effects of Oxygen Free Radicals (H2O2) in the human body.

Over the last 100 years or so, as we have become better at growing crops and raising cows, sheep and pigs, the level of natural Selenium in the soil and, therefore, the human diet has fallen. Until recently this has not been too important as we imported Selenium-rich wheat from North America but this is no longer the case and the UK & European population has seen a significant reduction in blood Selenium levels.

Why is Selenium important?

Selenium contributes to:

  • The normal function of the immune system.
  • Normal thyroid function.
  • The protection of cells from oxidative stress.
  • Normal spermatogenesis (male fertility).
  • The maintenance of normal hair.
  • The maintenance of normal nails.

Selenium Deficiency

Whilst severe deficiency is rare, it has been acknowledged for some time that people in certain countries have actually had Selenium deficient diets for many years. In the UK, the current average daily intake is only 30-40ug/day compared to the recommended 55ug/day, and even higher if you are a teenage girl or if you are currently breastfeeding.

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