Selenium - A Special Friend to Women - Information on Deficiency, Benefits, Food Sources

Selenium acts as a micronutrient or trace element in the human body. Its distribution in the earth's crust varies from place to place. Its content of water varies even more greatly. The amount present in foods also varies widely. Males appear to have a greater need for this mineral. About half the supply of their bodies is concentrated in the testicles and parts of the seminal ducts adjacent to the prostrate gland.

Selenium is a grey, crystalline element of the sulphur group. It is an antioxidant and its biological activity is closely related to vitamin E. It is excreted in the semen.

Recommended Daily Allowance - Selenium
Men 70 mcg
Women 55 mcg
Children 20 - 30 mcg
Infants 10 - 15 mcg
Pregnant Women 65 mcg
Lactating Women 75 mcg

Selenium Benefits - Functions in the Body

Selenium acts with vitamin E as a non-specific antioxidant to protect cell membranes and tissues. Both of them prevent or slow down the ageing process and hardening of tissues. Selenium aids in maintaining youthful elasticity in tissues.

Selenium has been found beneficial in the prevention and treatment of Keshan disease. This is a syndrome endemic to the Keshan province in China where the soil is deficient in selenium. Keshan disease is charact­erised by degeneration of the muscle fibres of the heart. During their child-bearing years, women are particularly susceptible to this disease. Selenium binds cadmium and other metal's and mitigates their toxic effects.

This mineral also helps in the regeneration of the liver after damage, especially by cirrhosis. It is useful in alleviating hot flushes and menopausal distress. It helps in the prevention and treatment of dandruff. It is believed to neutralise certain carcinogens and provide protection from some types of cancer.

Selenium Rich Food Sources

Wholegrain cereals like wheat germ, barley, and wholewheat bread are the best sources of selenium.

Selenium Deficiency Symptoms

Low levels of selenium put people at higher risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases, and other conditions associated with increased free­radical damage, including premature ageing and cataract formation.

Selenium Side Effects - Precautions

Selenium toxicity occurs in animals, but human beings who have consumed vegetables grown in soil containing high selenium content, show no ill effects. Selenium poisoning has been reported due to ingestion of water containing large amounts of the metal. In rare cases, it can result in patchy baldness (alopecia), abnormal nails, emotional instability, and lassitude.

Leave your comments

Health News

Surgeon Removes Eight Pound Liver Tumor

The cancerous tumor in Marcus Muhich's liver weighed 8 pounds and was nearly a foot across. Doctors at three major academic medical centers in the Midwest told Muhich his high-grade tumor was inoperable. Then he was referred to Dr... [ read article ]

NIPPV Linked To Increased Hospital Mortality Rates In Small Group Of Patients

Although increased use of noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NIPPV) nationwide has helped decrease mortality rates among patients hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a small group of... [ read article ]

FDA Approves Label Update For PREZISTA® To Include 192-Week Data In HIV-1-Infected Adult Patients

Starting Treatment Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a label update for PREZISTA® (darunavir) tablets to include 192-week data from the ARTEMIS study... [ read article ]

Recommended Stuff

Our Latest Blog Entries...