Selenium for Survival
When consumed, selenium is used to make particular body proteins called selenoproteins, many of which play a role in fighting harmful free radicals that accumulate in the body. It is thought that a deficiency in selenium can lead to the survival of more free radicals, that in turn can lead to increased risk of cancers and heart disease. Even a minor selenium deficiency can have a detrimental effect in the long term. Such a deficiency would free radicals to accumulate over time, causing damage to cell DNA that can lead to cancer. Deficiency in selenoproteins involved in reducing inflammation is linked to a number of inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and osteoarthritis.
Luckily, absolute selenium deficiency is rare in the Australian population, however we can not rule out the potential for minor deficiencies. Approximately half of our selenium intake comes from cereals. We also get selenium from meat and dairy foods, as it is found in the grass and cereals eaten by the animals. This amount varies, as many parts of Australia have low selenium soil levels.
We can avoid minor selenium deficiency by ensuring we eat a varied diet, rich in wholegrain cereals and a range of meat and dairy products. It is not recommended to take selenium supplements without speaking to your health professional, as it can be highly toxic in concentrated amounts.
Added to site on : Monday, 8 August 2011