Selenium for Good Health



Selenium is a natural nutrient that most people aren't even aware of. Almost everyone is aware of the basic vitamins and other minerals but selenium isn't one of them.

Here are some important health facts about selenium:

* Selenium helps to improve the immune system so that the body can fight off infectious viruses more easily.

* Selenium is said to mimic insulin so it helps to prevent or slow down the complications of nerve damage, damage to the retina, and cataracts in diabetics.

* Some studies show that selenium may help to delay the progression of arthritis.

* Low selenium levels have been associated with senility and Alzheimer's disease.

* Selenium has been shown to improve depression, mental fatigue and anxiety in adults.

* Epileptic seizures in children have been reduced with selenium supplements.

* Selenium is shown to prevent platelet clumping thus helping to prevent blood clots which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

* Selenium help to keep the skin elastic and thus keeping a more youthful appearance.

* When used topically as selenium sulfide on the scalp selenium helps to control dandruff when applied to scalp.

* Selenium sulfide also possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial benefits.

* Rubbed on the skin selenium is said to remove age spots.

* Selenium is said to protect against damage caused by tobacco smoking.

* Sufficient quantities of selenium may increase thyroid hormone metabolism.

And perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that selenium may protect against the bird flu.

Selenium is the only element that has a direct relationship with viruses in the body of birds. It increases their immune system and protects them against viruses.

Eggs from healthy birds are high in selenium. But if the birds diet is deficient in selenium then the birds are deficient in the element and are easily attacked by viruses including the Coxsackie virus that causes the avian flu.

Studies done at the University of North Carolina and USDA showed that selenium-deficient mice infected with a Coxsackie virus produced a mutated, more virulent form of the virus.

Commercial bird feeds in poor Asian countries are not fortified with selenium like the feeds are in the United States thereby the birds in that part of the world are more likely to contract the virus which can then spread around the word.

The best sources of natural selenium is from liver and organ meats, fish, shellfish, tuna, eggs, and muscles meats. Some plants contain selenium but in much lower amounts.

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Author: Marilyn Pokorney
Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.
Email: Current address on website