selenium and vitamin E restored the skin's balance.

3. Benefits Asthma Asthma (a condition with breathing

difficulties, coughing and sneezing) is a complicated disease to treat and is associ- ated with increased inflammation, oxida- tive stress and abnormal immune system function. In a meta-analysis of 40 studies, asthma patients showed significantly lower levels of selenium compared to healthy subjects, suggesting lower sele- nium intake could be a risk factor for the disease. As mentioned, selenium, as an anti-

oxidant, has been found to lower oxidative stress. This,in turn, seems to reduce allergic asthma. In addition, dietary selenium as an antioxidant therapy may be important in optimizing asthma treatment and pre- vention. In a study of 25 asthmatic patients and

25 healthy subjects, asthmatics had lower concentrations of selenium, increased oxidative stress markers and inflammation and decreased antioxidant glutathione peroxidase activity and lung function. Nutritional supplement therapy in-

cluding selenium balanced oxidant stress, inflammation and immune system re- sponses, pulmonary function and health- related quality of life in patients with mild to moderate allergic asthma.

4. Helps Prevent and Improve Thyroid Diseases

Selenium is an essential micronutrient

for your body and readily found in the thyroid. As a supplement, it can help pre- vent immune-mediated thyroid disorders by reducing anti-thyroperoxidase antibody levels and improving thyroid ultrasound features. The prevalence of pathological thy-

roid conditions (hypothyroidism, sub- clinical hypothyroidism, autoimmune thyroiditis, enlarged thyroid) was signifi- cantly lower in the adequate-selenium group than in the low-selenium group (18% versus 30.5%) in a sample of 6,152 subjects in China. Selenium administration (200 milli-

grams per day) significantly improved quality of life, reduced ocular involvement and slowed progression of 159 patients with mild Graves' orbitopathy (also called thyroid eye disease).

5. Promotes Heart Health The combination of high blood pres-

sure, high blood sugar, obesity and high cholesterol is called metabolic syndrome and when these conditions occur together, they dramatically increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. In a study of 2,069 patients, dietary selenium intake had a moderate negative association with metabolic syndrome. In a study of 501 British volunteers aged 60 to 74 years, supplementation with sele- nium (100 mcg, 200 mcg, 300 mcg) showed progressive decreases in total cholesterol profiles for those with low selenium levels, but cautions that those with already high selenium intake might be adversely affected by extra selenium supplementation. In a 12-year follow-up of a group of

healthy elderly participants who were supplemented with selenium and coen- zyme Q10 for four years, there was a significantly reduced risk for cardiovascu- lar mortality in the treatment group (28.1%) compared to the placebo group (38.7%).

6. Brain Boosting Alzheimer's disease, a devastating

brain disorder, is characterized by two pathological protein deposits, the senile plaques of amyloid-ß and tangles of pro- tein tau. In addition, oxidative stress and neural signal transmission disorders also impact Alzheimer's. A large body of studies suggests that

selenium (Se), either as Se-containing compounds or as selenoproteins, is in- volved in most of the molecular pathways that are important in the progression of dementia and therefore have the potential to help prevent or improve Alzheimer's. In a mouse model, selenium yeast

showed several benefits for Alzheimer's subjects; it decreased the generation of amyloid-ß and enhanced autophagic clearance (old cells are recycled and cleaned out to make room for new cells in the brain), which reduced the burden of amyloid-ß accumulation. Another animal study confirmed that

selenium (sodium selenite) significantly decreased tau-positive neurons and re- versed Alzheimer's-like memory and neuropsychiatric symptoms in mice with advanced dementia. Additionally, seleni- um induced protective effects against ex- perimental dementia-induced brain in- flammation and oxidative stress by en- hancing the antioxidant system in rats. In 79 Alzheimer's patients, probiotic and selenium co-supplementation for 12

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weeks improved cognitive function and some metabolic profiles such as lipid, antioxidant and insulin levels. Selenium and zinc are essential trace elements and an inadequate dietary intake has been implicated in the decline of immune and cognitive functions in aged persons and influences age-related disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Type 2 diabetes.

Selenium and Health

Selenium, a widely researched essential mineral, is beneficial to your health due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neu- roprotective, immunomodulatory (regu- lates immune functions) and cardioprotec- tive properties. See more research about the effects of selenium deficiency and selenium supplementation on overall well- being at

Written by Dr. Diane Fulton © October, 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is re- produced and distributed with the permis- sion of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter at // greenmed/newsletter.

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