Selenium is an essential trace element, used in particular in the glutathione peroxidase enzyme system which protects intracellular structures against oxidative damage.
Actions of Selenium include:
- Cofactor for glutathione peroxidase
- Converts thyroxine to triiodothyronine
- Involved in arachidonic acid metabolism
- Involved in inflammatory response
- Binds heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury
Clinical applications Of Selenium:
- Cancer prevention: by activating phagocytes and NK lymphocytes, selenium reduces the risk of developing many forms of cancer. As a means of counter-acting cancer, the body incorporates additional selenium into cancer cells.
- Cardiovascular disease: Keshan Disease occurs as a direct result of selenium deficiency, prevents heart attack(selenium (100 mcg per day) is highly recommended as a means of preventing further heart attack in persons who have already experienced a heart attack.Reduces hypertension, alleviates cardiomyopathy, prevents abnormal blood-clotting.
- Eyes and Vision: Age-related macular degeneration, short-sightedness, glaucoma, dry eyes, the general health of eyes are improved.
- Metabolism: hypothyroidism, selenium helps convertT4 to T3. Lowers elevated blood-sugar levels in DM. Selenium also improves hepatic function.
- Musculoskeletal: muscular dystrophy, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Nervous system: deficiencies of selenium have been linked to aggressiveness, anxiety, confusion and depression. Selenium improves mood, and reduces incidences of seizures in epileptics.
- Male/Female: fibrocystic breast disease, prevents miscarriage, male infertility, reduces risk of cadmium produced enlarged prostate, deficiency can result in defective sperm
- Skin/Hair: improves skin health generally: eczema, psoriasis, acne. Improves hair and scalp conditions such as dandruff. Helps prevent sunburn.
- Viral illnesses: for prevention or treatment of, hepatitis B, HIV infection or its sequelae, hemorrhagic-fever viruses, and Coxsackie B virus.