Information about the element selenium

Information about the element selenium
Information about the element selenium


Selenium is one of the essential minerals that the body needs to complete many different functions, including cognitive functions, immune system function, and fertility in both men and women. Selenium is found in human tissues, especially in skeletal muscle tissues. Selenium can be obtained from many diverse food sources. It is also available in the form of a food supplement that can be taken when necessary, and although the body needs selenium in small quantities only, it cannot be dispensed with, and this article will discuss the importance of selenium for the body and the amount that the body needs from it on a daily basis, with reference to the sources from which selenium can be obtained.

The importance of selenium for the body

Selenium may help prevent a number of diseases that can affect the body, such as some cardiovascular diseases, thyroid problems, cancer, decreased cognitive functions and disorders related to thinking. The following are the benefits of selenium for the body:

Prevention of cardiovascular disease: Selenium proteins can help protect against cardiovascular disease by preventing oxidative modification of fats in the body, which leads to reduced inflammation and prevents platelet aggregation, but clinical evidence does not support the use of selenium supplements for this purpose. .

Preventing cognitive decline: Selenium acts as an antioxidant, which can help reduce the risk of cognitive and mental decline with age, in addition to it may have a role in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, but the results of studies have not yet proven this.

Prevention of thyroid problems: Selenium has an important role in the production and metabolism of thyroid hormone, and some studies have found that women with high levels of selenium suffer from fewer thyroid diseases, but this benefit has not yet been proven for men.

Cancer prevention: Selenium plays a role in DNA repair and other functions that can help prevent cancer, and the US Food and Drug Administration concluded in 2003 that there is some scientific evidence to suggest that taking selenium may reduce the risk of some diseases. forms of cancer.

Preventing other diseases: Some studies suggest that selenium may also help prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS, and may help reduce the risk of miscarriage and prevent asthma.

How much selenium does the body need?

The body needs small amounts of selenium to perform some functions, and most people can get their daily needs of selenium from food only without resorting to taking nutritional supplements. age as follows:

  • Children 1 to 3 years of age: 20 mcg daily.

  • Children 4 to 8 years of age: 30 mcg daily.

  •  Children 9 to 13 years of age: 40 mcg daily.

  •  Adults and children over 14 years of age: 55 micrograms daily.

  • Pregnant women: 60 mcg daily.

  •  Breastfeeding women: 70 mcg daily.

The safe upper limit of selenium for adults is 400 mcg per day, and anything more than this dose is considered an overdose.

Selenium sources

Selenium can be obtained naturally by eating foods that contain high levels of selenium. Fortunately, there are many healthy foods that contain high levels of selenium, including:

Oysters: 85 grams of oysters contain 238% of the daily need for selenium.

Brazil nuts: 5 grams of it contains 174% of the daily amount of selenium that the body needs.

 Halibut: 159 grams of halibut contains 171% of the daily need for selenium.

Yellow tuna: 85 grams of it contains 167% of the daily need for selenium.

Eggs: 100 grams of eggs contain 56% of the daily amount of selenium that the body needs.

Sardines: 48 grams of sardines contain 46% of the daily need for selenium.

Sunflower seeds: 28 grams of sunflower seeds contain 27% of the daily need for selenium.

Chicken breast: 84 grams of chicken breast contains 12% of the daily amount of selenium that the body needs.

Shiitake mushrooms: 97 grams of them contain 10% of the daily amount of selenium that the body needs.

The amount of selenium in plant foods often varies depending on the selenium content in the soil in which it grew, and therefore the concentration of selenium in agricultural crops depends on where they are grown. Another bean grown in another area contains only 11%, so you should eat a varied diet that includes more than a good source of selenium.

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