Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Medicial Mistakes?
How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
from 46,000 to 78,000
from 78,000 to 132,000
from 132,000 to 210,000
from 210,000 to 440,000

 
 
 Minerals: Selenium  
 

Brewer's yeast and wheat germ, both regarded as "health foods," usually contain high concentrations of selenium. Animal sources such as liver, butter, most fish, and lamb have adequate amounts. Many vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and molasses are fairly good selenium foods. Brazil nuts have high amounts; barley, oats, whole wheat, and brown rice are also good sources; and shellfish such as scallops, lobster, shrimp, clams, crab, and oysters are all rich in selenium. Garlic and onions, mushroom, broccoli, tomatoes, radishes, and Swiss chard may be good selenium sources if the soil in which they are grown contains it. Therefore, if we want to make sure we get adequate amounts of selenium and other minerals, it is best to eat a varied diet of wholesome foods.

Functions: Selenium has a variety of functions, and research is revealing new information. Its main role is as an antioxidant in the enzyme selenium-glutathione peroxidase. Selenium is part of a nutritional antioxidant system that protects cell membranes and intracellular structural membranes from lipid peroxidation. It is actually the selenocysteine complex that is incorporated into glutathione peroxidase (GP), an enzyme that helps prevent cellular degeneration from the common peroxidase free radicals, such as hydrogen peroxide. (Selenomethionine can be supplemented to generate the organically complexed and active selenocysteine.) GP also aids red blood cell metabolism and has been shown to prevent chromosome damage in tissue cultures. Solidification of tissue membranes may occur through the oxidation of fatty acids. As an antioxidant, then, selenium in the form of selenocysteine prevents or slows the biochemical aging process of tissue degeneration and hardening-that is, loss of youthful elasticity. This protection of the tissues and cell membranes is enhanced by vitamin E. The antioxidant effect may also benefit the cardiovascular system and protect against cancer. We need adequate daily amounts of selenium for the maintenance of these antioxidant functions and for selenium's other cellular functions as well.

Selenium also appears to help stimulate antibody formation in response to vaccines. This immunostimulating effect is also enhanced by vitamin E; the presence of these two nutrients can increase antibody formation by 20-30 times, as shown by research.

Selenium is thought to offer protection against cardiovascular disease, possibly by its antioxidant function but possibly by another, as yet, unknown mechanism. Epidemiological studies show an increased incidence of strokes and other cardiovascular problems in many low-selenium areas.

Selenium is also being found to have an anticarcinogenic effect; its blood or tissue levels may correlate more closely with cancer risk than those of any other substance. Public health research shows this relationship in many cases; good selenium levels correlate with low cancer rates and low levels with increased cancer rates. I do not yet know exactly how this works other than possibly through the antioxidant function. Perhaps selenium decreases cell division or helps cell repair, or perhaps it protects against mutagenic changes in the first place.

Selenium also seems to protect us from the toxic effects of heavy metals and other substances. People with adequate selenium intake have fewer adverse effects from cigarette smoking, alcohol, oxidized fats, and mercury and cadmium toxicity. Aside from the likely antioxidant influence, the specific mechanism by which selenium affords this protection is not known, though the effect is confirmed by some research.

(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  5  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Elson Haas MDElson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Sensing, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar