Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential for human health. It is found in soil, water, and some foods. The human body needs selenium to perform several important functions, including DNA synthesis, thyroid hormone metabolism, and immune system function. However, too much or too little selenium can have negative effects on human health.
Selenium deficiency is rare in developed countries but is still a problem in some parts of the world. Symptoms of selenium deficiency can include muscle weakness, fatigue, and an increased risk of certain diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
While selenium is important for human health, too much selenium can be toxic. Symptoms of selenium toxicity can include hair loss, nausea, and neurological problems. High levels of selenium can also increase the risk of certain cancers.
Selenium and Thyroid Health
Selenium is important for thyroid health because it helps to convert the inactive form of thyroid hormone (T4) into the active form (T3). A lack of selenium can lead to an underactive thyroid, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and depression. However, too much selenium can also negatively impact thyroid function.
Selenium and Immune System Function
Selenium is important for immune system function because it helps to produce antioxidants that protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Selenium deficiency can lead to a weakened immune system, making it easier for the body to be infected by viruses and bacteria.
Selenium and Cancer
Selenium may have anti-cancer properties, as studies have shown that selenium supplementation may reduce the risk of certain cancers. However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between selenium and cancer.
Selenium and Heart Health
Selenium may also have a positive effect on heart health. Studies have shown that selenium supplementation may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel function and reducing inflammation in the body.
Selenium and Fertility
Selenium may also be important for fertility, as studies have shown that selenium supplementation may improve sperm motility and reduce the risk of miscarriage in women. However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between selenium and fertility.
Selenium is an important trace mineral that is essential for human health. While too little selenium can lead to negative health effects, too much selenium can also be toxic. It is important to maintain a balance of selenium in the body through diet and supplementation when necessary.