Wednesday, August 11, 2010

◢◢◢◢ TRACE MINERALS SERIES::::WHAT is Selenium◣◣◣◣

YESTERDAY we wrote about a trace mineral called manganese. We forgot to discuss the importance and give a little knowledge on trace minerals so here is the run down. The two kinds of minerals are: macrominerals and trace minerals. Macro means "large" in Greek (and your body needs larger amounts of macrominerals than trace minerals). The macromineral group is made up of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur.

A trace of something means that there is only a little of it. So even though your body needs trace minerals, it needs just a tiny bit of each one. Scientists aren't even sure how much of these minerals you need each day. Trace minerals includes iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium.

Let's take a closer look at Selenium.

Selenium is important in the body's continuing fight against free radical cell damage. In the body, selenium is the source of selenoproteins, which are crucial anti-oxidant enzymes that protect cells from the damage of free radicals. Some research has linked free radicals to certain types of heart disease and cancer.

Selenoproteins also help strengthen the body's natural immune system and contributes to production of anti-bodies. Selenium is also believed to keep the thyroid functioning at peak levels.

Some studies indicate that selenium can be useful in the treatment of acne, while other research indicates that it may be useful in repairing chromosome damage. It may counteract heavy metals and other contaminants that find their way into the body. Selenium may also help in the prevention of undesired and dangerous blood clots.

Researchers have found three debilitating diseases that are directly related to serious selenium deficiency. These include Myxedematous Endemic Cretinism, Keshan Disease, and Kashin-Beck Disease.

The amount of selenium provided by plant sources depends a great deal on the soil quality in which the plants were grown. Poor soil will yield plants that may not provide the correct levels of selenium. Those who follow a vegetarian diet, particularly a vegan diet, must be extremely vigilant in making sure they consume enough selenium in their daily diets. Some natural sources of selenium are brazil nuts, garlic, fish, red meat, and grains.

Selenium is a trace mineral, meaning the body needs relatively small amounts of it. In the same way that too little can cause serious health problems, overdosing on selenium will also cause health problems. Large amounts can be toxic, and selenium supplements, like any other dietary supplement, should be kept well out of the reach of children.

Be well

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