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February 13, 2010 at 10:40 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Boost Your Immunity with Selenium

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Selenium functions as an antioxidant and is found in almost every single cell in the body. It helps  thyroid gland function, blood pressure regulation, inflammation control, and detoxification. It's praised for its protection against aging; arthritic aches and pains; cancers like colorectal, prostate, and skin; cold sores; heart attack; lupus; macular degeneration; shingles; skin disorders; and stroke. Selenium is also noted to improve the body's response to flu vaccinations.

Signs of Selenium Deficiency

A deficiency in selenium increases inflammation and infection opportunities. People with a selenium deficiency are significantly less able to fight against free radicals and as a result, the deficiency in selenium makes the body more sensitive to biochemical stresses, infectious diseases, and nutritional imbalances. I(n the most extreme cases, an enlarged heart or mental retardation can result from this. In more minor cases, te organs where the highest selenium concentrations are found (and thus, the organs which selenium is most important to) - the kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen, and testes - may begin to function less efficiently than they otherwise would.

Selenium for Immunity

Simply put, selenium boosts our immune system. To illustrate, AIDS patients who have a selenium deficiency are 20 times greater to suffer an AIDS-related death than those patients with sufficient selenium in their body! The immune system is a very complex system that  requires a balanced supply of nutrients to best protect organisms against attacks by malignancy and pathogens.

Sources of Selenium

Selenium can be found in beef, brazil nuts, cereal, chicken, cod, eggs, fish, fruits, meat, tuna, vegetables, and yeast. The amount of selenium found in fruits or vegetables depends on the amount of the selenium content in the soil that it was grown in. The more selenium-depleted the soil, the more selenium-depleted the food.

Selenium supplementation is suggested for older people to protect them against influenza. Because selenium deficiencies are noted in sufferers of autoimmune diseases, selenium supplementation is advised.

Sources:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-travelling-bum/

http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamins-supplements-8/supplement-guide-selenium

http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/eating-good-health

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