February 07, 2014

Selenium

    Selenium is used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including stroke and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis). It is also used for preventing various cancers including cancer of the prostatestomachlung, and skin.

Functions 

  • Selenium is required by the body for proper functioning of the thyroid gland
  • Selenium when incorporated with proteins makes selenoproteins, which are important antioxidant enzymes play a role in the immune system
  • It may help protect against free radical damage and cancer

Rich Sources 




  • Shellfish, Liver 
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Bran (Wheat, rice and oat)
  • Caviar
  • Nuts, like Brazil nuts and walnuts
  • Many fresh and saltwater fish, like tuna, cod, red snapper, and herring
  • Beef and poultry

Recommended Daily Intake 

  • 19 and older: 55 mcg
  • Pregnant women: 60 mcg
  • Breastfeeding women: 70 mcg

Deficiency 

  • Keshan disease - The lack of selenium in the soil leads to an average daily intake of less than nineteen μg per day for men and less than thirteen μg per day for women. Keshan disease results in an enlarged heart and poor heart function.
  • Kashin-Beck disease - Caused by a lack of selenium, results in osteoarthropahty. 
  • Myxedematous Endemic Cretinism - Caused by a lack of selenium, results in mental retardation.
  • In long term cases it may even lead to Hashimoto's disease, a condition in which the body's own immune system attacks the thyroid.

Symptoms

A deficiency in selenium can lead to pain in the muscles and joints, unhealthy hair, and white spots on the fingernails. 


Prone to Deficiency 

  • Smokers
  • Alcoholics
  • Women on birth control pills
  • People who suffer from a long term chronic disease
  • People having a condition that prevents your body from absorbing enough selenium such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis

Overdose 

       Too much selenium in a person’s system can lead to selenium toxicity. One of the most common occurrences associated with selenium toxicity is a condition called selenosis. Fatigue, diarrhoea, irritability, mild nerve damage, garlic breath, hair loss, gastrointestinal upset, bad breath and white blotchy nails are all symptoms which are associated with selenosis.

Sources

                    Web Md ,
                    Picture

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