Selenium is an essential trace element in the diet. In the world selenium exists in 4 forms, that is inorganic Selenite and organic Selenomethionine, but also selenate and elemental selenium. There is evidence that selenium was first founded in the 1300 by Chemist Arnold of Villanova. The official discovery date was 500 years later in 1817. Jons J. Berzalius and Johann Gahn cited that “..what Mr. Gahn and I took for tellurium is a new substance, endowed with interesting properties. The similarity to tellurium has given me occasion to name the new substance selenium”.
Selenium is a tricky customer, eat too little and it can make you ill, eat too much and it can make you ill. We actually only require 50-200mcg of Selenium a day. Selenium deficiency is characterised by a weakened immune system, fertility problems, fatigue, poor cognition, and even hypothyroidism.
The best source of selenium is a Brazil nut. In just one nut there is 70-90mcg of selenium. Other sources of selenium include, wholegrain, white fish, tuna, shellfish, rice, sunflower seeds and eggs.
Here are some health benefits of selenium :
- Selenium is used in the body to produce Glutathione Peroxidases (GPx) of which there are many. Each specific GPx is needed required to boost a different part of the immune system. Such as reducing viral infections and reducing cancerous cells etc.
- Selenium is a natural antioxidant. Antioxidants are tasked with the destruction of free radicals and keeping the body free from disease.
- Selenium is associated with male fertility. Studies have shown that selenium can increase sperm number, motility and blood flow to the reproductive organs all of which help to boost conception probabilities.