Selenium is an essential trace element for the body, yet little known. Due to its low levels in the diet, many people are deficient in selenium. Nutrimuscle explains the benefits of this trace element and the ways to prevent a deficiency through diet and supplementation.
What is selenium?
Selenium is a trace element, that is to say an essential mineral that the body needs in small quantities to function normally . It is present in some foods, such as seafood and whole grains, but its content varies greatly between geographic regions. Selenium is important for health because it plays a key role in protecting cells against free radicals and in the normal functioning of the immune system.
Free radicals are unstable and reactive molecules produced naturally by the body in response to various factors such as stress, pollution and ultraviolet rays. If these free radicals are not removed quickly, they can damage cells and tissues, contributing to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Selenium is also important for the immune system, as it plays a role in the production of white blood cells that help fight infections and disease. Additionally, selenium is a key component of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that protects cells against oxidative damage. These are responsible for soreness after training.
The benefits of selenium
Protection of cells against free radicals
Selenium plays a key role in protecting cells from free radicals, which can damage DNA and cause chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that contains selenium, acts as an antioxidant to protect cells by neutralizing free radicals.
As part of sports practice, selenium helps reduce muscle aches. In polluted places, free radicals are more concentrated. An athlete who trains in these places has every interest in supplementing with selenium to reduce muscle damage and improve performance.
Normal functioning of the immune system
Selenium is also important for the normal functioning of the immune system, as it contributes to the production of antibodies and the immune response. Studies have shown that adequate levels of selenium in the body can help reduce the risk of infections and autoimmune diseases.
The role of selenium in the prevention of certain diseases
Selenium may also help prevent certain diseases. For example, studies have shown that men with high levels of selenium in the body have a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Selenium may also benefit people with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, because it helps reduce inflammation.
Food sources of selenium
Foods have varying amounts of selenium depending on the concentration in the soils where they were grown. The main dietary sources of this element are seafood, whole grains, Brazil nuts, beans, mushrooms, chicken and liver.
Seafood is richest in selenium, particularly oysters which contain around 160 µg per 100 g. Fish such as tuna, salmon, hake and shrimp are also important sources.
Whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat bread are also foods rich in selenium. Brazil nuts are also rich in this trace mineral, with a single nut containing approximately 68 to 91 mcg.
It should be noted that food preparation can also affect selenium content. Cooking, processing and storing foods can reduce the amount they contain.
Why take a selenium treatment?
For health as well as in sport, selenium supplementation is always welcome to boost your immune system and regulate your hormones. Indeed, given that the body does not synthesize this trace element, it is possible to suffer from a deficiency if the diet is not adapted.
Although some foods contain selenium, many people may have deficiencies due to low levels in certain foods or illnesses such as Crohn's disease. For sedentary people and athletes alike, selenium provides many benefits. In health and sport, selenium supplementation is always welcome to boost your immune system and regulate your hormones.
When and how to take selenium?
Nutrimuscle selenium can be consumed at any time of the day but we recommend taking it during a meal, because the proteins and carbohydrates improve its assimilation. 1 to 2 capsules per day covers your daily selenium intake.
Be careful not to exceed the recommended doses. Excess selenium (>400 µg) can cause adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. For adults, the recommended dose is 200 mcg of selenium per day.
What you must remember
Selenium plays a crucial role in protecting our cells against free radicals and ensuring the proper functioning of our immune system. Foods high in selenium include seafood, whole grains, Brazil nuts, beans, mushrooms, chicken and liver.
Dietary supplements can help prevent selenium deficiency, but excessive consumption can lead to adverse effects. By incorporating selenium-rich foods into our diet, we can benefit from its health benefits without the risk of side effects.