- or are you wasting money on the wrong supplements?
It is only natural to expect a nutritional supplement to be absorbed and deliver an effect. However, for this to happen, you must look for products with documentation. Countless multivitamin products and supplements with Q10, selenium, chromium, magnesium, and iron have very poor quality and are not properly absorbed. Our ageing process alone impairs the uptake of vitamins and minerals, and the same is the case if we lack essential fats, have too high calcium levels, or use antacids and other types of medicine – so this also needs to be taken into account.
- but researchers warn against reduced intake levels
Even if you eat a healthy and balanced diet, it can be difficult to get enough selenium because of climate changes and nutrient depletion of the soil, especially in Europe. This was shown in a study conducted by Swiss scientists. Selenium is very important for the immune system, but how much do we need to be optimally protected against infections? There also appears to be a connection between widespread selenium deficiency and the increased rate of cancer.
- that are a threat to public health
Climate changes and soil depletion increase the risk of selenium deficiency, especially in Europe as shown by Swiss scientists. Selenium is an essential nutrient, and existing studies clearly show that low selenium intake increases the risk of cancer, metabolic disorders, impaired immunity, poor sperm quality, and atherosclerosis. Selenium deficiencies are therefore to be taken seriously and should be prevented one way or another. A good way to get enough of the nutrient is by taking a high-quality selenium supplement.
An international team of researchers has just completed a huge study of the possible link between maternal DNA, selenium deficiency, and preterm labor. Earlier studies have shown that women with low blood selenium have an increased risk of preterm birth and that selenium supplementation may lower that risk. A problem in that respect is that climate changes and soil depletion may increase the risk of selenium deficiencies, especially in Europe.
Selenium is crucial for your thyroid function, immune system, cardiovascular system, and even for preventing cancer. Fish and shellfish are among the best selenium sources, but even 200 grams of fish and shellfish five days a week won’t do the trick, according to a Danish selenium study. What makes it even more difficult to obtain optimal amounts of this nutrient is that the agricultural soil in large parts of Europe is stripped of vital nutrients like selenium. Margaret P. Rayman, one of Europe’s leading experts on selenium, says that there is a direct link between the decreasing selenium intake and the increasing rate of cancers, rheumatism, infertility, and numerous other health problems. The question is, how do we humans get enough selenium?
We all get exposed to mercury, a neurotoxin that is found to a great extent in nature and in our environment. According to an EU report, mercury is a large economic burden to society because of the costs related to lowered IQ levels. For that reason alone, we should aim to limit our exposure to mercury and also take a closer look at how selenium protects against the harmful heavy metal – provided our selenium levels are adequately high.
Low selenium status increases a man's risk of prostate cancer and Danish men are particularly susceptible, according to a study published in British Journal of Nutrition. Earlier studies have shown that supplementation with selenium prevents prostate cancer, and selenium yeast has been shown to have the best effect.
- and routine screening is not enough
Cancer in the colon and rectum is rather common. One in 20 Danes gets colon cancer at some point in life. Since 2014, the Danish Health Authority has recommended a screening program, offering middle-aged and older people a screening for colon cancer every other year. If the disease is discovered in its early stage, the chances of successful treatment increase. Supplementation with organic selenium yeast has been shown to lower the risk of colorectal cancer in the first place, and selenium even has a protective effect against other cancer forms, so the nutrient is an essential part of the prevention. The problem is that selenium deficiencies are so common as a result of our nutrient-depleted soil.
– and why it is vital to get the exact right amount!
All our cells contain different selenium compounds that support a number of vital functions, and which have several cancer-fighting mechanisms. As an antioxidant, selenium prevents iron from developing some of the most harmful free radicals that can damage cellular DNA and lead to uncontrolled cell division. This is why a selenium deficiency combined with excess iron is a lethal cocktail. Although iron is essential, it is vital that we do not get too much. It is also important to get plenty of selenium from food and/or supplements and in a form that the body can absorb and utilize in each and every cell in order to be properly protected against cancerous substances.
Selenium is a trace element that supports well over 25 different selenoproteins, which are important for our energy turnover, blood sugar balance, metabolism, cell protection, and a host of other essential functions. A group of scientists from Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, has just uncovered the mechanisms involved in getting selenium into the “engine room” of the cells, from where it is metabolized into the different selenoproteins. According to the scientists, this new insight into the metabolism of selenium may lead to new therapies that can treat a variety of diseases such as diabetes, metabolic disorders, and cancer.
Selenium is a mineral that is related to sulfur. Plants take up selenium from the soil in the form of selenate, just like they take up sulfur as sulfate. The body contains around 13-20 mg of selenium, of which 50% is stored in the liver. All cells contains selenium. The highest selenium concentrations are found in the sexual glands and in semen.
Decades of intensive farming have depleted the soil. As a result, crops lack up to 40% of their essential nutrients, according to a previously published study from University of Texas and a more recent one from Switzerland. Even if you stick to the official dietary guidelines, you may have difficulty with getting enough calcium, selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and other essential micronutrients that are required for good health.