Breast cancer is the leading cancer form among women. Even though treatments have gotten a lot better the disease still has a high death toll. A Swedish-German study shows that having low levels of seleniumin the blood worsens the prognosis, whereas having a higher selenium content in the blood can increase the odds of surviving breast cancer. Unfortunately, selenium deficiency is rather common in Europe. According to the scientists behind the new study, measurements of selenium status can be used to optimize blood levels of the nutrient, thereby improving treatment correspondingly.
Selenium supports a host of different metabolic processes and serves as an antioxidant that protects our cells. According to recent studies, selenium also has anti-ageing properties that protect us against cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, and other age-related diseases. According to a review article published in Medical News Today, selenium also helps against impaired immunity and counteracts chronic inflammation, which is typically seen in connection with ageing processes. A Swedish study of healthy seniors has even showed that supplementation with selenium and Q10 has a positive effect on heart function, quality of life, and life expectancy.
During pregnancy, the unborn child needs different nutrients for proper development of its brain and nervous system. Even if the mother eats a balanced diet, it can be difficult to get enough selenium for a number of reasons. In a new Italian animal study that is published in Nutrients, scientists have looked closer at selenium’s role during pregnancy and lactation. They observed that even minor selenium deficiencies can have a negative effect on the offspring’s brain development and behavior. This study supports earlier human studies showing how vital it is for the mother to get plenty of selenium during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It’s commonly known that physical activity boosts the brain’s ability to form new brain cells – or neurons. Still, the underlying mechanisms have been a mystery to science. A team of Australian scientists, however, has recently discovered that, during exercise, mice produce a selenium-containing protein that helps the brain synthesize new brain cells. The scientists consider this to be a rather fantastic study, and it is assumed that selenium therapy may be used in the future to prevent and treat cognitive decline in people who are unable to carry out physical exercise or in those likely to be selenium-deficient. This is particularly relevant for Alzheimer’s patients and people who have suffered a stroke. It should be added that it can be quite a challenge to get enough selenium from an otherwise balanced diet in our part of the world.
Selenium is an essential trace element of vital importance to our general health. The nutrient is also important for our gut flora, and being selenium-deficient may increase the risk of irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory gut diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerous colitis, and even bowel cancer. Our intestine is also called our “third brain” because both our gut flora and digestion have a significant influence on our mental well-being, according to a review article published in Frontiers in Nutrition. The authors focus on selenium because selenium deficiencies are common in China, Europe, and many other places, and supplementation may be necessary.
The corona crisis has shed new light on the importance of having a strong immune defense, one that protects us against virus infections in the long run. Selenium plays a vital role for a number of different reasons but, unfortunately, there is widespread deficiency which increases the risk of infections and related complications. In a new review article that is published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, the authors look closer at selenium’s role in connection with different types of virus infections such as influenza, HIV, and hepatitis with particular focus on COVID-19. The purpose of their article is to inform about new nutritional strategies that may contribute to a strong and well-functioning immune defense – mainly when it comes to COVID-19 and virus types that tend to mutate all the time.