trace mineral selenium makes its way into our bodies because it is contained
in certain foods. Over time, it becomes part of nearly every cell, with
particularly high concentrations in the kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen,
has many tasks to perform in the body. It helps to boost the immune system
and fight off infection, providing a general increase in the body's defense
against dangerous bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. On a basic cellular
level, every cell in the body needs a particular hormone from the thyroid
gland that selenium helps to convert to an active form.
the most famed use of selenium in supplement form is as an antioxidant;
it helps to mop up dangerous molecules known as free radicals that can
damage and alter healthy cells. It has also been recommended for staving
off the effects of aging. In many cases there's relatively weak evidence
for these uses. But not all.
may help to:
cancer. Test-tube studies indicate that in addition to fostering healthy
cell growth and division, selenium discourages the formation of tumors.
When researchers at Cornell University and the University of Arizona pooled
results from 5-year studies designed to assess the effects of selenium
supplements (200 mcg daily), they came up with some startling findings:
Compared with the rest of the population, participants had 63% fewer prostate
cancers, 58% fewer colorectal tumors, and 46% fewer lung cancers. Overall,
their death rate from cancer was 39% lower than the average.