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Selenium – a trace element discovered by a Swedish chemist Berzelius in 1817. For almost one century it didn’t arouse larger interest among scientists because of its scarce occurrence. It was mistakenly believed that it has only toxic effect on humans. Currently, selenium is quite well-known mineral and according to scientific knowledge it plays a very important role in the functioning of the human organism.
Thyroid hormone conversion
In order to protect yourself from the symptoms of hypothyroidism, which currently is so common, you should take care not only about efficient hormone production by thyroid, but also about efficient conversion of metabolically inactive hormone in its active version.
Thyroid produces thyroxine (T4) at the amount of around 80% and triiodothyronine (T3) in only 20%, which makes the main source of triiodothyronine the conversion in peripheral tissues. To transform T4 into T3 it is necessary to disconnect one iodine molecule, for which special enzymes are responsible – deiodinases. As it turns out, selenium is a component molecule of these enzymes and plays an incredibly important role in maintaining their high efficiency.
The titular enzyme is one of the most important factors which are influenced by selenium supply. It is an oxygenated form of glutathione, which is the main endogenous antioxidant. Glutathione peroxidase is responsible for neutralizing peroxides, among others hydrogen peroxide.
Peroxide reduction is another important factor for the health of thyroid gland. During the process of iodine conversion to the form able to build thyroid hormones, hydrogen peroxide is produced, as a byproduct. It may destroy the structure of thyroid tissue, which makes it worth taking care about its efficient naturalization.
Free oxygen radicals reduction
Selenium helps in the efficient removal of reactive oxygen forms, which are intensively produced during many biochemical reactions in our organism. Their excess may be the cause of faster aging of the organism because of damaging healthy cells. Oxidative stress reduction is one of the main aspects, that people aiming at longevity take care of.
Immunity to infections
The increase of lymphocytes and macrophages production simulated by selenium may contribute to strengthening defense line of the organism against microorganisms and improve immunity. It is an important matter, especially during the period of fall and winter, when our immune system, due to frequent exposures to low temperatures may have a tough task to perform.
Diseases related to selenium deficits
The country, in which the intake of selenium is exceptionally low is China, therefore the majority of observations regarding selenium deficits is carried out there. Statistical Chinese’s intake of this element with a diet is only 50% of the recommended supply.
The two diseases directly related to selenium shortages is Keshan and Kashin-Beck disease. The first one means cardiomyopathy, therefore deficits are especially dangerous for people with the increased risk of heart diseases. The second is joint cartilage dystrophy.
An important matter is also the influence of selenium on fertility in men. It turns out that this element has a wide influence on the process of spermatogenesis and its shortage may entail worse quality of sperm and eventually infertility.
We cannot skip the fact of frequent cancer developments, correlated to low selenium supply. Cancers are related to the lack of this mineral and may attack especially prostate, head and neck, lungs and breasts. Cancer diseases touch more and more people, therefore it is worth paying special attention to its prophylaxis, at the state when we don’t have any problems yet.
Lack of yeasts
In dietary supplements containing selenium usually there is this element obtained from yeasts. Unfortunately it is a strong and frequent allergen, therefore for many people these supplements may be problematic. In the case of Swanson’s supplement, we don’t need to worry about yeasts, as the raw material used to production is free from them.
The form of selenium contained in the supplement, which is l-selenomethionine, enjoys especially good opinion, because of its great assimilability. It is a molecule engaging selenium with amino acid – methionine, in which selenium occupies around 40% of the mass.
Swanson Selenium is recommended to people dealing with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease and those who complain about weak immunity and excessively frequent infections. The effects are especially visible among people with selenium deficits diagnosed in blood tests.
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