In our ‘Supplement Focus’ at Birch and Wilde, we hone in on specific supplements so that you know exactly what they do, why you need them, and how they benefit your wellbeing.
If you’re new to supplementing you might not have heard of Selenium, as it’s one of the lesser known minerals. However, being low in Selenium can have quite a negative impact on your wellbeing, so it’s an important one too!
In today’s Supplement Focus we explain what Selenium is, and some key benefits for using it. So, if you’re interested in how to help create a bit more balance in your body, then grab a nice cuppa, settle down, and read on!
What is Selenium?
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant which synergises with Vitamin E, which means that it works well when taken alongside it. Deficiency symptoms include regular infections, high blood pressure, age spots, infertility, eye issues like cataracts, or dandruff – and it can help with many of these things.
Often found in plants and grains, it is naturally very abundantly occurring in Brazil Nuts and tuna, so chances are if you eat plenty of Brazil Nuts, lots of greens and a good selection of grains, you are getting somewhere near enough daily.
However, if you eat a restricted diet, are often to busy to prep every single meal from fresh, or suffer a nut or fish allergy (for example), then supplementation can be a great way to avoid deficiency.
** Please note you should always follow advised doses to avoid any toxicity as over-dosing can cause its own set of symptoms / issues. The current recommended daily allowance is 55mcg and 55mcg - 75mcg should be sufficient, unless your GP has recommended a higher dose due to diagnosed deficiency. Supplemental doses in excess of 400mcg daily may be toxic).
As an anti-oxidant, Selenium is great as it neutralises potentially nasty free radicals, helping prevent lots of diseases and reduce inflammation. It is also important for many things like good metabolism, keeping muscles healthy (especially the heart), helping eye sight, supporting the liver, and has a role to play in healthy sperm production too.
Although Selenium is important for lots of things, today we are looking at our Top 5 Favourite Benefits Of Selenium…
Improved Immunity & Protection
Firstly, Selenium is a supplement which increases white blood cell production, and so this is great because it helps you to fight infection! It’s a really useful immunity booster.
Being an anti-oxidant as well, Selenium is a powerful protector and it may therefore help you in staying strong against disease generally. It plays a part in stopping free-radicals (unstable molecules from the environment) from damaging your cells and DNA.
Hair, Nails, Skin and Joint Support
Selenium can also help to reduce dandruff and improve the elasticity of the skin, as well as potentially helping improve acne and the condition of your nails. All good stuff! In general, it provides the minerals needed to have healthier and stronger hair, nails and skin.
There are also studies that suggesting that Selenium supplementation may help with Arthritis symptoms (both Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis). However, more research is needed before this can be confirmed either way - if we hear of studies that support this, we will be sure to let you know!
Supporting Men and Women
Selenium supplements are said to support both sexes, just in slightly different ways!
For men, it is really essential for sperm production and its role is pivotal in maintaining male fertility. So this can be really useful to know (especially if you are looking to start or grow a family).
If you are a woman, Selenium is can also be really useful during the time of menopause. It has been found to be particularly good if you suffer from hot flushes as it is said to help alleviate such symptoms.
Some studies have supported that supplementing with it may just help with symptoms of this and related conditions (like cognitive function and memory, as well as changes in hair, skin and nails). More research is needed to confirm this for definite, but (because we are curious!) we have also been innovatively trialing this ourselves here at Birch and Wilde, so we will let you know what we find!
Selenium is an anti-oxidant, preventing oxidative modification of lipids, reducing inflammation and preventing platelets from aggregating. This means Selenium is also good at helping to maintain a healthy heart and vascular system (a possibly to help prevent things like heart disease). Overall it is an essential mineral for supporting good cardiovascular health.
Will You Be Trying A selenium Supplement? Do You Use One Already?
As you can see, there are many beautiful benefits that this magnificent mineral offers for our bodies. It is not something to just supplement without really looking into, because you want to make sure the levels are right (we definitely don’t advocate taking too much so make sure you are following doses safely and please double check with your GP if you are unsure of anything).
However, if you are noticing you’re struggling a little in some or all of these areas, then maybe it’s worth a little more investigation. Who knows what a positive difference it could make to your world.
Please let us know your thoughts and how you get on!
Lots of love as always xx