WHY IS SELENIUM SO IMPORTANT?


Selenium is a trace mineral, which means we only need a little but our bodies cannot make it we have to get it from our diet. It is found naturally in the soil and certain foods.

Countries such as New Zealand, have notoriously low levels of selenium in the soil. China, Russia and parts of Europe also appear to have low soil selenium.

Selenium is an essential component of a group of enzymes and proteins called, selenoproteins, that help make DNA and protect against cell damage and infection.

SELENIUM IS IMPORTANT FOR:

IMMUNE FUNCTION, HEART HEALTH, COGNITIVE DECLINE SUCH AS ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, MOOD DISORDERS, PROTECTION FROM CANCER, HEAVY METAL DETOXIFICATION, THYROID FUNCTION, FERTILITY.

Selenium is an important antioxidant and along with iodine, is a vital component in the formation and metabolism of thyroid hormones.


SOME PEOPLE ARE MORE GENETICALLY PRONE TO SELENIUM DEFICIENCY THAN OTHERS.

" There is reason to believe that individual requirements for Selenium will differ because of polymorphisms in selenoprotein genes" (Ferguson and Karunasinghe 2011; Hesketh and Meplan 2011)


GLUTATHIONE PEROXIDASE - GPx1 Pro198Leu (C>T) is one of the most important selenium-dependent antioxidant enzymes, expressed in almost all tissues in the body.

This enzyme is essential for recycling the critical antioxidant, GLUTATHIONE.

GLUTATHIONE is needed to protect our cells from oxidative damage from free radicals. For GPx1 to operate effectively, it needs SELENIUM.

The T allele of GPx1 has been linked to a disturbed antioxidant balance and has been associated with increased risk for chronic disease, including certain cancers and coronary artery disease. This is particularly relevant when these individuals have a low fruit and vegetable diet, and smoke and have a high alcohol intake.

There is also an individual genetic response to selenium supplementation.

In individuals with the C allele (CC genotype), GPx activity is more noticeably observed after selenium supplementation when baseline levels were previously low. Therefore, the C allele is more responsive to selenium intake.


STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU HAVE A SNP ON GPx1 OR TEST LOW FOR SELENIUM.

* Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables

* Supplement selenium if needed

* Reduce alcohol, Choose red wine due to the resveratrol content.

* Avoid exposure to toxins, heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives.

* STOP smoking

* Women with the T allele should be cautious of HRT.

* Supplement with glutathione or NAC.

FOOD SOURCES OF SELENIUM:

BRAZIL NUTS contain the highest amount of Se.

Sardines

Turkey

Chicken breast

Eggs

Sunflower seeds

Mushrooms

Broccoli

BRAZIL NUT AND TARRAGON PESTO. Taken from EAT to HEAL (Debbi Nathan & Helen Nathan)

* handful of flat-leaf parsley

* 6 large Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped

* 1 tbsp tarragon

* 1 large clove of garlic, chopped

* 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

* 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

* 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese ( or vegan cheese)

* salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  1. In a mini food processor, combine parsley with Brazil nuts, 2 tbsp water, tarragon, garlic and lemon zest and pulse to a coarse paste.

  2. Add 3 tbsp olive oil and the Parmesan and process to a slightly smooth paste, adding more oil if needed.

  3. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.

WISHING GOOD HEALTH TO ALL!!