Selenium;Everything you need to know about selenium!

Selenium is a non metal present in our bodies in small amounts. It is commonly found in water and  and is known for its antioxidant properties. It was first discovered in Stockholm in 1817 and was named after the Greek goddess Selene, the goddess of the moon..

Recommended levels of selenium

There is no real recommended daily dose of selenium. For adults, the LARN – Recommended Nutrient Intake Levels for the Italian population – and the American RDA – Recommended Dietary Allowance – recommend a selenium intake of 55 μg / day.Various parameters concerning selenium will be summarized in the following tables; in particular: RDA, PRI, AR and UL.

Population RDA *
Adults 55μg / day
Pregnant and Nutritious 65-75μg / day
Infants up to 6 months 10μg / day
Children between 6 and 12 months 15μg / day
Children between 1 and 6 years old 20μg / day
Children between 7 and 10 years old 30μg / day
Children between 11 and 14 years old 40μg / day

RDA : Recommended Dietary Allowance

Population PRI *
Infants 6-12 months 20μg / day
Children 1-3 years old 19μg / day
Children 4-6 years 25μg / day
Children 7-10 years 34μg / day
Male teenagers 11-14 49μg / day
Male teenagers 15-17 55μg / day
Female adolescents 11-14 48μg / day
Female adolescents 15-17 55μg / day
Men 55μg / day
Women 55μg / day
Pregnancy 60μg / diee
Feeding time 70μg / day

 

Population AR *
Infants 6-12 months na
Children 1-3 years old 16μg / day
Children 4-6 years 20μg / day
Children 7-10 years 30μg / day
Male teenagers 11-14 41μg / day
Male teenagers 15-17 45μg / day
Female adolescents 11-14 40μg / day
Female adolescents 15-17 45μg / day
Men 45μg / day
Women 45μg / day
Pregnancy 50μg / day
Feeding time 60μg / day

* AR : average requirement for the Italian population, from  LARN – Recommended Nutrient Intake Levels for the Italian population

Population UL *
Infants 6-12 months na
Children 1-3 years old 60μg / day
Children 4-6 years 90μg / day
Children 7-10 years 130μg / day
Male teenagers 11-14 200μg / day
Male teenagers 15-17 250μg / day
Female adolescents 11-14 200μg / day
Female adolescents 15-17 250μg / day
Men 300μg / day
Women 300μg / day
Pregnancy 300μg / day
Feeding time 300μg / day

Selenium deficiency symptoms

There are specific pathologies and bad habits that can produce a decrease in selenium levels , such as smoking and alcohol, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease .

Should a deficiency condition occur , there are many health disorders that could occur, such as:

  • visual disturbances
  • headache
  • asthma
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • nausea
  • depression
  • male infertility
  • dizziness
  • tendency to gain weight.

In all these cases, significant improvements have been observed by integrating selenium into the diet. Today it is rare to report a condition of deficiency, with the exception of poor countries and very elderly subjects with serious intestinal problems.

Selenium as an antioxidant

This chemical element acts directly as an antioxidant , fighting the chemical bonds that lead to the formation of  free radicals , dangerous molecules for our body. It therefore helps to preserve the elasticity of the tissues, improving the action of collagen.

Discover the properties of these metals useful for our body:

  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Iron

Selenium and thyroid

Did you know that this mineral also acts on the function of the thyroid?  Its concentration in this gland is very high. It is involved, together with iodine, in the production of thyroid hormones and a deficiency of it would cause serious problems.

Selenium properties

There are many therapeutic properties of selenium , let’s discover them together:

  • preserves memory : with old age, this mineral  tends to decrease in our body. Some research has found a correlation between this phenomenon and cognitive decline, such as memory loss .
  • Prevention of heart disease: it is also implicated in the fluidification of the blood , preventing the viscosity of the platelets and therefore the possibility of developing blood clots. The latter are the basis of stroke, heart disease, pulmonary embolism and renal failure.
  • It prevents flu symptoms : just like vitamin C , a good dose of this mineral protects against colds , coughs and sore throats .
  • The selenium is also valuable for the health of our hair . Being involved in fact in the production of proteins, present in the same hair, improves the growth rhythms of our hair. In addition to zinc, it therefore offers valuable support for our image too!

Selenium and cancer

Some research has highlighted the correlation between high levels of selenium and less chance of developing  cancer of the bladder, prostate, lung and some gastrointestinal forms.

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