Should We Worry About Selenium Deficiency

You probably don't need to worry about selenium deficiency, if you eat well and/or take a multi-vitamin/mineral. However, Keshan disease, a disease that can cause poor heart function, has been observed in low-selenium areas of China, where dietary intake is less than 19 mcg per day for men and less than 13 mcg per day for women. This intake is significantly lower than the current RDA for selenium. Also, selenium deficiency may affect thyroid function because selenium is essential for the synthesis of active thyroid hormone.

What's more, researchers believe selenium deficiency may worsen the effects of iodine deficiency on thyroid function, and that adequate selenium nutritional status may help protect against some of the neurological effects of iodine deficiency.

Food for Thought_

Selenium and Arthritis

The body's immune system naturally makes free radicals that can help destroy invading organisms and damaged tissue, but that can also harm healthy tissue. Selenium, as an antioxidant, may help control levels of free radicals and help to relieve symptoms of arthritis.

Selenium and HIV/AIDS

Selenium deficiency is commonly associated with HIV or AIDS, and has been associated with a high risk of death from this disease. Researchers believe that selenium may be important in HIV disease because of its role in the immune system and as an antioxidant. Today scientists are actively investigating the role of selenium in HIV or AIDS, and see a need for clinical trials that evaluate the effect of selenium supplementation on HIV disease progression.

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