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What is Selenium, and what foods provide it?

2004-06-03 12:59

Selenium: What is it?

Selenium is an essential trace mineral in the human body. This nutrient is an important part of antioxidant enzymes that protect cells against the effects of free radicals that are produced during normal oxygen metabolism. The body has developed defenses such as antioxidants to control levels of free radicals because they can damage cells and contribute to the development of some chronic diseases. Selenium is also essential for normal functioning of the immune system and thyroid gland.

What foods provide selenium?

Plant foods are the major dietary sources of selenium in most countries throughout the world. The amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the plant foods that are grown in that soil. Researchers know that soils in the high plains of northern Nebraska and the Dakotas have very high levels of selenium. People living in those regions generally have the highest selenium intakes in the United States. Soils in some parts of China and Russia have very low amounts of selenium and dietary selenium deficiency is often reported in those regions.

Selenium also can be found in some meats and seafood. Animals that eat grains or plants that were grown in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their muscle. In the United States, meats and bread are common sources of dietary selenium. Some nuts, in particular Brazil nuts and walnuts, are also very good sources of selenium. The table of food sources of selenium suggests many dietary sources of selenium.

What is the Recommended Dietary Allowance for selenium for adults?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98%) individuals in each life-stage and gender group.

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Provided by the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements email: ods@nih.gov.

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Comments

I have always had an interest in what foods and vitamins and minerals are good for my body , it's been about 3 to 4 months iv'e been doing different research on a lot of different foods that will hep me especially because i have Lupus. This is very important to me and thought that it will help others.
For Lupus - I have been convinced by a gentleman who overcame Agent Orange Sickness and was at 'Deaths Door' that his growing knowledge connected with the facts of LUPUS & FIBROMYALGIA, ARTHRITIS, CHRONIC PAIN etc.( BOOK by Harvey Diamond.) Will help YOU. Eat ONLY well washed, certified Organic, Fresh RAW (Uncooked) fruit and vegetables, for a couple of days or if OK continue for a whole week - see how you feel and then make it a more rotating practice over a few weeks, but keep up Enzyme Supplements. NO Sugar, NO Dairy, NO Salt - You'll find your way 'Dear Heart'. Along with a good ENZYME supplement to aid digestion and thus support much better nutrition for all the cells of your body and enabling toxins to be expelled. It's the TOXINS in everything today that are causing all these illnesses just like Scurvy was in Sailors who went without Vitamin C from Fruit & Vegies, living on salted meats etc.and obviously without a lot of other Vitamins to, but this is just an example - Malnutrition (NOT YOUR FAULT) is such a big thing today due to all the interference, long storage, GM foods, poor soil quality and chemicals etc. etc. These illnesses must be caused by Nutrient Deficiencies!! This is why Medical Doctors have no clue to cause or effective treatment, because they are NEVER taught NUTRITION at Medical School. I WISH YOU THE VERY BEST SUCCESS. With my Blessings. Jill - Victoria AUSTRALIA
I agree with you Victoria Medical Doctors they do not know and they will not tell you what is good for you so you go back again to see them this way they stay in business . One gram off prevention better than one ton off treatment , I am sixty years old and i do not have any health problem , try to be vegetarian , drink every day ginger tea ( home made fresh ginger ), Almond , Walnut , Black Seeds , Flack seeds powder , drink every day olive oil , home made yogurt . Sure you have to watch you diet and exercise , do not eat too much red meat . Good Luck Shukri Mohammad U.S.A