YOU SHOULD KNOW.
Many choose to take a daily supplement for a number of reasons. They could be asked to supplement their diet by a doctor for medical reasons. They may feel that their diet isn’t sufficient in nutrients to keep them healthy due to eating limited foods or lack of appetite as they age. Or simply as a backup to their current diet. It’s very easy to pick up a vitamin supplement at the store or online for a good price. Unfortunately vitamins makers don’t all include the same things in their supplements. Some include only vitamins in their supplements, some sell supplements with both vitamins and minerals and some only minerals. So it’s very important learn about the nutrients your body needs and based on your diet or medical condition decide which vitamins and minerals you want to look for in a supplement.
Of the less well known minerals essential to the human diet is Selenium. You may already be getting enough Selenium to maintain certain body functions, but then again depending on where you live and what you eat you may not.
Selenium is a mineral and a metal found in our environment. Animals receive Selenium via plants, which take it out of the soil. So if we eat a variety of plants and meat we are likely to get some if not all of our recommended daily value (55 mcg) of Selenium. But there are many places in the world where Selenium content in the soil is very low and vegetables and animals grown in those areas will not contain enough Selenium to fill your body’s needs. Not matter how small they may be. Areas of the world that have low Selenium content in the soil are China, New Zealand and parts of the Eastern United States. So it may be a good idea to add Selenium to your vitamin regimen for this reason.
It’s not guaranteed to be found in your food the way you are guaranteed to find Vitamin C in Lemons. Selenium is essential in the body for the creation of the active thyroid hormone and without it your thyroid gland functions improperly impairing your growth and metabolism. Selenium also aids in the functioning of the antioxidant Vitamin E by helping the body absorb more of the vitamin and has some antioxidant properties itself. You may find adding Selenium to your vitamin regimen beneficial if you are specifically adding antioxidants to your diet.
Selenium is also thought to reduce the risks of developing and dying from cancer, specifically lung, colon, and prostate cancers. And a connection has been made between people living in areas of the U.S. with low selenium levels in the soil and the increased risk of developing no melanoma skin cancer, though taking selenium hasn’t been shown to reduce the risk of developing this kind of cancer. Selenium having antioxidant properties also has indications of reducing risk of developing heart disease, arthritis, and may help prevent death from HIV.
You can surely benefit from improving your diet to include more foods likely to contain Selenium such as shellfish and grains, but you can also look for a supplement that contains Selenium as one of its nutrients.