Selenium Health Benefits and the Best sources
Do you have an under active Thyroid? Are you getting the vitamins and minerals needed to support the process? Here is some info on why Selenium is important to the process. Soaking your nuts and seeds for best absorption will help your already stressed out body.
Selenium is required for the proper activity of a group of enzymes called glutathione peroxidases. (sometimes abbreviated “GPO” or “GPx” for a glutathione peroxidase enzyme.) These enzymes play a key role in the body’s detoxification system and they also provide protection against oxidative stress. (Oxidative stress is physiological circumstance in which there is excessive risk of oxygen-related damage to the body.) Of the eight known glutathione peroxidase enzymes, five of them require selenium.
In addition to the activity of glutathione peroxidase, selenium-containing enzymes are involved in recycling of vitamin C from its spent form back to its active one, allowing for greater antioxidant protection.
Support Normal Thyroid Function
A selenium-containing enzyme is responsible for transforming a less active thyroid hormone called T4 into the more active T3. As you’ll see below in the Relationship with Other Nutrients section, selenium and iodine work together to keep thyroid function strong and consistent.
Like the antioxidant protection issue, this is not just an esoteric concern. Researchers have been able to induce problems with the thyroid gland in just two months of a low-selenium diet.
Probably, if you’ve read about food sources of selenium, you’ve read about Brazil nuts as a strong source of the mineral. Depending on where they are grown, this is likely to be true—one ounce of Brazil nuts may contain as much as 10 times the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendation for selenium intake.
Other exceptionally selenium-rich foods include oysters, clams, liver, and kidney. Each of these foods is likely to contain double to triple the DRI in a serving.
Fish and shellfish make up an outsized proportion of our excellent and very good sources. After these come other animal meats, many of which fall in the very good category. Close behind are whole grains and seeds, both of which are well-represented in our good selenium sources category.