Selenium - Life's Natural Remedy For Good Health - Why Govts Like It
Ok. We are all far too used to reading about “magic bullet” cures and treatments that will cure a rainy day. This is not one of those articles. This HUB sets out to explain some simple facts and knowledge about a tried and respected health benefit that is found in some foods; it is solid information that is getting wide interest in the area of science and health, and is even causing some governments to take it serious. And you should take this serious, since scientists are showing a lot of interest in its real benefits to our health.
If you are a person who suffers from things such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation or swelling or suffer from a depleted white cell blood count which affects the immune system, or even aching joints like knees, wrists, elbows, hips or neck stiffness – you need to be taking more Selenium. This natural trace mineral has been found to be vital for the mechanisms in our bodies that keep our joints from hurting.
It has been shown that rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have less selenium in their bodies than comparable people who do have higher levels of Selenium. Scientists attribute this drop in Selenium as indication that it plays a role in protecting inflamed tissue. Selenium is vital for proper functioning of the enzyme GSH-Px, or Glutathione Peroxidase, which guards cells against aggressive molecules called free radicals which break down the cell membrane and cause lethal damage to cells.
Selenium has been found to subdue the pain of arthritis sufferers, and reduce inflammation and swelling, and help avoid stiff and aching joints. The positive effect is noticeable after a few weeks.
WHAT IS SELENIUM?
It is a trace element, a nutrient that is found in microscopic quantities in our diet. It’s a powerful antioxidant that drives protective proteins and enzymes in the body. Scientists and nutritionists have found about 25 proteins and 30 enzymes so far. Selenium is the KEY to a well-functioning Immune system.
The best sources of Selenium are Fish, brazil nuts, whole-grain, kidney, liver and meat. Another source of Selenium is to simply take a daily supplement of organic Selenium. One particular supplement, the Danish SelenoPrecise organic selenium yeast is now patented and has shown a very high and very stable absorption in the body at 89.7%, as well as long term safety.
So how does it work? It stimulates the body’s manufacturing of “t4” or “Killer cells” (which are white blood cells.) Selenium tends to be found in high concentrations in the Brain, the Testes, and the Thyroid Gland. Some Selenium compounds (listed below) has been now linked to prevention of Cancer cell growth. Okay, that’s a bold claim right there, and needs to be explained. But first things first...
WHY DOES SELENIUM NATURALLY PROTECTS AGAINST VIRUSES?
Selenium has the capability of preventing viruses from becoming virulent through mutations. An American researcher Melinda C. Beck from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has made studies where a normally harmless virus was given to mice and it killed them because they were all selenium deficient. When the virus was given to mice with plenty of selenium, the mice survived.
In another study at the University of Miami, HIV patients who were supplemented with Selenium all did much better than patients who were given similar placebo pills. Those who received Selenium had less of the virus in their blood, and their immune cell count was far higher, and so were at a lower risk of developing full AIDS.
In more studies, scientists demonstrated links between Selenium levels and cancer rates. Professor Larry C. Clark of the University of Arizona, published a study in 1996 which linked Selenium to unseen cancer protection. By giving Selenium in tablet form to participants, Prof. Clark did the unthinkable, reducing their risk to cancer, and risk to dying of cancer by up to 50%.
Clark’s study led to more studies, many of which can be found on the net, and have been published widely. In 2005, a French study known as SU.VI.MAX (1) showed a 31% reduction of cancer in men who were given Selenium (and other antioxidants), but not in women. There was a decline in all-cause mortality in people (again found only in men) who took the supplements.
WHY GOVERNMENTS ARE TAKING SELENIUM SERIOUS
It is suspected that low levels of Selenium in Europe may be contributing towards high numbers of different kinds of cancers, one of the biggest killers in the EU. It is causing experts on health and nutrition to now question the low levels of Selenium we are all taking, and figure a way of safely getting us to absorb more of it, for our own benefit. In the UK, Professor Margaret P. Rayman from the University of Surrey, in an article in the British Medical Journal, has called on politicians to consider ways of increasing selenium intake in the general population, and the interest is growing.
The official Recommended Daily Allowance of Selenium is about 50 micrograms. It should be up around 100 – 20 micrograms. In Finland, they have taken the seriousness of Selenium intake to a significant level. In 1985, a law there was passed that demands that all fertilizers be Selenium-enriched. Since then, the rate for cardiovascular disease has dropped. As Selenium levels have fallen by 50% in the last 2 decades here, it’s time UK officials took action and allow this natural health benefit to be given to the rest of us. And why stop there. This could be of immense benefit to millions of people in countries all over the world. If it means better health for all, we should all be in favor of it.
(1) (Le Supplementation en Vitamines et Mineraux Antioxidants)
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