Selenium is a trace element found in soil and is required to maintain good health in trace amounts. In food, the mineral is found in Brazil nuts, poultry, seafood, and meats, while significant amounts are found in oats and brown rice.
A deficiency of selenium is rare but symptoms can include muscular weakness and fatigue. Conversely, too much selenium will result in depression, nausea, vomiting, nervousness, loss of hair, and a bad odor on your fingernails.
Selenium aids in many of the metabolic pathways and may help treat prostate cancer; ongoing research is exploring the relationship between low selenium levels and coronary heart disease.
Selenium also benefits the skin during healing following burn injuries. Shampoo with selenium may alleviate dandruff problems. For skin care, selenium’s antioxidant properties regenerate vitamins E and C, thereby decreasing the aging of skin.
Major benefits of selenium have been found to improve the immune system against bacterial and viral infections, against cancer cells and herpes virus, cold sores, and shingles. One of the major nutritional benefits of selenium is increasing the HDL cholesterol to LDL cholesterol for a healthy heart.
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