What Are Selenium Supplements Used For?
Selenium is one of the very important nutrients the human body needs, our bodies cannot function properly without it; therefore we have to from our diets.
Without Selenium, the immune system, the heart, joints, eyes, and the reproductive system suffer. It has several nutrients that are known to have an antioxidant property which means selenium plays a part in as a chemical reaction to stop free radicals from damaging cells and DNS.
Selenium is available in multivitamin/ multimineral supplements and as a stand-alone supplement often in forms of selenomethionine or of selenium-enriched yeast (grown in high selenium medium) or as sodium selenite.
The human body absorbs more than 90% of selenomethionine but only about 50% of selenium from selenite.
The purpose of selenium supplements is for those with health conditions that might put them at risk for selenium deficiency e.g. it helps people with asthma and reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
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The kidney dialysis patients may also become low in selenium because of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin which selenium levels in the blood.
In such cases, that’s where selenium supplements come in. The supplements will deliver the selenium in various forms including selenite and sodium selenite.
Selenium levels are low in people living with HIV because of inadequate intakes (Mostly in developing countries) excessive losses due to diarrhea and malabsorption.
Studies have found an association between lower selenium concentrations in people living with HIV and an increased risk of cardiomyopathy, death and in pregnant women, HIV transmission to offspring and early death of offspring.
Selenium supplements can reduce the risk of hospitalization and prevent increases in HIV-1 viral load, preventing HIV-1 viral load progression can lead to increases in a number of CD4 cells, a type of white blood cells that fights infections.
In pregnant women, selenium, supplements can prevent early death in infants and has no effects on maternal viral load or CD4 counts.
Taking too much selenium for instance (400 mcg daily) has potentially been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. In some cases, it’s kind of difficult to know if you are taking too much or enough that being said, unless you’re taking a supplement it’s difficult to “overdose” on selenium that’s naturally occurring in foods.
In some situations, people who smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol are more likely to have low selenium levels and ulcerative and other conditions that interfere with how the body absorbs selenium can lead to very low selenium levels.
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Selenium deficiency produces biochemical changes that might predispose people to experience additional stresses and develop a certain illness.
It can lead to many health conditions that are deadly, so it is important to know if you have enough selenium in your body.
If you think you are not getting enough selenium, talk to your nutritionist and see if selenium supplements are good for you as they are appropriate for people experiencing selenium deficiency.
We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist etc.) about your interest in taking the selenium supplements and your health.