Earlier studies have found a link between low selenium and overweight, but only few and limited studies have investigated this connection in children. Therefore, Chinese researchers wanted to take a closer look, and selenium levels in nail clippings give a rather accurate picture of the body’s general selenium status. Selenium deficiency is common in many parts of the world, including parts of China and Europe.
- and selenium deficiencies are widespread
An estimated 500,000 Danes suffer from some kind of thyroid disorder, the most common of which is Hashimoto’s disease, which slows down your metabolism. The formation and activation of thyroid hormones depend on iodine and selenium, and it is essential that the two nutrients are properly balanced. Having too little or too much iodine increases your risk of Hashimoto’s disease, and the same is the case with selenium, a nutrient that many people lack.
Some of the problems that are seen in people with slow metabolism are extreme fatigue, weight gain, constipation, cold sensitivity, swollen neck, and dry skin. The symptoms can vary, however, and many people still have not been given the proper diagnosis.
Medical therapy with thyroid hormones will not necessarily solve the problem. In fact, as many as 20 percent of patients actually feel worse, although their blood tests appear to be normal. It is therefore important to focus more in the role of iodine and selenium in the metabolism.
Selenium is a constituent of at least 25 essential proteins (selenoproteins), including several antioxidants that protect cells against oxidative stress and disease. A team of researchers from Munich in Germany has mapped out the mechanisms, which the selenium-containing antioxidants use to protect neurons in the brain against cell death. The scientists see a whole new potential with selenium because of its ability to protect against neurological disorders and cancer. It is problematic, however, that we have widespread selenium deficiency in our part of the world. Even if you stick with the official dietary guidelines, it is very difficult to get enough selenium to saturate all the different selenoproteins.
- thereby contributing to far fewer cases of cardiac death
Q10 and selenium are powerful antioxidants that are important for the heart, cardiovascular system, and the energy turnover. As we grow older, our endogenous Q10 synthesis decreases, and many people lack selenium. A Swedish study has shown that older people who take supplements of Q10 and selenium have a 50 percent lower cardiovascular death rate. Another (more recent) Swedish study shows that Q10 and selenium also increase elderly peoples’ levels of IGF-1, a hormone with many functions in the body. The scientists assume that this helps reduce the risk of cardiac death among elderly people.
Even if you eat a healthy and balanced diet, it can be difficult to get enough selenium because of climate changes and nutrient depletion of the soil, especially in Europe. This was shown in a study conducted by Swiss scientists. Selenium is very important for the immune system, but how much do we need to be optimally protected against infections? There also appears to be a connection between widespread selenium deficiency and the increased rate of cancer.
- but dietary and lifestyle changes make a difference
Approximately one in seven couple is childless. Although there can be many underlying causes, poor sperm quality is an increasing problem. It may be caused by a lack of certain nutrients and exposure to different environmental factors, but, fortunately, it possible to improve sperm quality and increase the chances of conception by means of relevant dietary adjustments and the use of specific supplements. New research shows that epigenetic factors (factors that affect the environment of the sperm cell) determine sperm health and are therefore crucial for activating the genes of the sperm cell so the fetus can develop.
An international team of researchers has just completed a huge study of the possible link between maternal DNA, selenium deficiency, and preterm labor. Earlier studies have shown that women with low blood selenium have an increased risk of preterm birth and that selenium supplementation may lower that risk. A problem in that respect is that climate changes and soil depletion may increase the risk of selenium deficiencies, especially in Europe.
Climate changes and soil depletion increase the risk of selenium deficiency, especially in Europe as shown by Swiss scientists. Selenium is an essential nutrient, and existing studies clearly show that low selenium intake increases the risk of cancer, metabolic disorders, impaired immunity, poor sperm quality, and atherosclerosis. Selenium deficiencies are therefore to be taken seriously and should be prevented one way or another. A good way to get enough of the nutrient is by taking a high-quality selenium supplement.
Ageing processes are associated with loss of muscle mass and impaired physical performance, both of which tend to lower quality of life. It is commonly known that coenzyme Q10 plays a significant role in cellular energy turnover and protects against oxidative stress. Now, two independent cohort studies even show a relation between the body’s Q10 status and muscle strength. Earlier research even suggests that Q10 supplements may help older people develop more youthful muscle fibers. Individuals who take cholesterol-lowering statins are advised to take Q10 supplements.