Selenium is a trace element that has antioxidant properties and could prevent the occurrence of certain cancers. It is used in many food supplements.
What is selenium for?
Selenium has an antioxidant action, meaning it fights free radicals. Clearly, selenium slows aging processes and some metabolic disorders of cells. This trace element participates in our immune defense system. Selenium is also involved in the functioning of the thyroid, and in the synthesis of the male hormone - testosterone.
Prevention of "aging" and certain cancers
If this antioxidant function of selenium is beyond doubt, it remains to define the applications and especially the advantage of possible supplementation. Thus, sufficient daily doses of 200 micrograms of selenium may decrease the risk of certain cancers, such as that of the prostate. Studies have also shown the benefits of selenium and other antioxidants in preventing cancer in men.
Recommended nutritional intake
Recommended daily intakes of selenium are around 55 micrograms for adults and 70 micrograms for pregnant or breastfeeding women. In principle, our diet provides enough selenium, and a lack is quite rare. This sometimes affects people with chronic bowel disease who have problems with digestive absorption. Selenium deficiency can cause a slight decline in male fertility, disruption of immune defenses. An excess of selenium - caused by too much supplementation - can cause skin problems and nails (brittle), abdominal pain ...