Selenium deficiency linked to increased risk of premature death
(NaturalHealth365) Recent research reveals that a deficiency in an essential trace mineral may result in a greater risk of mortality among older adults. Study results published recently in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that selenium deficiency is linked to an increased incidence of death over a period of 6.8 years.
Selenium is known to work with vitamin E to act as an antioxidant in stopping the formation of free radicals. Study results are now helping scientists to understand that this trace mineral plays a significant role in fighting a number of cancers and other conditions impacted by oxidative stress and inflammation.
Study reveals: Increased risk of cardiovascular death
Researchers studied 449 older men and women who took part in a epidemiology project conducted in southeast Sweden. The study’s enrollment began in January 2003, with each participant’s serum selenium levels measured for a baseline. Levels were measured again in 48 months in 98 of the subjects.
Over the course of the next seven years, through February 2010, there were 122 deaths, including 85 attributable to some form of cardiovascular disease. When researchers looked at only those subjects whose selenium levels placed them in the lowest quartiles for serum selenium levels, they observed an adjusted 43 percent increase in risk of death from any cause and a 56 percent increased risk of cardiovascular-related death when compared to the rest of the study’s subjects with higher serum selenium levels.
Conventionally-trained doctors remain uneducated about selenium deficiency
If you have not considered a selenium supplementation in the past, you aren’t alone. Most physicians, in fact, assume their patients are getting enough selenium from the plant-based foods consumed, so the need for a selenium supplement does not routinely come up.
But in many places across the United States, as well as several other regions around the globe, such as China and Russia, there is evidence that it is no longer safe to assume you will be able to get adequate selenium from the plants you fit into your diet.
Consider the dosage and decide for yourself.
The adult’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for selenium is 55 micrograms per day. Women who are pregnant or lactating will need a slightly higher level of selenium at 60 and 70 micrograms per day, respectively.
Editor’s note: Keep in mind, most RDA numbers are outdated and way too low for optimal health. The numbers are given to you as a “starting point” – but we suggest talking to a trusted, healthcare provider with enough nutritional supplement experience to help you avoid a selenium deficiency.
There are selenium supplements available or you may alter your diet to assure adequate levels of selenium through the foods you eat. One of the simplest ways to add selenium to your daily intake is to increase your consumption of foods containing high levels of selenium. For example, Brazil nuts have a whopping 543 mg of selenium in a one-ounce serving.
Certain foods from the sea, such as halibut, lobster, oysters and tuna, contain relatively high amounts of selenium compared with other foods. In addition, foods containing relatively high levels of selenium include sunflower seeds, egg, and whole grain bread.