Selenium levels linked to lower risk of premature death, decade long study reveals
(NaturalHealth365) Could something as small as trace minerals really offer that many health benefits? Research strongly indicates yes. For example, selenium levels in your body heavily influence the strength of the immune system and overall well-being.
A recent 2018 study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nutrition Health & Aging reveals exactly how powerful this tiny mineral really is, whether you get it through your diet or in a supplement form.
Study results: Higher levels of selenium linked to a longer life and lower levels of inflammation
The study in question was a prospective cohort study involving nearly 350 men and women aged 80 and older living in a small community in Italy. These subjects gave blood samples at the beginning of the study, which was called the Aging and Longevity in the Sirente geographic area, (ilSIRENTE) study.
You’ll be amazed by what the researchers found after a 10-year follow up:
- Low levels of selenium was associated with a significantly increased risk for all-cause mortality, even when controlling for confounding factors.
- Meanwhile, people with the highest levels of selenium had the lowest levels of key inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
This last point highlights exactly why selenium is so good for your health. As a small but mighty antioxidant, selenium helps to quell chronic inflammation, which is they key underlying issue of almost all chronic disease.
Understandably, other research indicates that a selenium deficiency is associated cancer, arthritis, depression, heart disease, and male infertility. And, because low levels of selenium tend to co-occur with iodine deficiency, pregnant women who don’t have enough selenium are more likely to give birth to infants with developmental problems.
Are you getting enough of this trace mineral? This is the recommended daily allowance for selenium, according to experts
As with most minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients, the exact recommended daily allowance (RDA) depends on individual factors. How old are you? What is your current state of health? Are you pregnant or nursing? As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) point out, these and other questions should be considered.
It is possible, however, to make some general recommendations based on available research. For example, most adults and kids aged 14 and up should aim for 55 micrograms (mcg) of selenium per day. Pregnant and lactating women should increase their intake to 60 mcg to 70 mcg per day, respectively.
Meanwhile, younger children need slightly less selenium for optimal health benefits. Again, from the NIH:
- Infants up to 6 months: 15 mcg
- 7 months to 3 years: 20 mcg
- 4 years to 8 years: 30 mcg
- 9 years to 13 years: 40 mcg
So, how to get this essential, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant nutrient in your system? In addition to adding a high quality selenium supplement, you can also source selenium from your diet. Top selenium-rich foods include:
- Grass fed (organic) meat and fowl including beef, ham, and chicken (3 ounces of roasted chicken contains 22 mcg of selenium, or 31% of your recommended daily intake)
- Seafood, including halibut and sardines
- Organ meat or offal, including liver, heart, and tripe (3 ounces of pan-fried beef liver contains 28 mcg of selenium, or 40% of your recommended daily intake)
- For vegetarians or vegans: Nuts, such as Brazil nuts and cashews (just 6 to 8 Brazil nuts contains a whopping 544 mcg of selenium!)
- Pasture raised (organic) eggs – 1 hard-boiled egg has 15 mcg of selenium, or 21% of your daily value
Sources for this article include: