The trace mineral selenium (Se) is a very important component of the body’s defense against toxicity. Studies conducted on selenium demonstrate its ability to influence the function of Glutathione, a powerful endogenously-produced antioxidant. Selenium is also essential for thyroid health. It is involved in the enzymatic conversion of T4 into the active T3 hormone. Selenium works as a synergist with vitamins E and C, working to scavenge free radicals and destroy harmful peroxides.
Selenium supplementation has been previously used for treatment of various forms of cancer, AIDS and thyroid diseases. Additional research on selenium supplementation shows that it has a protective and detoxifying effect upon kidney function, increasing creatinine clearance in test subjects, and improving glamerular filtration rate.
Additonal studies on selenium and renal function show that in rats given Se, vitamins E & C, there was a significant increase in renal Glutathione levels, and significant decreases in lipid peroxidation. Glutathione is one of the most ubiquitous and important antioxidants needed as a defense against all types of toxicity.
Individuals consuming foods from selenium-depleted soil may be at an increased risk for developing selenium deficiencies. It is known that the US’s pacific northwest and eastern coasts tend to have selenium-depleted soils.
Foods richest in selenium include:
- Brazil nuts
- Liver & other organs