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Nutrition Resources

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Selenium


Nutrient description/background:
  • Trace element, meaning it is required for functioning but in very small doses
  • A primary part of the cellular structure of white blood cells

Nutrient function:
  • Works with Vitamin E to protect against oxidative stress from antioxidants
  • Reduces death in cancer patients and slows the growth of tumors
  • A key advocate for immunity
  • Attributed to proper thyroid functioning

DRI/RDA:
  • 55 micrograms a day for males
  • 45 micrograms a day for females

Food sources:
  • A wide variety of Plants and grain foods
  • Animals fed with plants or grains grown in selenium rich soil yields mineral dense muscle which can be consumed for a good source of the mineral
  • Brazil nuts, grains, garlic, eggs and shellfish are great sources of selenium

Indications/Health claims:
  • Antioxidants provided by selenium may reduce the levels of free radicals and their oxidation of LDL, the main contributor to heart disease.
  • Selenium may be beneficial for cancer prevention.
  • Epidemiological studies indicate there is a higher incident of skin cancer in areas of the United States with low soil concentrations of selenium.

Evidence for or against claims:
  • Seven dermatology clinics in the U.S. have studied the link between selenium and skin cancer and the results did not support the use of selenium for cancer prevention.
  • Recently, studies have shown a decreased risk of prostate cancer