What is selenium?

Submitted by admin on Tue, 10/23/2018 - 09:29

Selenium is a chemical element with a chemical symbol Se, which is located in the fourth cycle of Group VI A in the periodic table of the chemical element and is a non-metal. It can be used as a photosensitive material, a catalyst for electrolytic manganese industry, a nutrient element essential for animals, and a nutrient element beneficial to plants. 

There are two ways in which selenium exists in nature: inorganic selenium and plant active selenium. Inorganic selenium generally refers to sodium selenite and sodium selenate, which are obtained from by-products of metal deposits; the latter is formed by the combination of bio-transformation and amino acid, which is generally in the form of selenomethionine.

Nutritional significance of selenium

1. Selenium has anti-cancer effects. Human selenium deficiency is prone to liver cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, and leukemia.

2. Selenium has an antioxidant effect. Selenium is the best anti-aging substance. If the body lacks selenium, it will be “no longer young” and will lead to premature aging;

3. Selenium can enhance human immunity. Lack of selenium reduces the body's immunity.

4. Selenium has the effect of antagonizing harmful heavy metals. Selenium deficiency is likely to cause symptoms of heavy metal poisoning such as lead, arsenic and cadmium.

5. Selenium can regulate the absorption and utilization of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. Selenium deficiency can cause diseases such as myopia, cataract, retinopathy, fundus diseases, and age-related macular degeneration.

6. Selenium has the function of regulating the synthesis of proteins. Lack of selenium can cause protein energy deficiency malnutrition, chromosomal damage and so on.

7. Selenium can enhance reproductive function. Lack of selenium can cause the emission of sperm to be blocked, sperm motility is low, deformity occurs, the conception rate is reduced, the incidence of uterine inflammation is increased, and so on. Selenium is an essential component of peroxidase in seminal plasma. When the selenium content in semen is reduced, the activity of this enzyme is reduced, which can not inhibit the membrane peroxidation of sperm cells, causing sperm damage, increased death and decreased vitality.

8. Selenium is an important component of muscle function. Selenium deficiency causes skeletal muscle atrophy and grayish white streaks, myocardial damage, myocardial cell compactness changes, increased lipids, and calcium deposits, leading to disease. Therefore, men need to supplement selenium, because the selenium supplied to the body is mostly concentrated in the reproductive organs and can be excreted together with semen. In particular, residents living in highly polluted areas, residents living in segregated areas, need to supplement selenium.

Since there is no long-term storage of selenium in human selenium, the selenium required by the body should continuously obtain a sufficient amount of selenium from the diet. The balance of selenium concentration plays an important role in protecting and promoting the physiological functions of many organs and tissues.
When selenium is deficient, it is easy to cause the body's immunity to decline. More than forty diseases that threaten human health and life are related to selenium deficiency in the human body, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cataract, pancreatic disease, diabetes, Symptoms such as reproductive system diseases.

Normally, the total daily requirement of each person, Chinese adults daily food supplementation of more than 25 micrograms of selenium has a health effect; selenium-deficient adults daily supplementation of 50 micrograms of selenium or more than 75 micrograms. Due to the lack of selenium in 72% of China's soil, in natural foods, the selenium content of wheat, rice, corn and other cereal crops as the main food crops is less than 40 μg/kg, and the daily selenium intake of Chinese people is lower than that of the World Health Organization. The recommended minimum intake of 50 μg, daily selenium intake is only 30 ~ 45 μg, lower than Japan, Canada, the United States and other countries. Selenium-enriched rice, 100 micrograms (selenium-enriched corn flour), animal offal, fish, seafood, mushrooms, eggs, garlic, ginkgo and other selenium-containing elements are relatively high.

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