All Posts tagged selenium

Selenium helps reduce type 2 diabetes

Increased levels of selenium in the body may be associated with a 25% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Data from 3,630 women and 3,535 men indicated that increasing levels of selenium in toenails were associated with lower risks of diabetes, with the relationship appearing to be linear, according to findings published in Diabetes Care.

Selenium is an antioxidant has multifarious roles including building heart muscles and healthy sperm. Moderate deficiency in selenium may have long-term detrimental effects (FASEB Journal 25:1793-1814, 2011).

Over the course of the study the researchers documented 780 new cases of type 2 diabetes. The highest average levels of selenium (Se) in toenails were associated with a 24% reduction in the risk of the disease.

“At dietary levels of intake, individuals with higher toenail Se levels are at a lower risk for [type 2 diabetes],” they concluded.

Diabetes Care 35(7):1544-1551, 2012


The King of Antioxidants

This antioxidant keeps you healthy by boosting your immune system. Your own body produces but as you age, your body produces less of it. This super antioxidant is called glutathione. It is formed from proteins and amino acids. And it contains sulfur chemical groups. Glutathione attracts and traps toxins and free radicals in your body… and then flushes them out.

How Glutathione Works

It helps boost all the other antioxidants. Glutathione repairs free radical damage. It protects our cells and maintains healthy energy metabolism. Plus, it’s always working to detox our bodies. All the toxins in our bodies stick to glutathione, and it transports them into bile and waste… which we excrete from our bodies.

But again as we age… or get bombarded with toxins and oxidative stress, our glutathione levels weaken, we can’t flush out toxins… or fight free radicals or infection.  A leading medical journal reports that the lowest levels of glutathione levels are found in hospitalized seniors. The highest levels are recorded in healthy young people who exercise regularly and live a healthy lifestyle.

There are three options for increasing your levels. These include diet, exercise, and supplements.

Plenty of healthy foods help your body to produce more glutathione.

The best foods are those rich in sulfur. Your best bets are garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables. These include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Watercress

Daily exercise helps your body to produce more glutathione. Modest cardio exercise combined with light resistance training can help you kick-start production.

Start with 20 minutes of cardio, every day. You can try 20 minutes of any activity that appeals to you, including:

  • Biking
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Swimming

On alternate days, he recommends 15 – 20 minutes of light strength-training exercises. 

Five Supplements to Boost Your Levels

The five best supplements that boost glutathione production include:

1. Methylation nutrients. These nutrients are your best option for boosting glutathione production. They include folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. When taking these supplements, you should make sure that you take folate in the active form of 5 methyltetrahydrofolate; B6 in the active form of P5P; and B12 in the active form of methylcobalamin.

2. Alpha lipoic acid. This is an essential supplement for cell health. It boosts energy production and detoxes your body. It also controls blood sugar and protects your brain. While our bodies make this nutrient naturally, our levels decrease under stress.

3. Selenium. This mineral helps to produce new glutathione.

4. Vitamins C and E. Both of these antioxidants, when working together, help to boost glutathione’s ability to recycle other antioxidants.

5. Milk thistle. This simple herb not only boosts glutathione levels… it also fights liver disease.

When taken together, these supplements help to rebuild your glutathione levels. And high glutathione levels are your best defense against disease and aging.

Go to  to order supplements that contain the right anti-oxidants.


Selenium Appears to Ease Post-Exercise Oxidative Stress in Overweight People

Supplements of selenium may reduce markers of oxidative stress immediately after exercise for overweight people, suggests a new study.

A daily dose of the mineral was associated with significant decreases in levels of lipid hydroperoxides after exercise. Lipid hydroperoxides are intermediates in lipid peroxidation, which is a well-known indicator of oxidative damage in cell membranes.

“This study has highlighted a potential health benefit of selenium in reducing lipid hydroperoxides levels post-exercise in overweight individuals,” the researchers wrote in the journal Obesity.

Selenium is an essential macronutrient, and is considered to be an antioxidant. The trace element occurs naturally in the soil and is absorbed by plants and crops. From there it enters the human food chain either directly or through consumption of meat and other products from grazing animals. The mineral is included in between 50 and 100 different proteins in the body, with multifarious roles, including building heart muscles, supporting prostate health and promoting healthy sperm.

Researchers from the University of Bedfordshire and Luton and Dunstable Hospital in England recruited 10 normal weight and 10 overweight people to participate in their randomized, double-blind supplementation study. Participants received a daily dose of 200 mcg of selenium for three weeks or three weeks of placebo. At the end of the three weeks, both groups received placebo for three weeks and then crossed over to the other group.

Results showed that selenium supplements were associated with a 0.25 micromole per liter decrease in lipid hydroperoxides levels, compared to placebo, in the overweight participants immediately following exercise. No changes in other markers of oxidative stress were observed between the placebo and selenium groups.

Commenting on the discrepancy between the overweight and normal weight participants, the researchers note that selenium plays a crucial role in the body’s antioxidant defenses, particularly in antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione (GSH). This enzyme is responsible for removing various oxidizing species from the cell, such as hydrogen peroxide.

The researchers note that the overweight participants had low selenium levels at the start of the study and this may be why they expressed a “compromised antioxidant system and raised lipid hydroperoxides levels at rest and after high-intensity exercise.”

“Selenium supplementation in the overweight group was effective at increasing plasma selenium levels to near recommended levels, which in turn decreased lipid hydroperoxides responses at rest and after high-intensity exercise.

“The lack of selenium supplementation effect on lipid hydroperoxide levels in the normal weight group may be explained by prior sufficient levels of selenium to support maximal expression of GSH-Px activity,” they added.



Antioxidants update

Free radicals are believed to help many health problems and prevent heart disease, cancer and other disorders. Antioxidants are substances that protect cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when the body breaks down food or is exposed to environmental toxins and radiation. I believe there are benefits in taking antioxidants especially in those with cardiovascular risks.

Vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and selenium produce multiple positive effects on sugar and fat metabolism, blood pressure and arterial flexibility (which allows blood to move freely through the body).

Reuven Zimlichman and his research team at Wolfson Medical Center in Israel randomly divided 70 high blood pressure patients into two groups. One group was given antioxidants supplements and the other took placebo capsules for six months. Those taking the antioxidants received vitamin C (1000 mg/day), vitamin E (400 i.u/day), coenzyme Q10 (120 mg/day) and selenium (200 mcg/day).

Tests at the beginning of the trial, after three months, and again after six months documented that patients in the antioxidant group had marked improvements in their cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular profiles and cholesterol panels were healthier. The researchers concluded “antioxidant supplements have the potential to alleviate atherosclerotic damage..”

“Antioxidant supplementation significantly increased large and small artery elasticity in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. This beneficial vascular effect was associated with an improvement in glucose and lipid metabolism as well as significant decrease in blood pressure,” Dr. Zimlichman said in a statement to the media. “The findings of the present study justify investigating the overall clinical impact of antioxidant treatment in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors.”