Selenium is a very rare trace mineral which contributes to the health of the human body in a lot of aspects.
Selenium, the mineral that is good for the thyroid
Selenium is a very rare trace mineral which contributes to the health of the human body in a lot of aspects. Selenium helps keep a healthy immune system by assisting with immune function as well as DNA synthesis and reproductive health. The human body requires it in small, frequent amounts and this mineral is also known to protect the body against certain illnesses. This nutrient is quite remarkable in its nature while being vital to your health. Foods enriched with selenium accumulate it from the soil they’re grown meaning the same food can have different amounts of selenium depending on the geography, making this mineral even more unique.
The thyroid is the only organ in the human body which contains the highest concentration of selenium where selenium acts as the building block for a protein called selenoproteins. Thus, by helping with the contribution of selenoproteins in the thyroid, selenium helps your body maintain a healthy immune system, hormonal balance, and metabolism.
Known benefits of selenium for the thyroid are:
- 1) Selenium acts as an effective antioxidant
Free radicals are unstable molecules in the human body which cause cell damage. Antioxidants are the compounds present in food that help combat the effects of free radicals as well as mitigate their effects. Free radicals don’t naturally occur in the human body and are byproducts of processes like metabolism. An excess of free radicals leads to oxidative stress that damages healthy cells. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and as such helps to neutralize free radicals that are generated during thyroid hormone build in the thyroid gland.
- 2) Selenium helps reduce thyroid antibody levels
Presence of Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPO) yields bad news as it affects the health of your immune system, colon, kidney, breast as well as issues like infertility. It is used as a gauge for autoimmune thyroid disease. Naturally, it is ideal to have low amounts of TPO and selenium consumed in forms like sodium selenite helps reduce TPO antibody levels in the thyroid. A frequent intake of selenium is important to stabilize the levels of thyroid antibody and levels are known to go up if you stop taking selenium.
- 3) Selenium helps convert T4 into T3
Deiodinases, a subgroup of selenoproteins are essential in the conversion of inactive T4 into active T3. By keeping a frequent and steady intake of selenium, you ensure that the T3 levels do not go low. However, as a consequence of missing selenium, the production of T3 in your body will be lower which will cause TSH to go up. The rise in TSH will cause the thyroid gland to produce more T4 which will lead to the production of more free radicals as a byproduct. The free radicals then pose a threat where they will damage the thyroid gland and the lack of selenium will translate to a lack of antioxidant. If the amount of T4 is higher compared to T3 then this unusual rise in TSH will create a scar tissue within the thyroid gland and damage it.
Curiosity about selenium:
This week’s article ends with a curious fact about Selenium. Did you know that Brazil nuts are the food with the highest content of selenium, in fact in a single nut it contains the quantity of about 80 mcg. Also another singularity is that the same amino acids contain a small amount of selenium.
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