Selenium is a trace mineral that plays a crucial role to ensuring health and wellbeing, but is commonly deficient in many people, especially this time of year in cold and flu season.
It's 3 main roles in the body are:
1. Proper thyroid hormone production. Therefore a lack of selenium could impact optimal thyroid hormone levels and be a cause of fatigue
2. Anti oxidant defence: Selenium is a co-factor for the enzyme glutathione peroxidase which is the bodies main antioxidant. A lack of glutathione activity may result in oxidative stress to tissue, ultimately creating inflammation, pain and wear and tear.
3. Immune Function: Our immune cells use chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and bleach to kill invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Selenium is critical to ensuring that our own immune cells aren't affected by this powerful chemical arsenal used in our defence.
During cold and flu season are immune systems are a lot more active and therefore there's a tendency towards a great need for additional anti oxidants from our diet such as selenium and vitamin C. The table below shows you how to get enough selenium from foods without the need for supplementation.