Natural Selenium - yeast for better bioavailability
By: Dr Margaret Rayman The UK intake of this trace mineral has fallen by 50% in the last 50 years and levels are now low enough to be a potentially significant cause of ill health. Should you be getting more? Which type should you choose?
The trace mineral selenium is a crucial nutrient for human health. It is a component of a number of proteins and enzymes required for important biological functions such as antioxidant defence (protecting your cells from free radical damage), reduction of inflammation, thyroid hormone production, DNA synthesis, fertility and reproduction. Adequate dietary intakes of selenium are therefore essential.
Selenium enters the food chain through plants and its concentration in foods is determined by a number of geological and geographical factors. The intake of selenium in most parts of Europe is considerably lower than in many other parts of the world, as our soil is less rich in selenium than other countries. In the UK, for example, it has declined significantly in recent years due to the reduced import of selenium-rich wheat from North America for bread-making.
The recommended daily intake of selenium for adults is not now achieved in the majority of European countries, including the UK. The RNI (Reference Nutrient Intake) in the UK is 75mcg/day for males and 60mcg/day for females, whereas the average is around half what it should be, at only 29-39mcg per day. Some experts consider that a daily dose of up to 200mcg may be needed to produce anti-cancer effects.
New Trading Patterns Blamed for Selenium Intake.
Anthony Fletcher, Oct 5th 2006
"The UK?s Dietary needs are not being met as a result of the change in our trading patterns since joining the EU, according to new research from the University of Surrey?"
Selenium: The Unsung Hero
By Sarah Stacey , 22nd February 2006
"How can you maximise your chances of avoiding flu or, if you do fall prey, recover as quickly as possible? Experts agree that a crucial nutrient in fighting viral infections is the antioxidant trace element selenium (named after Selene, Greek Goddess of the Moon). The problem however, is that it?s often deficient in our diets nowadays, due mainly to modern intensive farming techniques impoverishing the soil."