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The “Miracle Mineral” Selenium Aids In The Reduction of Heart Disease, Study Finds

Supplementing with selenium may aid in the reduction of heart disease risk. According to a small human study, the antioxidative element in selenium shields against oxidation of low density lipoprotein, the bad cholesterol, which is known to be a risk for developing atherogenesis.

The Italian study concluded that the 14 people that were studied experienced less oxidative modification of LDL when taking a daily selenium supplement compared to when not supplementing with the mineral. Oxidatively modified LDL would have a 2 percent increase after mealtime when the supplement was not taken.

According to the researchers from the University of Udine and the University of Padova, the major finding is that the postprandial increase in both LDL minus and oxidation of LDL in the subjects was prevented when supplementing with selenium.

Oxidative modification of LDL has been linked to increased risk of conditions such as atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.  

“According to the most widely accepted theory of atherogenesis, oxidatively modified LDL activates a series of cellular events in the arterial wall ultimately leading to plaque formation,” said lead researcher Fausta Natella at the National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition.

The journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, reported a study which involved 14 participants between the ages of 25 & 40 that were assigned 110 micrograms per day of selenium in the form of selenium yeast. Prior to and following the 10-day supplementation, blood samples were drawn and analyzed.

Aside from the inhibitory effect on oxidation of LDL cholesterol, selenium supplements also suppress the production of a reactive compound as an end product of liquid oxidation called malondialdehyde. Prior to supplementing with selenium, the compound in the blood would incur a 10 percent increase after mealtime.

For adolescences aged 14 to 18 and adults older than 18, the recommended daily allowance for selenium is 55 micrograms per day. In my opinion, the RDA is simply not good enough. Taking up to 200 micrograms of selenium per day is considered safe for most people.

This “miracle mineral” as I like to call it, plays a key role in a number of many important physiological functions. Deficiency has also been linked to cancer.

Another study concluded that men who took 200 micrograms of this trace mineral on a daily basis for a period of 10 years had approximately half the risk of developing lung, prostate and colorectal cancer as compared with men who did not.

If you’re looking for a tasty snack jam packed with selenium, try some Brazil nuts. More great choices include broccoli, brown rice, garlic, onions, and whole grains.

If supplementing with selenium, I recommend combining it with Vitamin E. This “dynamic duo” works together to aid in the producing antibodies, which help keep the heart and liver healthy.

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