Selenium: What Is It and What Selenium Deficiency Means

We hear the word ‘antioxidant’ quite a lot. But there isn’t enough explanation as to what these actually are and how they affect the body. Selenium is an antioxidant as well as a nutrient and can help your body in some pretty amazing ways. But we don’t know a great deal of detail about it. Selenium deficiency is something we all want to avoid, as you will see in this article. As men approaching the age of 50, we should have a strong idea of the things we put into our body – and the effect they have on us.

Normally, we don’t know where to get selenium into our diet. It doesn’t appear on the nutritional information part of food labels. As men nearing that milestone birthday of 50 we need to understand the effect So, what is selenium and what is selenium deficiency? Great questions. Let’s read on to see what it is all about –

What Is Selenium?

The dictionary definition will look a little something like this –

“Selenium is a chemical element, with the atomic number 34. It is a grey non-metal that has some semiconducting properties.”

chenical definition of selenium

Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? I’m sure the first thing that springs to mind is, why would I out that in my body? Well, let’s take a look at a definition that sheds some more light on this in a dietary sense –

“Selenium is a mineral that has high antioxidant properties. Selenium deficiency is where someone doesn’t get enough selenium in their diet naturally. Selenium helps to protect the cells of the body from damage and has been linked to improved memory, energy and general wellbeing.”

Now that’s more like it!

What Are the Signs of Selenium Deficiency?

Selenium deficiency isn’t actually that easy to spot as a standalone condition. It manifests in many other areas of your general health. The way modern medicine operates is that a health practitioner looks at the symptoms and tries to work back to the root cause. As people, we should look at a balanced lifestyle of diet, fitness and mental health to manage this body we have been given. But knowing where we lack in a certain nutrient can really help to boost those systems and have us fighting fit.

Selenium deficiency and the brain

The 4 Signs of Potential Selenium Deficiency

Here are the 4 signs of a potential selenium deficiency in your diet –

  1. You Feel Tired. Yes, it’s as simple as this. If you feel tired a lot of the time, then this could be caused by selenium deficiency in your diet. The science behind it is quite simple. Selenium converts thyroxine (the thyroid hormone) into triiodothyronine, an active hormone linked to activity levels. Selenium deficiency can trigger this conversion slowing, with the results being fatigue and depression.
  2. Poor Memory. As men approaching the age of 50, we often put our decreasing memory power down to the fact we are getting older. But selenium deficiency could be at the heart of this instead. A lack of selenium has been shown to mess with the normal brain function. This is true in both long-term and short-term memory.
  3. Low Immune Health. Selenium naturally supports the immune system and helps you fight off everyday coughs colds. As good a cold remedy like Stérimar might be, it’s not enough on its own. Selenium deficiency can leave you with repeated colds.
  4. Slow Healing Wounds. A little-known side effect of a good level of selenium in your body is links to the antioxidant qualities of the nutrient. As men approaching the age of 50, we should know this for ourselves and our children. It helps cells to repair, so will help those wounds heal much more quickly.

There are some supplements that can help you with a boost in selenium and they help you on the way. There are also foods that are rich in selenium to help you.

Reaching the ripe old age of 44 has got me thinking about the next milestone birthday - the Big Five-O! I share with you my experiences of what these years mean to me. Thanks for stopping by!