Selenium - Selenium, discovered in the 1950’s to be nutritionally essential, plays a critical role in numerous processes regarding oxidative protection, immunity, cardiovascular health, and brain function. One of its key benefits is its crucial role it plays in the production and proliferation of glutathione peroxidase. One of the most extensively studied protections against oxidative stress, this enzyme requires selenium for proper function. Numerous studies have shown that decreased Selenium levels lead to decreased glutathione peroxidase activity – contributing to increased oxidative damage that can impair or damage DNA, heart tissue, and brain tissue – potentially leading to heart disease, stroke-induced brain damage, as well as cancer.
Selenium also can help protect against bacterial and viral infections due to its immune-activating properties. Selenium has been shown to elevate cancer and virus-quenching T immune cell presence in addition to their critical role in neutrophils function. Neutrophils are white blood cells that fight infection by ingesting and destroying invading microorganisms.
One study found that Selenium supplementation created an increased production of interferon gamma (which inhibit viral replication and activate macrophages), an earlier peak T Cell proliferation and an increase in T helper cells. Those patients who were given the Selenium showed a faster recovery and more rapid clearance of the live virus that was injected during the study.
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