Selenium (as Sodium Selenate)

Selenium is an essential trace mineral and critical component to the many biochemical processes taking place within human physiology. In the mid 1900's, selenium was thought to be a toxic mineral. Current research has disproved this notion, as selenium is only found in trace amounts in our systems. Selenium has garnered significant notoriety among the medical community within the past two decades and researchers continually stress the overall importance of this mineral. Selenium affords the body protection, not only by means of antioxidant defense, but also by playing a significant role in the detoxification processes correlated within the human body's enzymatic activities.

Selenium is the key component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, or as it more commonly referred to as, GPX. Glutathione peroxidase works synergistically with vitamin E in the reduction of external peroxide free radicals. Free radicals are caused by oxidative stressors, which in turn, lead to the damaging of various cell membrane structures. They are defined as normal by-products of oxygen metabolism that can lead to the damaging of internal cellular structures, and because of this, may eventually lead the development of chronic disease and illness. [1]

Protection from free radicals is just one of many positive factors credited to GPX. GPX assists in achieving homeostasis in the body through proper growth and development, and by aiding in the defense and maintenance of our immune systems. Another point of interest is the seloenzyme, thiredoxin reductase. It has been extensively researched and is more specifically known for its properties concerning oxidative metabolism. [2] This is important in its ability to act as a detoxifier to those found not only in the environment, but also in persons receiving radiation, chemotherapy, and other toxic medicines. This enzyme is especially important in ridding the body of toxic metals such as cadmium, lead, and mercury, as well.

Selenium is also a fundamental component of other mammalian enzymes, particularly phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPX); acting as a protective device to peroxides that are already bound to membrane surfaces. [3] More research is necessary, but these findings may help us to understand enzymatic protective abilities, and the diverse and various inhibitions of peroxidative chain branching; both of which are of great importance in reducing the occurrence of chronic illnesses associated with the cardiovascular system.

There are numerous forms of selenium. The food sources we consume either contain inorganic or organic forms of this nutrient. Selenite, or selenate is found in inorganic food sources, where as organic food sources transfer sulfur in either the forms of methionine or cysteine. It seems that selenite is absorbed at a rate of 80 percent or greater, whereas selenomethionine (a source of selenate) has a 90 percent assimilation rate. [4, 5]

Products Containing Selenium (as Sodium Selenate)
Name Price Rating Serving Price # of Servings Manufacturer Health Condition
Animal Flex $23.44
$0.53 44 Universal Nutrition Osteoarthritis
Intra Pro $28.89
$1.03 28 Gaspari Nutrition
Lean Mass Complex $41.20
$2.06 20 Prolab


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