Selenium - Could it be a missing link?

In the animal world Selenium is crucial to wellbeing. Let's look at some of the issues and how they might affect the human race.

If Selenium is deficient in a foaling mare, approximately 10 days after the birth of the foal, it will invariably die. "What from?" you might ask. White muscle disease, which is basically failure of the heart muscle.

We also know that Selenium supplementation to cows prior to calving will improve calving, reduce incidences of afterbirth retention, mastitis and infection problems. Selenium is again supplemented prior to mating to assist getting the cows in calf. Selenium is essential to all livestock for good health and particularly important for the growth of young stock.

There is some speculation on whether lack of selenium could contribute to cot deaths. While some in the medical profession are rushing around looking for a solution for cot deaths, maybe along with looking at second hand mattresses and sleeping babies on their side, could we also look to introduce Selenium into the mother's diet?

Would there be health benefits if we introduced Selenium into our own diet? The Australian medical profession now recognise that Selenium plays a role in human health.

There have been trials done in China where they carried out tests on humans using Selenium and a placebo on cancer sufferers. The evidence was conclusive that Selenium reduced cancerous tumour problems.

Selenium is also understood to reduce prostate cancer and heart failure in men. We could in turn look at the rapid drop off in fertility rates.

Selenium is deficient in the kiwi diet. People often ask me what they can eat to get enough Selenium into their body. Fish and grain are the two with the highest content, but not enough to meet our daily needs. A programme was shown in Australia regarding an enterprising farmer who was growing Selenium enriched grain which was then used to make Selenium enriched bread for the public. Now that's innovative, and the doctors are encouraging it.

There is a lot of evidence to support this information and you need to read between the lines and read the literature that is coming into the press.

Now all this might seem a bit obscure and fancy comparing our health to that of animals, but to date there has been little scientific work done on trace elements and human health. I can tell you however that there has been a large amount done around animals and it is all very well documented. The medical profession seem slow to get the correlation.

The medical profession is trained largely to cure, rather than to prevent.

In Summary:

There is a lot of evidence to show that we require a number of trace elements particularly Selenium for good health and longevity. It is a fact that there are insufficient trace elements in our food, leaving us with little option other than to supplement from other sources. We will hear Selenium talked about a lot more over the next five years and ignore it at our peril.


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