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Selenium Benefits for Skin

Leena Palande
What is selenium? What are selenium benefits for skin? What are the foods rich in selenium? Find answers to these questions and more in this story. Read on to know why selenium supplement is recommended for skin problems...
Small amount of the mineral selenium helps maintain the overall health of an individual. Therefore selenium is enlisted under the group 'trace minerals'. With the help of this mineral, human body synthesizes selenoproteins which play the role of antioxidant enzymes and help cancel the effects of free radicals on cells. These proteins strengthen the immune system and help prevent various diseases including heart diseases and cancer.

Selenium Function

Selenium is an important element of soil. Vegetables grown in selenium rich soil offer sufficient selenium. Various meats and seafood are excellent sources of this important mineral. As explained above, selenium exhibits antioxidant properties and prevents cellular damage.
In absence of antioxidant minerals like selenium, free radicals generated during oxygen metabolism can create havoc in the body. Selenium stimulates glutathione, another antioxidant in the body. Selenoproteins help strengthen the cellular structure of the body. Selenium helps prevent poisonous effects of certain toxic substances and heavy metals on the body.
It enhances production of sperms and thus helps prevent infertility problems, especially in men. It improves heart health and overall health of an individual. It works great for inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Recommended dietary intake of selenium varies according to the age.
Adults need 55 μg selenium per day while pregnant and lactating women may need 60 - 70 μg/day. Selenium deficiency does not directly cause any illness but it increases the chances of development of various diseases and disorders. Consumption of sufficient vitamin C is essential for proper absorption of selenium and for normal levels of selenium in the body.
Asparagus, spinach, wheat bran, mushrooms, tuna, beef, spaghetti, cod, turkey, chicken breast, cottage cheese, oatmeal, clams, lamb, etc. are good sources of selenium. Corn, wheat and soybean etc. are good sources of selenomethionine. Consumption of these foods helps store selenium in organs and tissues.

Selenium Benefits for Skin

From the above information, it is clear that selenium helps prevent various diseases and disorders, including skin diseases. Development of any kind of disease in the body affects the tone and texture of your skin. Therefore it is said that your skin reflects your health. Only a healthy (and happy) person enjoys a glowing smooth skin.
Antioxidant minerals can actually offer supple, spotless skin. As selenium improves heart health, improved blood circulation leads to improved color and texture of your skin. Since effects of toxic substances are canceled by this mineral, you are able to retain the skin quality.
Many times, dandruff leads to outburst of acne. Sufficient supply of selenium through diet helps get rid of dandruff. The mineral not only prevents acne but it also prevents skin cancer. As it promotes protein metabolism, it helps strengthen the immune system, or rather strengthens each and every cell in the body. It promotes absorption of vitamin E and enhances the antioxidant function of vitamin E which is mainly stored in the skin. This effect is reflected through a glowing skin.
Everybody knows that iodine plays an important role in thyroid function. Iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism. Dry, rough and pale skin is one of the common symptoms of thyroid problem. It should be noted that inadequate intake of selenium may worsen the effects of lack of iodine.
Incorporation of selenium rich foods in regular diet helps maintain the levels of hormones released by the thyroid and the pituitary gland. Hormone imbalance can lead to discoloration of the skin, development of black patches, etc. Thus, selenium helps improve skin color and texture directly and indirectly.
The herpes virus often leads to cold sores and shingles. Antioxidant minerals help prevent or fight cold sores and shingles. Selenium also helps control inflammatory diseases like psoriasis and eczema. It helps lower the frequency of skin infections. Fast recovery is possible in case of skin burn wounds if enough selenium is present in the body. The mineral helps prevent sunburns too.
Excessive consumption of selenium can result in side effects. You need to incorporate all vitamins and minerals in correct proportions in your diet, if you want to enjoy a healthy life.
It is easy and economical to include selenium in diet for skin care, than applying expensive skin care products that often come with side effects. Not only a balanced and healthy diet but regular exercises are also essential for enjoying a healthy and glowing skin.