In certain areas soil can be low in selenium and thus in widespread selenium deficiency. Plants (crops) can be low in selenium even if they look normal.
Selenium is an essential trace element. It is a component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, working in conjunction with vitamin E to protect against oxidation or free-radical damage.
The importance of selenium in reducing the incidence of certain cancers (lung, prostate, colorectal and skin) is well documented and impressive. There is strong epidemiological evidence of a similar role for selenium in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some evidence exists that selenium levels are also inversely related to cataract formation. Glutathione peroxidase, a major antioxidant in the eye, is selenium- dependent.
CAUTION: For those with yeast sensitivities, the selenomethionine form can be used.
Source: “The Best Supplements For Your Health”,
Donald P. Goldberg, R.Ph.
Arnold Gitomer, R.Ph.
and Robert Abel, Jr., M.D.