Selena Potatoes

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a trace mineral essential for human well being. Selenium is incorporated into proteins to produce Selenoproteins. Selenoproteins are important antioxidant enzymes which assist in protecting the body from cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism that may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as Cancer and Heart disease.  Other Selenoproteins help regulate Thyroid function and play a role in the immune system. Selenium is also an integral part of the enzyme Glutathione Peroxidase. Glutathione Peroxidase is an enzyme which protects the body against oxidative damage i.e. damage to the body’s cells.

Health Benefits

As a mineral, Selenium has many functions in keeping the body healthy. These include:

  • Healthy Growth and Reproduction
  • Proper function of the liver, Heart and Muscles
  • Antioxidant Activity

History of Selenium

Selenium was discovered in 1818, however, its importance was only realised in 1973. It was then discovered to be an integral part of the enzyme Glutathione Peroxidase and a very potent antioxidant. Selenium is referred to as a “trace element” or “micronutrient” as the amount needed for human health is measured in micrograms (µg).