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How to Maintain a Healthy Diet With Selenium and Brazil Nuts

If you want to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease, the primary goal of supplementation with selenium, vitamins A, C and E, is to improve neuron function and to prevent the breakdown of proteins and lipids. However, the recommended dietary intakes for selenium are not adequate to promote biochemical reactions that contribute to the formation of these proteins and lipids. Because of this, supplementation with selenium is sometimes necessary to meet dietary requirements. Here is a brief summary of the required dietary intakes for selenium in people of all ages.

Children older than six years need their daily doses of vitamin A to prevent eye problems, and they should receive vitamin C with selenium supplements. Very young children may also be given vitamin A with selenium deficiency in a selenium-enriched formula. Adequate intakes of zinc and selenium are necessary to prevent the progression of four different cancers – colon, prostate, lung and leukemia. To prevent chronic disorders like psoriasis and dermatitis, which can result from fungal infections, an appropriate amount of selenium supplementation needs to be added to the diet. To prevent Alzheimer’s disease – a disease that leads to the loss of memory and cognitive functions – doctors often recommend selenium deficiency.

As a general rule, dietary recommendations for selenium and other minerals are based on recommendations for healthy individuals who rarely experience symptoms of these diseases. This is because people of all ages need the essential nutrients in order to stay healthy. The average selenium intake through diet is about one to two milligrams daily for adults. However, when this mineral is consumed in supplement form, it is typically combined with other nutrients to increase its effectiveness. Although some researchers believe that nutritional deficiencies are not linked to any health problems, proper intake of this mineral does help keep the body functioning normally.

Selenium deficiency is more common in older adults. Because selenium has a short half-life in the body, it reaches the tissues only after a short time. Most experts agree that it is most beneficial to take supplemental doses on a regular basis. However, as with most dietary supplements, an individual’s ability to absorb and utilize this mineral is enhanced by including other nutrients in the diet. This combination makes it more likely that individuals will have sufficient selenium intakes.

There are several common methods of supplementing selenium. Two of the most common are eating one ounce of raw eggs every day or taking a supplement that contains selenium and iodine. Eating eggs is not recommended for women who are on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of the risk of supplemental deficiency. In addition, consuming seafood, poultry, fish, seeds, green vegetables, and whole grains is also not a good idea. Most dietary supplements contain vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and folic acid, all of which are necessary for healthy brain function. Some of these herbs and minerals are also available in supplemental doses in foods, so it is a good idea to supplement with additional foods as well.

Selenium deficiencies may be caused by genetics, diet, or the environment. One way to evaluate whether or not someone has a deficiency is to take a blood test. Since people living in low-selenium areas are at increased risk of osteoporosis and cataracts, those people living in these areas should examine their diets and ensure that they are eating a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. People who are obese or suffer from chronic conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and renal diseases may also be at risk of deficiency. Older adults are especially susceptible to low-selenium areas.

The benefits of high-quality selenium supplements are well documented. But, just because a supplement works for one person does not mean that another person will experience the same benefits. It is important to consider the individual dose, and frequency of intake. Also, Brazil nuts are excellent dietary sources of selenium. If you choose to include Brazil nuts as part of your regular daily health maintenance program, consider taking a Brazil nuts supplement as well.