The Lack of Selenium from Your Diet is Closely Associated With Thyroid Diseases
Do you always feel tired or out of sorts?
Have you lost weight, or on the contrary, you’ve gained a significant amount of kilos in a short time?
Well, you could be one of those who suffers from a thyroid disorder, untraced yet.
Did you know that the thyroid gland has the highest concentration of selenium than any other organ in the body?
Selenium is an essential mineral for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which has been discovered in 1817, by the Swedish chemist Berzelius.
Selenium activates the enzyme that helps to convert Thyroxine (T4) to Triiodothyronine (T3) – two thyroid hormones. Although T4 is typically used in tests for thyroid, it is biologically less active than T3, a much more active thyroid hormone. A low level of T3 is connected to various thyroid disorders.
Also, even if iodine is essential for a proper function of the thyroid, most people get an unbalanced proportion of iodine and selenium, due to the consumption of iodized salt.
The combination of high levels of iodine and low levels of selenium could affect the thyroid gland. A study dating back to 1997 shows that a diet rich in iodine and low in selenium, will negatively impact the thyroid gland; however, this is a problem frequently encountered in the menu of many people.
Selenium deficiency is mainly due to intensive agriculture. Industrial scale farming practices do not allow the recovery of minerals, such as selenium levels in the soil, resulting in poor harvests in essential minerals – being needed to be further enriched.
A recently published study showed that selenium deficiency is associated with an increased risk of thyroid diseases, such as autoimmune thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism and thyroid enlargement.
The researchers assessed 6.152 people who were subjected to physical and ultrasound tests to check the thyroid condition and have filled in questionnaires regarding demographics and diet. Also, blood tests have been done, to measure the thyroid disease indicators.
The researchers found a link between those who had a selenium deficiency and suffered from any of the four thyroid gland diseases, while the subjects with normal selenium levels showed a much lower risk of developing thyroid disease.
Another study shows that selenium supplementation reduces the autoimmune reaction frequently found in some thyroid diseases, such as autoimmune thyroiditis.
What are the natural vegetable sources of selenium?
Selenium is mainly present in Brazil nuts (just one Brazil nut per day provides 75 micrograms of selenium, the recommended daily dose for adults without selenium deficiencies), medicinal mushrooms (especially Shiitake), red beans, chia seeds, brown rice, broccoli, cabbage or spinach.
Excessive amounts selenium from supplements can be dangerous, so it is essential to ask the advice of a nutritionist before considering taking selenium supplements.