Selenium is actually a mineral, not an antioxidant. However, it works as an invaluable partner with all the members of network antioxidants to enhance their benefits and allow them to perform functions that they could not do on their own. It's also an essential component of two important antioxidant enzymes that are manufactured by your body, glutathione peroxidase, which recycles glutathione; and thioredoxin, which recycles vitamin C.
Prevention of Heart Disease. Selenium supplements work with with vitamin E, your body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant, to help prevent heart disease. In combination, these two nutrients are even more powerful than either of them by themselves.
Cancer Prevention. Selenium seems to protect against many types of cancers, including lung, prostate and colon cancer. Much of the scientific literature on this trace mineral demonstrates its ability to accelerate the destruction of tumor cells.
Prevention of Cataracts and Macular Degeneration. Selenium is an important nutrient in the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration. Ginkgo biloba, lutein, zeaxanthin, and bilberry are also valuable supplements in the prevention against macular degeneration.
Selenium supplements may also help in the prevention and/or treatment of the following:
Brazil nuts are the most concentrated food source of selenium, featuring about 70-110 micrograms per nut. You could get your daily requirement of selenium by eating 2 or 3 Brazil nuts every day.
Because selenium content of any food varies depending on soil content, these values are only good for comparing relative values.
For more information on selenium,
go to my page on Benefits of Selenium
Some selenium supplements are combined with garlic extracts, which supplies the extra benefits of garlic's powerful cancer-inhibiting, antibacterial and antiviral phytochemicals. Many good quality multivitamins contain selenium as well.
A standard dose of selenium is 100-200 mcg. per day, with a maximum recommended dose being 700 mcg. Unlike most other nutritional supplements, much higher doses can be toxic.