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Selenium is a trace element. Selenium is essential for all forms of life – translated, this means that without the trace element selenium there is no life. Selenium reacts strongly with oxygen and therefore plays an important role in protecting cell membranes from oxidative destruction (radical scavenger) in animals and humans. Glutathione peroxidase, a very important enzyme that prevents cell damage, contains selenium. Selenium also plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones – alcohol also interferes with thyroid function.

The amount of selenium in food depends strongly on the selenium content of the soil. Selenium is also added to dairy cattle feed because the natural selenium content of the feed is often insufficient to supply the livestock.

When dosing selenium as a dietary supplement, it should be borne in mind that it has a narrow “therapeutic range”, i.e. the borderline between healthy supplementation and poisoning is quickly reached.

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