Selenium is an essential trace mineral that is very important in maintaining the thyroid gland’s good health. This mineral is naturally found in the soil, therefore crops harvested from selenium rich areas will contain high levels of the mineral.
Studies suggest that selenium may play a major role in the risk reduction of thyroid cancer. Other cancers that may it may also reduce the risks for are lung, colorectal and prostate. As an antioxidant, selenium works protecting the cells from the damaging free radicals in the body.
A imbalance of selenium and the mineral iodine may result in the thyroid condition called goiter. The thyroid gland will become enlarged when lacking iodine in its attempt to produce more hormones. Studies on experimental animals have shown that a deficiency of selenium will also cause the thyroid to become enlarged. It is well known that many African countries where there is a lack of these two minerals in the diet, there are a large number of cases goiter and hypothyroidism.
As with all nutrients, vitamins and mineral, there has to be a balance in our diet. Supplementation of selenium for good thyroid health should be discussed with your physician.