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At the moment we are all keen to maintain good health and do our best to support our immune systems. There’s adhering to lockdown rules, washing our hands, not touching our faces and getting plenty of sleep. But what are the nutrients and vitamins hidden in our food which enable our bodies to effectively fight bacteria and viruses if we get exposed to them? You’ve probably heard of vitamin C in relation to immunity; perhaps vitamin D too… but what about selenium? Is this lesser-known micronutrient something you need to be aware of in these challenging times?

What is selenium and which foods is it found in?

Selenium is an essential trace element with a number of biological functions. Selenium levels affect the ability of the body to repair DNA by protecting cells from oxidative stress. Selenium is also heavily involved in the endocrine (e.g. thyroid function) and immune systems. Selenium occurs in organic and inorganic forms. The organic form is found predominantly in grains, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products and enters the food chain via plant consumption.

What happens if you are deficient in selenium? 

Selenium deficiency has also been associated with increased incidence, severity (virulence) and/or progression of viral infections such as influenza (flu), HIV and Coxsackie virus. For example, flu infections are known to cause significantly greater lung problems in selenium‐deficient mice compared with selenium adequate mice. Another study found the amount of inflammation and severity of illness was significantly higher in selenium deficient mice.

It has been suggested that increased severity of viral infections in selenium‐deficient mice could be the result of increased oxidative stress caused by impaired antioxidant enzyme activity. Excessive inflammation may be the result of viral‐induced tissue damage and an increased expression of NF‐kB, which controls inflammatory responses, because of increased oxidative stress.

What can you do to help ensure optimum selenium levels? 

Selenium deficiency, or simply having low levels, can affect health. For that reason, it’s essential to eat a balanced diet so that you are giving your body the best chance of getting all the nutrients it needs. If you are concerned that you don’t eat enough of the foods listed above, perhaps because you are adhering to a strict vegan diet, it could be worth exploring a selenium supplement. 

Altruvita's selenium supplement

Selenium deficiency, or simply having low levels, can affect health. Altruvita’s selenium is from selenomethionine (a naturally occurring amino acid) and provides over 180% of the adult daily requirement for health (nutrient reference value). We are also vegan and vegetarian approved by the Vegetarian Society, so this is the perfect selenium supplement for those sticking to a plant-based diet.

Tried and tested.

Co-Q10

“I was recommended to take CoQ10 because of my low energy levels and the fact that I take Statins. Altruvita’s CoQ10 is one of the highest dosages I could find on the market which falls in line with what I was recommended to take. The information given and packaging is really professional and I’m feeling much less lethargic since taking it.”

Keith

Vitamin D

“I did a fair bit of research on the quality of vitamin D supplements on the market and Altruvita looked by far the best. This is actually my second order and although I was surrounded by ill people all Christmas I sailed through without a sniffle. Highly recommend.”

Chris

Curcumin+

“I have an office job and felt stiff when sitting down for such a long time – since taking curcumin+ I felt less stiff and had less back aches as well, feel more mobile”

Deborah

Happy Tum

“I feel pretty good. More energy and symptoms of IBS are better.”

Joe

Xanthohumol+

“Amazing product. I have used this brand for a while now and am really pleased with my results. It’s great quality and worth the price!”

Ariella

Happy Tum

Less bloated and much calmer stomach

Wanda

Magnesium

“Energy boost!!! Amazing product! Took 4 a day for 2 weeks and saw a massive difference in my energy levels. Highly recommended.”

Michael S.

Like what you’ve heard?

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