Brazil nuts could play a crucial role in boosting a woman’s fertility according to research by the University of Adelaide. Scientists found that selenium, a natural antioxidant, is key in the early stages of conception and Brazil nuts have the highest level of ALL foods!
Melanie Ceko, from the University of Adelaide, who carried out the research, said “Selenium is an essential trace element,” adding, “It is important for many biological functions, such as immune response, thyroid hormone production, and acts as an antioxidant, helping to detoxify damaging chemicals in the body.”
Selenium has long been used in the world of animal husbandry to prevent miscarriage. Females prone to miscarriage tend to have low levels of selenium in their systems.
Selenium plays a part in male fertility, too. A previous study demonstrated that selenium supplementation increased fertility in a group of men with poor sperm quality.
“We’ve known for some time that selenium is important to men’s fertility,” said Melanie Ceko, “but until now no one has researched how this element could be involved in healthy reproduction in women.”
Not just for fertility
Selenium has many other health benefits. For example, research has also shown selenium to be linked to substantial reductions in the incidence of prostate cancer and may also help to protect against other forms of cancer.
Since the Seventies it has been noted that individuals with the lowest intakes of selenium have the highest risk of dying from cancer.
Half the risk of dying from cancer
The 1996 selenium study was the first research to look at whether or not taking selenium could reduce cancer risk. This study involved more than 1,300 individuals, all of whom had a history of skin cancers other than the melanoma type. Half the group was given selenium as a supplement, the other half a placebo (inactive pill).
After about four years it was found that the group taking selenium had half the risk of dying from cancer compared to those taking placebos. While selenium had no effect on skin cancer risk, it did bring about very significant reductions in the risk of cancers of the prostate, colon, lung, etc.
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