Selenium is a trace mineral that naturally occurs in plants and animals (brazil nuts seem to be the highest source). Our bodies need it only in tiny amounts, but without it we couldn’t survive or develop properly. It works together with vitamin E, It has great antioxidant power and is therefore of interest to cosmetic companies that produce anti-aging formulas. Like all antioxidants, selenium can help the skin to fight free radicals which improves the skin’s elasticity and delays the aging of skin. Clinical trials have also shown promise in preventing inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Selenium can boost immune system functions which may help fight cold sores, shingles and infections. Most people get enough of this nutrient from a balanced diet. (The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is just 55 micrograms) Men are more likely to experience a selenium deficiency. It is sold in supplements and is often combined with other antioxidants like vitamin E. Too much selenium is not a good thing as it may be toxic in levels that exceed the RDA. Unfortunately, selenium is not easily absorbed through the skin, so its anti-aging properties may be best achieved through a healthy well-balanced diet.

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