One of the big-hitting antioxidants, selenium helps protect the tissues from free-radical damage. It is important for the healthy functioning of the cell membranes, which determine what comes in and out of the cells, and supports pancreatic functioning. An ongoing trial using 200mcg of selenium by the World Health Organisation has so far shown very positive results from the point of view of cancer prevention. This trial, called the Precise Trial, has indicated the positive benefits of selenium supplementation. Selenium also helps to protect against cardiovascular disease as well as joint degradation.
Signs of selenium deficiency: Skin problems and a dry flaky scalp; older males may need more selenium than females the same age since selenium is lost in the semen.