Honey’s Role for Improving Selenium Concentration

Back in the day, we first used selenium to treat dandruff of all things. Today, this essential trace mineral has enjoyed certain breakthroughs. Now scientists and nutritionists view selenium as an important element in the nutritional schema. In this video, Sandra Cabot MD, speaks more about this trace mineral. She introduces you to the range of potential health benefits of selenium. Dr. Cabot explains how this is one of the essential building blocks for a healthy immune system.

My Notes

Selenium is a mineral which comes from the soil. It appears naturally in water and certain types of food. Selenium is what's known as an essential trace element. That basically means we only need it in tiny amount, but we still need it all the same. It strengthens the immune system in a unique way. A healthy immune system is able to repair cells, resist infection and reduce inflammation. It also gets to kill abnormal cells that may otherwise cause damage.

Other essential trace elements needed by humans include:

  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Cobalt
  • Molybdenum
  • Chromium
  • Iodine

Those in bold font are also found in honey.

Selenium is a nutrient that plays a major role in our metabolism. It attracts most of its attention due to its antioxidant properties. These antioxidants are what help to protect the body's cells from damage. Among healthy individuals in developed nations, selenium deficiencies are uncommon, though not unheard of.

Honey Helps to Improve Selenium Concentration

Studies show that selenium status is dependent upon dietary sources. This is the case for most trace elements. How much selenium there is in a food crop depends largely on the selenium content of the soil from where the food originates.

In this study, 129 volunteers residing in Poland did a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Serum selenium concentrations were determined using the electrothermal absorption spectrometry (ETAAS) technique. ETAAS is a routine tool for quantitative trace analysis, in this case following serum dilution.

The consumption of honey, ham and tea was positively associated with the selenium concentration. This was measured in the sera of selenium-inadequate subjects.

The Potential Benefits for Selenium

There have been plenty of studies into the benefits of selenium. Research has looked at it for the treatment of dozens of health conditions. These range from arthritis to asthma, from infertility to dandruff and plenty more between. So far the results have been inconclusive. Many have been promising, but more large-scale trials will need conducting.

Frequent consumption of honey, tea and ham may be effective to improve selenium concentration

Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism
2004 May 6;48(3):134-140

Further reading of interest:

Selenium impacts honey bee behavior and survival
Source: University of California – Riverside
April 25, 2012


These results suggest the following: The frequent consumption of honey (along with ham and tea) may be effective for improving the selenium concentration of selenium-inadequate subjects.

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