WHAT IS SELENIUM & WHY ITS IMPORTANT IN THE SICKLE CELL PATIENT'S DIET
According to Google, 'Selenium is a mineral that plays a role in many bodily functions. It may protect against thyroid problems, cancer, cognitive decline and asthma but more research is needed to determine this and other possible advantages'. Some good sources of selenium are brown rice, eggs, brazil nuts and some fish.
Researchers say that sickle cell patients' diet should be rich in selenium because insufficient levels in patients with sickle cell disease are associated with red blood cell destruction or hemolysis. According to a study carried out between 2012 to 2014 on a total of 51 patients by a Brazilian medical team to determine whether the levels of selenium, zinc vitamins A & E are associated with the degree of hemolysis in the diet of adults with SCD, their results showed that while the others were above the required reference values for a healthy diet, selenium was lower. An adequate selenium intake may probably improve SCD patients' clinical status and so an increased amount of selenium rich foods in their diet is recommended.
Some of these foods according to the National Institutes Of Health (NIH) Office Of Dietary Supplements include seafood, organ meats, cereals and other grains and dairy products. Prior to researching this topic for today's post, I was completely unfamiliar with selenium, what it was and how important it was in the diet of sickle cell patients. The impact of selenium deficiency in SCD patients is elevated oxidative stress in the red blood cells and thus especially black/african patients should include more foods rich in selenium to their diet in order to support and achieve a good quality of life.