Selenium, the Fertility Mineral!? Organic and Inorganic Selenium Ameliorate Reductions in Testosterone, Testicular Damage and Abnormalities in Sperm Quality in Obese Mice
|Image 1: With enough selenium in vivo, "in vitro" (-fertilization) may not be necessary.|
When your body fat sets your testicles on fire, selenium may come to a rescue...
One of the most common causes of increased oxidative stress, these days, are the increased levels in highly oxidizable very-low density cholesterol and triglyceride levels which appear to be an almost inevitable consequence of the "modern" lifestyle (=sitting on the couch and washing down your fast-food, as well as your low-fat "healthy" cereals, pasta and rice with soda). A recent study from scientists from the Institute of Nutritional and Metabolic Disorders of Domestic in China does now show that an adequate amount of dietary or supplemental selenium, which is, as you may gather from the data in table 1, pretty scarce in everything that was not grown or raised on selenium-rich soil, may not be able to reverse all negative side-effects, but could ameliorate them so that reproduction would still be possible (Ibrahim. 2011).
|Table 1: Selenium content of common foods (based on data from the NIS. 2011)|
Amelioration? Yes! Reversal / complete prevention? No!
After 75 days on control, high fat, high fat + probiotic only, high fat + inorganic selenium only, and high fat + 90% organic selenium + probiotic diets, the testis of the mice showed histopathological changes even a non-expert as I am one would identify as "probably not healthy" (cf. illustration 1):
|Illustration 1: Compilation of the histopathological examination of murine testes (H & E, ×400; based on Ibrahim. 2011)|
|Figure 1: Measures of sperm quality - sperm count and motility (left); relative incidence of sperm with abnormal heads and tails (right; data based on Ibrahim. 2011)|
|Figure 2: Lipid (left axes) and testosterone (right axes) levels in the different groups (left); HDL to total cholesterol ratio and change in testosterone levels compared to control (right; data calculated based on Ibrahim. 2011)|
|Image 2: The importance of selenium for thyroid function, specifically the local conversion of the "inactive" T4 to the "active" T3 is not the only reason why women should try to achieve adequate selenium intakes, as well.|
Selenium intoxication from Brazil nuts? I don't think so...
|Image 3: Eating lots of brazil nuts and other selenium rich foods until they achieve what the US consider "toxic" serum and plasma levels does not seem to impair the health of the inhabitants of the regions around the Tapajós River in Brazil - on the contrary, their cardiovascular health is outstanding (Lemire. 2011)|