Selenium is a trace mineral, meaning it is essential to good health but required only in very small amounts. Selenium is an antioxidant nutrient, and is incorporated into proteins to make selenoproteins, which are enzymes with antioxidant properties. At least 25 selenoproteins have been identified, though metabolic functions have been identified for only about half of them. Some are known play a role in immunology while others are active in thyroid function or in reducing oxidative stress, which can damage cells.
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