Selenium's principal function is to inhibit the oxidation of lipids (fats) as a component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. It is a vital antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E. It protects the immune system by preventing the formation of free radicals that can damage the body. It plays a vital role in regulating the effects of thyroid hormone on fat metabolism.

Selenium has also been found to function as a preventive against the formation of certain types of tumors. One study found that men who took 200 micrograms of selenium daily over a ten year period had roughly half the risk of developing lung, prostate and colorectal cancer as compared with men who did not.

Selenium and vitamin E act synergistically to aid in the production of antibodies and to help maintain a healthy heart and liver. This trace element is needed for pancreatic function and tissue elasticity. When combined with vitamin E and zinc, it may also provide relief from an enlarged prostate. Selenium supplementation has been found to protect the liver in people with alcoholic cirrhosis. Studies conducted at the University of Maimi indicate that taking supplemental selenium may enhance the survival of people with AIDS by increasing both red and white blood cell counts. It has shown promise in the treatment of arthritis, cardiovascular disease, male infertility, cataracts, AIDS and high blood pressure. Selenium is incorporated into over twenty-five proteins, called selenoproteins, that play pivotal roles in a number of bodily activities, from activating thyroid hormones to regenerating vitamin C.

Selenium deficiency has been linked to cancer and heart disease. It has also been associated with exhaustion, growth impairment, high cholesterol levels, infections, liver impairment, pancreatic insufficiency and sterility. There is some thought that selenium deficiency might be linked to a host of viral outbreaks, from new strains of influenza to Ebola, wrought by the rapidly mutating virus’s interaction with selenium-deficient hosts in places like Africa and China where there is little or no selenium in the soil.

Selenium can be found in meat and grains, depending on the selenium content of the soil where the food is raised. It can be found in Brazil nuts (the only truly concentrated natural source), brewer’s yeast, broccoli, brown rice, chicken, dairy products, garlic, kelp, liver, molasses, onions, salmon, seafood, torula yeast, tuna, vegetables, wheat germ and whole grains. Herbs that contain selenium include alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, fennel seed, fenugreek, garlic, ginseng, hawthorn berry, hops, horsetail, lemongrass, milk thistle, nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, rose hips, sarsaparilla, uva ursi, yarrow and yellow dock.

Taking up to 200 micrograms of selenium per day is considered safe for most people. This is half the maximum allowable dose.

Symptoms of selenosis (excessively high selenium levels) can include arthritis, brittle nails, garlicky breath odor, gastrointestinal disorders, hair loss, irritability, liver and kidney impairment, a metallic taste in the mouth, pallor, skin eruptions, tooth loss and yellowish skin. Unless your health care provider prescribes it, do not take more than 400 micrograms daily. One ounce of Brazil nuts can contain as much as 544 micrograms of selenium. If you take supplemental selenium, do not consume Brazil nuts. If you are pregnant, you should not take more than 40 micrograms of supplemental selenium daily, nor should you consume Brazil nuts.

Active Formulation
  • Selenium Yeast 100mg in vegetable capsule (60cap/bottle).

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