Is Selenium the Missing Mineral from Your Diet?

pigeon holesSelenium is one of the minerals that few people talk about. Perhaps this is because you can't pigeon hole it.

You can't just say that it is good for bones or the immune system, or if you don't have Selenium you'll get a particular disease.

Unless we talk about Keshan Disease.

This is a very widespread disease diagnosed in China around 1935. We can sum it up as a heart disease but it was odd in that it fluctuated a lot with the seasons – indicating that it may depend on diet.

In fact in parts of China where there was plenty of Selenium in the soil there was much less Keshan disease and in selenium deficient areas the disease was frequent.

Other selenium deficiency disease occur too – some types of arthritis and susceptibility to viral and other infections depends on your Selenium status.

And this is not just a Chinese problem.

Selenium deficient soil is widespread across the world – in fact all areas of Europe and America that were glaciated during the last Ice age had their selenium and other minerals removed by the glaciers as they melted and retreated northwards.

And in the southern hemisphere Australia and New Zealand have a low level of selenium in the soil So selenium is a many sided puzzle but what we do know is that it is important!

It is important to the proper functioning of your liver and kidneys – the 2 major detox organs of your body.

Selenium is a part of the major antioxidant Glutathione.

Indeed some call Glutathione the "Mother Antioxidant" of the body.

Selenium does this in the form of selenocysteine.

In terms of a supplement, selenium has proved more effective in similar natural forms like selenomethionine or even a selenium rich yeast.

Levels of selenium and glutathione are low in most inflammatory conditions. The importance of this lies in the fact that all the most important and serious and chronic diseases are inflammatory. Cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes are prime examples.

They are all inflammatory diseases and they all benefit from a safe dietary level of selenium.

cover of selenium - Are You Getting Enough to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer? by Edgar Drake

Contrary Results

Of course there are dissenters from this view of selenium supplementation. You will find studies that gave way beyond a safe and sensible dose – generally accepted to be around 50 to 200 micrograms and find that at for example 400 mcg evidence of harm in that particular research study.

We knew that before they did.

A dose of that magnitude is ridiculous but it will not stop the pharmaceutical press crowing that selenium does not work or supplements don't work etc.

Biased and wrong!

Selenium is a power anti-inflammatory taken at the proper nutritional level of 50 to 200 mcg a day. The inflammatory diseases of cancer, heart attacks and diabetes kill millions every year and the crippling diseases of arthritis and cataracts limit the lives of many more millions.

Adding a selenium supplement to your daily vitamin C and other antioxidants seems a "no brainer" to me.

Checking my own daily multi I see it has 200 micrograms and I have been taking it for many years.

Any questions?



Image credit

Ding Yuin Shan

AuthorAlex Newell ND

I love learning and being healthy so as soon as I came across Yoga, read and practised to get the health benefits. When I was approaching middle age my health declined under the onslaught o stress and possibly poor diet, I had a perfect opportunity to learn more and I qualified in both Osteopathy and Naturopathy. Our health really is in our own hands and not in the hands of "The Doctor" or our Genes :-)

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