This is Dr. Ken O’Neal with another episode of “Teaching, Learning & Caring” for your health.
Today we’re going to talk about selenium. According to nutritional historian and author, Christopher Barr, selenium, although little known by the majority of the public, is probably the most protective of all single nutrients that exist today. It is what we call a “micro mineral” because it’s needed in very small (trace) amounts, measured in micrograms. The average American gets between 50 to 200 micrograms a day from their foods.
The foods that we have today are very, very low in selenium compared to what they were thirty years ago. I’ll just give you one example of that, … Brazil nuts, which are a very good source of selenium, as well as other sources, such as seafood and seaweed, have a lot of selenium in them, but a Brazil nut of thirty years ago had 800 micrograms, and today if you eat that same Brazil nut, you only get 100 micrograms. Even the N.I.H. (National Institute of Health) states that a dose of 400 micrograms a day of selenium is safe and you will get many of the benefits just from that small amount.
What we have here is a product made from whole food selenium. That means that the selenium is grown into the food. This type of product is by far the best kind of the three kinds of selenium available. There’s sodium selenite, selenomethionine, and then this whole food selenium. Don’t worry about the chemical names; just ask for “whole food selenium”, if you’re wanting to get the best.
Now, some of the things that selenium does for our health … I’m just going to talk about a couple of them … because selenium helps our body change T4 to the more active thyroid hormone T3. Selenium helps the body make glutathione, which is the number one detoxifier in the body. It helps break down and detoxify heavy metals, chemicals, and other toxins that are in our body.
The two things I’m going to talk about today, however, are covered in this published article that I have in front me right here. The first subject is “The Potent Antiviral Effects of Selenium”. It’s one of the strongest stimulators of all the nutrients of the immune system. I’ll give you one example of this. Everybody has now heard of the Ebola virus, it’s a very potent virus that runs through the body and causes death in just a few hours, …twenty four hours sometimes. The Ebola virus is a member of a virus family called hemorrhagic fever.
Now, there was a study that Dr. Jonathan Wright, M.D., a very well-known integrative doctor from Seattle, pointed out in one of his nutritional books. One of them was a study in China where there were a number of patients who had an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever, and they gave the worst form of selenium, sodium selenite, …two milligrams, which is two-thousand micrograms. Remember I said the average dose is about 400 micrograms and that’s I.V. dose of sodium selenite. It was five times the amount of the average dose. This was given to one group of patients, and no selenium to another group of patients. The end result of that study was that there was 100% mortality in the group that did not get the I.V. selenium, two milligrams once a day for nine days; the other group had a 75% survival rate.
So, we transpose this very potent benefit of selenium for protection against flu. Last year with H1N1 flu, with many of the people that I counseled with about their health, I put them on selenium as a protective agent, and, of course, it works pretty well after you get some of these viral illnesses. There was also another study recently done by the University of Miami in which AIDS patients who are well-known to be very susceptible to what is called “O.I.’s” or opportunistic infections; all kinds of different viruses and bacteria and even parasites that other people just don’t get because they have more average or stronger immune systems. It had a significant impact on reducing opportunistic infections in this group of AIDS patients at the University of Miami.
The second thing I want to talk about concerning the importance and benefits from selenium is selenium and cancer. This is a very interesting story because some of the best researchers at N.I.H. (National Institute of Health) and Gerhard Schrauzer who is from the University of California, San Diego, (California) who is considered by the mainstream medical establishment to be the number one world expert on selenium and cancer. There was a study done way back in the sixties when this type of whole food selenium was used in one group of patients and the other patients were not given any. This was a group of 1,300 patients that were followed for ten years. Now, remember the medical establishment says that you’re cured of cancer if, from the time of diagnosis, five years passes and it doesn’t recur again. They consider that a cure. So, using that definition, when you go up to a seven year survival, the numbers that even the medical establishment give out are much, much lower for any kind of cancer you name.
So, what we have here were three types of cancer: there was a 63% reduction in prostate cancer; a 57% reduction in colon cancer; and a 47% reduction in lung cancer in the group that got the selenium (and, it was only 200 micrograms a day, by the way, as that was back in the sixties), compared to the control group that received no selenium. And, it has been discovered in recent years that there is a direct correlation. This is amazing; … this is really something we need to think about. The median average blood levels of selenium in the people of a nation is directly proportional to the higher the selenium levels, the lower the cancer rates of all kinds of cancer. The lower the selenium levels, the higher rates of all kinds of cancers.
Now, Japan has one the highest rates of blood selenium levels in the world and one of the lowest rates of cancer in the world. In the United States, we have one of lowest average blood levels of selenium in the world and one of the highest rates of cancer in the world. And, it’s not just because we’re living longer, because we rank very low in the top thirty industrial nations in longevity; the Japanese are up near the top of longevity, as well. So, going back to the first statement I made: Christopher Barr’s statement that selenium … the right kind, the right amount, over a period of time is the most protective single nutrient that we can take today.
Please look into this … go onto the website and look up the information we have about this very, very important micronutrient. We can follow it by doing hair mineral analysis and see if we can get up to an optimum level, but you know you’re going to get the protection just by taking 200 micrograms a day, or four of these tablets. You owe it to yourself if you want to protect yourself from cancer that runs in your family, or if you’ve already gone through the five-year survival; …even after you have it, it’s an important adjunctive part of dealing with this extremely important health issue. The studies are there. I’ll just sum it up by saying: “Take a look at the selenium … if you’ve never heard of it, get acquainted with it, and if you’re not taking it, start taking it.”