Grandma's Selenium Guide

Selenium's principal function is to inhibit the oxidation of lipids (fats). It is a vital antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E. It protects the immune system by preventing the formation of free radicals, which can damage the body. It has also been found to function as a preventive against the formation of certain types of tumors.

Selenium and Vitamin E act synergistically to aid in the production of antibodies and to help maintain 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.

Supplementation of the mineral has been found to protect the liver in people with alcoholic cirrhosis.

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
  • sterility

Symptoms of excessively high levels of this mineral can include:

  • arthritis
  • brittle nails
  • garlicky breath oder
  • gastrointestional disorders
  • hair loss
  • irritability
  • liver and kidney impairment
  • a metallic taste in the mouth
  • pallor
  • skin eruptions
  • yellowish skin

a photo of Brazil nuts a natural food source of silenium a photo of brewer's yeast supplements a supplemental source of selenium photo of a sandwich with dulse, tomato and lettice on wheat bread dulse is a natural food source of selenium

Selenium Deficiency due to Soil
Foods and Herbs that Contain Selenium

This trace element can be found in meat and grains, depending on the selenium content of the soil where the food is raised. Because New Zealand soils are low in selenium, cattle and sheep raised there have suffered a breakdown of muscle tissue, including the heart muscle. However, human intake of this mineral there is adequate because of imported Australian wheat. The soil of much American farmland is low in selenium, resulting in selenium-deficient produce.

Selenium can be found in:

  • Brazil nuts
  • brewer's yeast
  • broccoli
  • brown rice
  • chicken
  • dairy products
  • dulse
  • garlic
  • kelp
  • liver
  • molasses
  • onions
  • salmon
  • seafood
  • torula yeast
  • tuna
  • vegetables
  • wheat germ
  • whole grains

Herb's 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
  • yellow dock


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