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Health news:
 
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?
 

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution

 

December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects

 

November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet

 

October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women

 

September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?

 

August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?

 

July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives

 

June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's

 

May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo
 

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure
 

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains

NEWS ARCHIVE
2009
2008
2007

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Selenium and your health

One could say that selenium (Se) is fairly popular nutrient these days, and there are a few good reasons for it. This micro-mineral has the ability to bind with toxic heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic) and pull them out of your body through regular elimination channels.

Low selenium levels expose you to greater free-radical damage and compromised detox function; this translates into higher risk of cancer, lowered immune system efficiency and cardiovascular disease (due to its role in the production of prostaglandins). Also, selenium deficiency can contribute to Candida overgrowth, neurological symptoms, and, being essential for the synthesis of main thyroid hormone, low thyroid function. It can also lead to enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy), which in extreme cases can be life-threatening.

However, too much of it can harm you, just like any other nutritional excess. Elevated selenium levels make vitamin E less efficient (unless it is supplemented too), and can also suppress chromium, magnesium, zinc and other important nutrients. Long-term excessive intake of selenium increases risk of shingles, enlarged prostate, reduced glucose tolerance, and others. It can also cause loss or hair and even nails.

Selenium toxicity is much more likely to occur as a consequence of consuming inorganic selenium form, obtained from sedimentary rocks. Its organic forms, found in plants and animals (selenomethionine and selenocysteine), as well as selenium yeast are generally non-toxic.

Selenium DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes, the most recent set of dietary recommendations set by the government) for an average healthy adult is set at 0.055mg (or 55μg), with short-term therapeutic doses of up to 2mg a day.

Selenium levels in foods depend directly on its soil concentration, which can vary widely. In most areas its concentration is low to moderate. Some areas, however, have very high selenium soil concentration. If unnoticed, it can adversely affect health of those consuming mostly locally produced food, especially if also taking longer-term selenium supplementation.

Still, most of us need to worry about selenium deficiency, rather than the excess, at least when it comes to its dietary supply. Unofficial estimates are that up to half of the U.S. population, possibly more, gets from their diet significantly less than the DRI for selenium. This is result of both, depleted soils and nutritionally depleted diets. Like other minerals, and nutrients in general, selenium is often lost in food processing.

Best natural selenium food sources are brazil nuts, seafood, beef, rice and whole grains.   R

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