Essential Selenium Trace Element – Absent in Most Foods Today

Selenium is an essential trace element required by the body to synthesize the potent protective antioxidant enzyme glutathione. By itself, it protects cells from cancer, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, radiation and other free radical damage. Many researchers today believes that deficiency is at an all time high.

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In the good old days, crops in fields were rotated each and every year. When fields were not growing crops, other crops called 'cover crops' were planted. These crops helps to restore and boost nutrients (like selenium) and nitrogen levels in the soil and are essential for the growth and nutritional value of foods grown there. But that's not how it is now!

Today, selenium is totally absent in the soil. It's been removed by years and years of flooding the soil with toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers used by our farmers Monsanto. Two thirds of the 'cultivable' land around the world is devoid of it, so food grown in such soil is lacking this trace element. However, it is vital and necessary for good health!

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Benefits of Selenium Trace Element

Dr. Mercola cites:

"At the cellular level, selenium is an active component of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that converts hydrogen peroxide to water. Glutathione peroxidase has potent antioxidant properties, and serves as a first line of defense against build-up of harmful free radicals in your cells."

"Selenium also plays an important role in the prevention of cancer. One of the reasons people get cancer is because of excessive free radical production. By reducing free radicals, selenium helps reduce your risk of cancer."

It also protects against viral infections and pollutants, and helps detoxify your body against smoking, drugs, (of any kind which includes prescription!), and frequent alcohol use. It also helps regulate normal thyroid function and plays a role in our immunity. Lack of selenium may lead to changes in fingernails, muscle weakness, and heart problems.

This unique trace element works in conjunction with Vitamin E also, which in turn helps selenium form Glutathione in the liver. It is also necessary for good immune function.

In one study, researchers looked at dietary intakes among the people of China, living in different regions. They found that there was a very strong connection between low levels and increased cancer levels. Other studies have shown that people with low blood levels of selenium and vitamin E are significantly more likely to develop cancer. Studies have also shown that higher levels can reduce the risk of lung and colon cancer by about 50 percent, and reduce prostate cancer by as much as 63 percent.

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Your body need only traces of this mineral a day. An adult daily dosage of 200 - 400 mcg, (micrograms), is all you'll need.

Yet another perk of this trace mineral is that it's still pretty darn cheap to buy, compared to other supplements! So there's no reason to NOT take it to help fight cancer and boost your immunity!

Recommended Dosage by Age

0 - 6 mths.  - 45mcg.
7 - 12 mths. - 60mcg.
1 - 3 years - 90mcg.
4 - 8 years - 150mcg.
9 - 13 years - 280mcg.
14 - 18 years - 200mcg.
19 years + - 200 - 400mcg.


Arthritis and diabetes are reported to be associated with deficiencies. Gastrointestinal problems, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or surgical removal of part of the stomach or intestines can lead to a deficiency.

Some folks in the medical community disagree over where the deficiencies are greatest. Some claim that one of the most deficient regions in the world is the Great Lakes area, naming Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio. Another source cites that the deficiencies are greatest in the Carolina’s and the Georgia belt states. However, they do agree that the soils in the high plains of northern Nebraska and the Dakotas have very high levels of this trace element. People living in those regions generally have the highest intakes and best health in the United States.

However, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, everyone is deficient. That's why it should be an essential part of daily vitamin intake. I've been taking it daily and faithfully for over 30 years! It really is important.

Food Sources

Foods that are high in this trace element include seafood of all kinds, meats, eggs, liver, sardines, chia seeds, mushrooms, whole grains, and especially Brazil nuts.


Excessive intake can result in symptoms that could include irritability and general fatigue. Increased toxicity can lead to loss of hair and nails, white blotchy nails, and garlic breath. Prolonged duration can lead to a condition called chronic selenium toxicity or selenosis. Symptoms may include excessive vomiting, nausea, nerve damage, skin rash, and/or brittle bones. Toxicity is rare in the US with a few reported cases of manufacturing errors leading to an excessively high dose in a supplement.

However, one thing is clear. Everyone needs this supplement in their diets! It is important to remember that selenium in high amounts can be quite toxic, so be sure not to exceed the daily recommended allowance. This is why we only need trace amounts of it. For that reason, please do not exceed 400 mcg. daily! Talk to your doctor about pre-existing conditions and any possible contraindications you may have.

Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.

Related Pages on This Site

Take Antioxidant Supplements to Reduce Free Radical Exposure!

Astaxanthin Benefits for Eyes, Skin, Inflammation, and Much More!

Vitamin C Antioxidant - Protects Cells and Improves Immune Response

Glutathione - One of the Most Power-Packed Antioxidants

NAC Amino Acid - Detoxifies and Protects

Vitamin E - Powerful Protector and Health Booster

Vitamin A as Beta Carotene - Promotes Vision & Protects the Skin

Alpha Lipoic Acid - A Potent Antioxidant for Healthy Cells


The Role of Selenium in Cellular Health and Cancer Prevention

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