Selenium’s importance for our health has only really been examined and recognised more recently and now that we’re living in a COVID-19 (un)reality, those in the know are turning to Selenium supplements as a “contraceptive pill” against the dreaded virus. I did some research after hearing about the magic of Selenium and the thing that interested me the most was Selenium’s big impact on our immune system and what it does to viral infections. This is one trace mineral you definitely do not want to be lacking… especially now!
It seems like there is a production line of new viruses and the spread of disease these days. There is no doubt that as the human population increases and the space between us grows smaller and smaller, we will only experience more of these kinds of events in the future. While the world awaits a COVID-19 vaccine, one solution to slowing or preventing the spread of viruses in general may be something as simple as adequate Selenium intake.
In the presence of a viral infection Selenium is rapidly used up by the body and if starting with already low Selenium levels, even a minor virus could be life threatening.
Selenium from the diet comes in a variety of Selenoproteins. Selenoproteins have numerous important functions involving electron transfer, thyroid hormone metabolism, selenocysteine synthesis (also important for thyroid function), transportation and storage of selenium, and protein folding (another important physiological function). In humans, the majority of the 25 Selenoproteins are antioxidants (they fight bad stuff in your body).
When a virus enters a human lacking Selenium, it can undergo mutations making it far more dangerous. In other words, the virus also needs Selenium as a protection. If the virus lacks Selenium, mutations can occur making it even more dangerous. Selenium deficiency increases the susceptibility to and presumably the danger of the attacking virus. There is a risk that a virus could become more virulent (dangerous) by passing through a Selenium-deficient host.
In a nutshell, selenium deficiency = increased viral oxidation = stress/inflammation = increased viral damage and mutations = new viral strains = bad news ☹
It’s in the soil, or is it? Research links the evolution and spread of viral infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, influenzas, SARS, Ebola, Swine Flu, Bird Flu) to areas where soil Selenium levels are lower. This all goes back to how we farm our food and even more reason to eat Organic and stop eating processed junk. Even more reason to grow your own.
Selenium supplementation should be in the range of 60 micrograms daily. More is not better so do not overdo it. Take if for 10 days or so and then cycle off for a week or so. Do this through flu season or when you feel you’re going to be exposed to an increased viral load (travelling etc). Basically, if you want to protect yourself from a viral infection, the best defence is to take Selenium, Zinc, Iodine (drink and or nebulize the Iodine…read the previous Blog), eat loads of veggies, take a multi-vit, exercise and don’t stress.
Dr. Peter Solomon