After injuring my neck about a 1 1/2 ago, I was left with a swollen neck and chin that made it hard to rotate my upper body and to move. Lymphatic drainage (a form of bodywork that helps clear extra material and fluids from your lymphatic system) helped temporarily, but nothing else seemed to work. At this time, I was doing a lot of research on nutrition.
Through my investigations, I developed a theory that maybe I was lacking some micronutrients to heal. Taking into account my symptoms, lab tests, autoimmune condition, and the properties of selenium, I thought experimenting with selenomethionine may help me.
Within a couple of days, the inflammation I experienced around my neck and upper body disappeared. Wow! My massage therapist asked me what was I doing differently. I told her that I was taking Selenium supplements. Knowing how Selenium impacted my healing process, I thought writing about this powerful antioxidant may benefit some folks, like it did for me.
What is it?
- An essential trace mineral
- Toxic in large amounts
- Selenium concentration is highest in the thyroid gland - more than any other gland in the body.
What is it good for?
- Works in conjunction with vitamin E in averting free radical damage to cell membranes; sparing each other.
- About 25 selenium-dependent enzymes have been identified (selenoproteins); five of them are glutathione peroxidases, meaning they work as antioxidant enzymes.
- Takes part in important detox enzyme system in the liver.
Low Levels of Selenium are found in people with the following conditions
- Heart Disease
- Low Immune function
- Low thyroid function
- Specific Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
- Premature aging
- Macular degeneration
- High Blood pressure
- Diabetic neuropathy
- RDA: 55 mcg
- ODA: 200 mcg from food and supplements
- Make sure to take with other minerals and vitamins
- Long term and taking more than 400 mcg daily is not recommended
- Best forms for supplementation include the following:
- Selenomethionine (90% is absorbed)
- High selenium yeast
Studies show conflicting results. Food seems best. Otherwise, short-term supplementation depends on total nutritional status and specific condition. Talk with your nutritionist or functional medicine doctor for more information!
- Brazil Nuts
- Fish/Seafood (tuna, salmon, sardines, crab, shrimp, & halibut)
- Swiss chard
- Pork Chops
- Whole grains (ex. Brown Rice)
- Nutritional yeast
Bauman College (2014) NC106.3 Lecture - Micronutrients - Iron, Phosphorus, Sulfur, & the Trace Minerals. Retrieved from http://dashboard.baumancollege.org/pluginfile.php/10259/mod_resource/content/5/FON_Materials/106/Lecture/pdf/106_5_Handout_WaterSolVitBC_021414_LS.pdf
Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.
Wiersinga, W. M. (2016). Clinical Relevance of Environmental Factors in the Pathogenesis of Autoimmune Thyroid Disease. Endocrinology and Metabolism, 31(2), 213–222. http://doi.org/10.3803/EnM.2016.31.2.213
Koekkoek, WA. Van Zanten, AR. (2016) Antioxidant Vitamins and Trace Elements in Critical Illness. Nutr Clin Pract, 31(4), 457-74. doi: 10.1177/0884533616653832. Epub 2016 Jun 16.