So much emphasis is placed on Vitamin D-3, vitamin C and zinc to combat COVID-19, and so little on the mineral selenium.
I believe selenium is the real hero to reduce the severity of the infection, inflammation and death.
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Selenium is a natural mineral found in the earth’s crust. It is more scarce than gold but it could be more valuable in terms of our health. Plants that grow in soil that is rich in selenium will benefit those who eat these selenium rich plants.
During times of a viral pandemic, like COVID-19, a healthy immune system to ward off infection is critical. Our immune system jumps into action if we come into contact with a virus and helps prevent and reduce the severity of the infection. Why do some individuals experience mild symptoms while others may have to deal with horrible side effects of the viral infections, and some individuals worse off, will unfortunately die?
Maintaining the health of our bodies, more precisely that of our immune system, is vital. Our immune system requires a number of nutrients to maintain its health and prevent infection, most notably, vitamins A, C, D-3, and E. For minerals, it’s zinc and selenium.
I am not a physician, but I am offering you my personal opinion based on having read hundreds of articles on all these critical nutrients. The most often mentioned in various health circles, are vitamin C, D and zinc. And, unfortunately, selenium is barely mentioned. I definitely count on maintaining my health with all 4 vitamins and 2 minerals. But, I pay special attention to making sure I get the right dose of selenium.
Studies in which various diets with adequate levels of selenium and without selenium were fed to humans and animals and then injected with a virus. Those who were fed a diet with adequate selenium may or may not show any ill effects or just mild symptoms of the infection. Those that were fed a diet without selenium experienced horrible symptoms and uncontrollable inflammation from the infection, and many died. Whereas, in the selenium adequate diet, no deaths were reported.
It has been estimated by researchers that there are over 2 billion people worldwide that are deficient in selenium, all who may make the virus more deadly. Over time, a mild form of virus becomes stronger and more deadly due to a lack of selenium.
Another interesting fact of the studies was when a virus entered a selenium deficient human or animal. The mild acting virus became virulent, or in other words, deadly or fatal. New strains or mutations of a more deadly virus are created when they enter a sick, selenium deficient, unhealthy individual and then passed on to others.
Could it be possible that just being deficient in selenium could cause a more violent degree of symptoms and death? I would bet my money (HEALTH) on it.
However, there are huge areas of the world that have very low levels of selenium in the soil. These areas include China, all of Europe, and some areas of the U.S.
A safe and effective daily dose of selenium (yeast), is to consume 100-200 mcg daily. I would not exceed 400 mcg.
The FDA has also suggested the following regarding 200 mcg daily of selenium and cancer: In 2003, the FDA allowed a qualified health claim on foods and dietary supplements containing selenium to state that while “some scientific evidence suggests that consumption of selenium may reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer… FDA has determined that this evidence is limited and not conclusive”. More research is needed to confirm the relationship between selenium concentrations and cancer risk, and to determine whether selenium supplements can help prevent any form of cancer.