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Best Type of Selenium for Glutathione, Mercury (Pros and Cons)

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Lotus97, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

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    I was told brazil nuts have issues with both molds and radioactivity. Never checked it out, just lazily stopped including them in my diet. I'll have a look and see what else I can find.
  2. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

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    according to e how - and how could such an impecable source be wrong - there can be issues with aflatoxins with brazil nut shells (the really shit mold stuff associated with peanuts and liver cancer) and yes, they contain 1000 x more radium than the next most radioactive food - still in very small amounts, though. From their deep, extensive root systems.
    All things considered, I'm not about to reintroduce them to my diet.
  3. Rolo

    Rolo Too ill to twist

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  4. Star-Anise

    Star-Anise Senior Member

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    Hi everyone! I have read through everyone's posts & just need a tad bit of clarification re: selenium & mercury relationship:
    I have been attracted to Selenium for quite awhile & in the spirit of the mineral balancing phase I'm in, I grabbed some, and gave it a try - 200 mcg. Well I did have some interesting symptoms at first (tingling nerve like sensations down arms, some quite subtle but strange neurological (brain) sensations, hot/cold flashes), and then, about 5 hours later, I have this peaceful calmness about me that I haven't experienced for a looooong time.
    I have been googling my butt off, because I noticed there is this association between selenium & mobolizing mercury. Yasko relates it to supporting glutathione production. I plan on locating a copy of Cutler's book & going through it, but in meantime if anyone has clarity to shine on following question, as I can't find it anywhere in my research thus far:

    a) I have one amalgam filling left. My response above is intriguing, and I would like to experiment more with selenium. however, in chelating literature, I always see a stern warning to not chelate until you remove all fillings first. But, from what I can see, selenium is not a chelating agent per se, but rather an agent that potentially more inert, & easier to excrete via normal detoxification methods? Yasko advises to use selenium to support increased myelin growth (could explain nerve stuff I felt - possibly??).


    Thanks everyone!

    In health,
    Star
  5. Rand56

    Rand56 Senior Member

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    hi Star

    Funny you mentioned the reaction you got to the 200mcg's of Selenium you took. I had a similar experience except for the strange symptoms you experienced at first. I had a peaceful calm reaction too, and I'll add in a focus that I haven't experienced for quite some time. It wasn't a trippy experience. I felt a "normal" that I haven't felt in a very long time. It was short lived. The bad thing is, I had to take 1000 mcg's to have this effect. No I'm not recommending anyone do this high dosage and I wasn't dumb enough to stay on that high dosage.

    Possibly enhanced dopamine function? There is some evidence on pubmed <I know, in rats and mice, and with higher dosages> that it can help with dopaminergic neurotransmittion.
  6. Asklipia

    Asklipia Senior Member

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    Most of the Selenium in a human body is located in the gonads and seminal plasma.
    A free source!!!!

    Most probably one of the reasons why in Eastern practices ejaculation is not recommended, as shortening the life-span.
    taniaaust1, aaron_c and Star-Anise like this.
  7. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but...

    @ahmo

    Were did you end up re: selenium? Since selenocysteine (and selenomethionine) has selenium instead of sulfur, shouldn't it be OK for us sulfur sensitives? [Edit: Metabolism of selenomethionine to selenocysteine appears to be impaired with some transsulfuration issues, at least with rats. See the second study below] Unless selenium uses some of the same pathways? This is a picture of methylselenocysteine. Did you (or anyone else) get sulfur type issues with selenomethionine?


    And because I like studies:

    Here is a study reporting that glutathione greatly increased selenite transport into fish guts and liver cells. Perhaps vitamin c neutralizes some free radicals and spares glutathione, and this is why it helps with selenium absorption? Although how much selenite absorption translates to methylselenocysteine I have no idea.

    Here is a study saying that in cells with transsulfuration defects, selenomethionine was metabolized worse than selenocysteine or selenite. As an aside, B6 (or more accurately the active form, P5P) increased glutathione peroxidase levels (this enzyme uses selenium to inactivate hydrogen peroxide).


    Finally, I've been thinking about selenium, magnesium and glutathione a bit:

    Magnesium deficiency seems to be fairly common in CFS (80%), yet supplementation with magnesium, even in creative ways that allow absorption above the bowel tolerance, show benefits only for a limited amount of time. Magnesium deficiency causes an increase in selenium concentration in muscle tissue but lowers selenium concentration elsewhere in rats. This sounds a lot like magnesium deficiency somehow causes more selenium to be integrated into selenomethionine instead of selenocysteine. Rats fed a selenium deficient diet but then supplemented with selenomethionine showed ten times the selenium concentration in their muscle than rats supplemented with equivalent amounts of selenite and selenocysteine--probably because the selenomethionine was being integrated into proteins just as methionine would, whereas selenocysteine and selenite is used more readily for glutathione peroxidase. As magnesium deficiency is remedied, we produce more glutathione, our oxidative status improves, and we feel better. My hypothesis is that this does not last because after however many months, glutathione peroxidase has used up the selenium stored as selenomethionine (and slowly released as proteins are broken down). Glutathione peroxidase would then run out of juice, our oxidative status would get worse, and we would feel worse again.

    [​IMG]

    (Image courtesy of Selenomethionine: A Review of Its Nutritional Significance, Metabolism and Toxicity by Gerhard N. Schrauzer)

    This suggests a few questions to me: Since selenium might be necessary to keep a healthy amount of magnesium in our cells and I theorize that magnesium deficiency causes a functional selenium deficiency (selenomethionine counting as "storage," not "functional") it would seem that the two should be supplemented together. Given the self-reinforcing nature of selenium and magnesium deficiencies, will conservative supplementation replenish our cellular stocks? And if we supplement with too much magnesium will it deplete our selenium faster than we are supplementing? Does it make sense to supplement with (methyl)selenocysteine at higher than 300 mcg/day if one also supplements with high levels of magnesium?

    Although the above thought is not quite complete, I would still love to hear people's experience with magnesium and selenium. In particular, I would love to hear from anyone who has successfully raised their magnesium (and selenium levels) for over six months.

    There is obviously more to tease out here, but phoenixrising has not been saving my drafts lately, so I'll publish here.

    Warmly,

    Caleb
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
    helen1 likes this.
  8. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    @calebtrask I can't attend to this just now, will return tomorrow. Short answer is I've been using Carlson's selenomethione. Body seems to like it. I'm happy w/ this brand after hearing Dietrich Klinghardt approving it. I'm using a lot of both se and mg. When I'm detoxxing, lot's of se. Talk to you later.;)
  9. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    @calebtrask I didn't get sulfur symptoms when I used the drops because I was still eating sulfur and didn't know how to differentiate the symptoms. When I learned I have a sulfur problem I stopped the drops. When Life Extension stopped making the SeCysteine, I switched to the methionine. My body seemed equally happy w/ ot.

    You are asking some good questions. I don't know the answers. My current research is going in a different direction. I found that my veggie intake was blocking folate uptake, pushing my needs for Mfolate higher and higher. When I began noticing signs of adrenal stress, I stopped the veggies, and then stopped the folate for some days to flush my system. I've been doing intensive coffee enema detoxxing for 4 months. When I stopped the folate + vegetable folinic, I went into a major adrenal dumping.

    This adrenal 'crisis' led me to look further into adrenals, which I've barely begun. But this is where K+, mg play a strong role, maybe this is where they're regulated.

    I've been engaged in intensive detox. I need a lot more selenium during this. I think in part to displace the metals/toxins, tho not sure of the mechanism. OK, all for now, ahmo
  10. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    For anyone interested who cant stand the thought of taking yet another pill ... Selenium (selenomethio?ine) can be gotten in oral spray form in natural peppermint flavour. Selenium Forte by Bioceutical. This is the form Ive used and Ive found good for detoxing some things (I had high copper and also was trying to lower aluminium)
    ahmo likes this.
  11. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    @ahmo and @taniaaust1

    What are the ranges of selenium (and magnesium) you take? Thank you so much!
  12. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    Hi Caleb. Hard for me to say at present. I'm in the midst of quite intense detox, using quite a lot. I suspect w/o the additional, I'd be down to just 200mcg/day. I self-test for all my supp doses. It can vary a lot during this time. cheers.
  13. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Update: One month ago I had a hair mineral analysis that showed high levels of selenium, so I backed off to 300 mcg/day (from as much as 1500 mcg/ day). My sleep became worse, until I bumped the selenium back up to 800 mcg / day. To me, this suggests that high magnesium supplementation might necessitate higher selenium supplementation as well to be effective.
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  14. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    All you people who are taking selenium, I have a question for you:
    Have your lab tests indicated high levels of serum selenium, outside the normal range? How do you respond to this? Does it worry you?
    I ask because I was using Bluebonnet brand chelated multiminerals with boron, which has 286% of the RDA of selenium. After a few months, my serum selenium was too high. Knowing about selenium toxicity in animals, I wasn't comfortable continuing it.
    Crit
  15. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    @Critterina

    I actually did have serum selenium measured--from what I read, hair levels were not accurate. I haven't gotten the results back yet, but I'll let you know.

    I chose 800 mcg because Dr. Russell Marz, ND claims it is the safe upper limit for selenium in his nutritional textbook, "Medical Nutrition from Marz." Funny name, but he teaches at NCNM, and I was recommended the book when I was going to nutrition school in Colorado, (NCNM is in Oregon) so it has some fame among at least some people in the naturopathic community.

    As far as I can tell, in the one study that claimed that higher selenium meant higher cancer, the cancer was squamous cell skin cancer. Here is what cancer.org has to say about the combination of basal and squamous cell skin cancers:

    Death from these cancers is uncommon. It’s thought that about 2,000 people die each year from non-melanoma skin cancers, and that this rate has been dropping in recent years. Most people who die are elderly and may not have seen a doctor until the cancer had already grown quite large. Other people more likely to die of skin cancer are those whose immune system is suppressed, such as those who have had organ transplants.​

    The exact number of people who develop or die from basal and squamous cell skin cancers each year is not known for sure. Statistics of most other cancers are known because they are reported to cancer registries, but basal and squamous cell skin cancers are not reported.​

    I do not mean to minimize your concerns about selenium toxicity. As many of us have learned with mercury, a safe level for one person may be toxic for another. I suspect that also, a medicinal level for one person may be insufficient for another. In a study in china, the first signs of selenium toxicity were seen with increasing frequency beginning with a dose of about 850 mcg per day. This does not mean that 850 mcg was a toxic dose for everyone; just a few, over the course of the study. And I do think that, given the apparent relationship with magnesium (in short: taking high doses of magnesium seems to increase our need for selenium up to a point. Here is my latest thinking on the topic. I actually don't think I have added that much from here, but...) some of us might reasonably assume that we need more selenium than the average person. But I do think we should get levels checked if possible, and also look out for the symptoms. This from the Linus Pauling Institute:

    The most frequently reported symptoms of selenosis are hair and nail brittleness and loss. Other symptoms may include gastrointestinal disturbances, skin rashes, a garlic breath odor, fatigue, irritability, and nervous system abnormalities.​

    For myself, I have decided to weigh the risks of selenium toxicity against the risks associated with continued illness (I read that people with chronic fatigue live an average of I think 20 years less than normal, and we die of cancers, particularly thyroid.)

    How do you know that your serum selenium was high? Meaning what was your result compared to to come to that conclusion? I don't mean to say that it isn't high, but I have heard physicians say that with many test results, the reference ranges given by the labs are a rough guide at best. And RDA's, as you may know, are meant to indicate the minimum amount most people need to be generally healthy, so exceeding the RDA is often good--although I believe I read that the distance from a healthy dose to a toxic one is particularly short for selenium.

    In any case, I hope you find something that works for you.
    Warmly,

    Aaron C
    ahmo likes this.
  16. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Thanks, Aaron.

    The serum test for toxic metals showed selenium above the "normal high" in the lab's test range. Let me look it up:

    My readings:
    Selenium, serum and plasma: 68 (28% if reference range, 52-109 mcg/dL) before the supplement, January 2013
    Selenium, serum and plasma: 195 (reference range 63-160 mcg/dL) after 6 months on the supplement, August 2013

    So, given that the reference range is about 100 mcg/dL, and I'm about 35% over it, I'd say that's probably significant. I have always had nail brittleness; maybe it got worse, maybe not. My hair started falling out recently, but I've been taking chelated minerals with less than 100% of the RDA of selenium for several months.

    I don't have CFS, but I do have health issues that we were still trying to figure out a year ago. Seems like adrenal insufficiency, primary hypothyroidism, and histamine intolerance cover most of what developed recently (since 2011).

    I know everyone needs to balance the benefits and risks. I just sometimes worry about some of us following the crowd without realizing or appropriately weighing the risks.

    Crit
  17. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Hi @Critterina

    Very interesting. I checked the bluebonnet multimin, and it looks like it has 200 mcg--which seems to be the dose given in the studies I have read on selenium supplementation. And even the more conservative websites seem to think that 200 mcg is a safe amount to take daily.

    Obviously, something is different for you, which makes me curious. Glutathione seems to be necessary for selenium to be taken into cells (in rainbow trout) and magnesium deficiency decreases red blood cell selenium while increasing plasma selenium. Which makes me wonder if you might be magnesium deficient and glutathione deficient (remember, magnesium is necessary to make glutathione.) Nearly everyone with chronic fatigue has these issues. Magnesium because we do not have the ATP to sustain the correct membrane potential (pump enough magnesium into the cells), and glutathione...I think I'll leave that to Rich Van K.

    Since glutathione and magnesium deficiency seem like possible culprits, and they are quite common in people with chronic fatigue, I am curious why you say you do not have chronic fatigue. Do you not experience post-exertional malaise? (Post-exertional malaise is when you exercise hard, and then get very tired for a day or days afterwards.)

    In any case, at this point I would not suggest taking 800 mcg selenium to anyone who was not also taking large amounts of magnesium, and at least some B6. Maybe there are other situations where it might be warranted, but I, at least, do not know of them.

    Thank you for sharing your test results and chewing over this with us.

    Let me know what you think,

    Aaron C
  18. Sherpa

    Sherpa Ex-workaholic & adrenaline junkie

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    I talked to a knowledgeable holistic M.D. and he said that the 400mcg upper-limit is totally toxic beyond that idea is "bullshit." But he said 400mcg should be sufficient.
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  19. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Aaron,
    I really appreciate you chewing this over. It is hard to make sense out of all of it. First, yes it's true, I'm somewhat of an imposter on this website. I don't have chronic fatigue or post-exertional malaise. I had some fatigue, but not chronic. I was hypothyroid, which makes you feel not good and a bit tired. And cold. My average waking temp was 96.4. Then I got histamine intolerant and because of the inflammatory reaction it caused in my lungs, they were only working at 80% capacity, as measured by my pulmonologist using spirometry. That can also make you feel tired, when you can't get enough oxygen to sustain exertion. I did an elimination diet and got off my breathing meds, that weren't working well anyway, and causing me a lot of side effects. Then my adrenals sort of slowly stopped working right. It was just before I went back to work that I read about histamine intolerance, so my breathing started to improve more . But...My cortisol was low enough to effect my blood sugar (it is needed in the liver for gluconeogenesis) and give me insomnia and side pain at night, and nausea and dizziness and weakness during the day (I took my previously opened jars to the front desk of the hotel to have them re-open them for me). I was working in a high-stress environment and when there was a conflict, I would start to black out. I had to sit down to argue with someone, so I didn't faint. And my testosterone went to "undetectable on a high sensitivity test", essentially zero. So, at that point, there doesn't seem to be any motivation to even get out of bed, tired or not. So, I ended up here about a year ago, knowing I was MTHFR A1298C +/- and trying to make sense out of why I was a shadow of my former self. I waited a long time to join, but I had to, in order to ask questions. I've tried to be helpful and respectful, knowing that I don't really know what the rest of you are up against.

    So, selenium and magnesium and B6. It was about 9 months into the histamine intolerance, not knowing what it was, that an acupuncturist treating me for carpal tunnel told me I was B6 deficient and told me to take 100 mg/day, which I did. Then 3-4 months later my labs showed I was deficient in B6 and magnesium didn't test low but was implicated in some other imbalances (same time we discovered hypothyroid), so I switched to P5P and started the Bluebonnet minerals and 400 mg Mg glycinate (and lots of other supps including methylfolate and methylb12). I've been on the Mg ever since. My labs showed improvement and Mg is still in the normal range. We never tested my glutathione, but my homocysteine was in the lowest quintile of the normal range (19% of the way from low normal to high normal). (OK, so my methionine was a little below normal, too, but I was muscle wasting at the time from not digesting the 2lbs of ground meat, mostly lamb, bison, and turkey, that I ate each week, plus other protein sources, like eggs). I asked about testing the glutathione, but it never got done. Anyway, with my amino acids in better balance, and taking the P5P and the Mg, I'm thinking that I probably do OK in the glutathione department.

    And ATP. Interesting, but about 15 years ago, I tested low in creatinine, the breakdown product of creatine, which is the enzyme that regenerates ATP from ADP, so the muscles can contract again. I started using creatine powder and my usual 100-minute route up a canyon, across a ridge, and down another canyon went to 82 minutes after only 2.5 days. That's an 18% increase in performance. ATP was a limiting factor, and creatine was limiting my ATP. At the time, they blamed my low meat diet (never my favorite to cook or clean up, and only so-so for eating it. I'm a fruit person. And dairy, eggs, vegetables.) Fast forward to now, it will still improve my performance, but I only use it a couple of times a month...too many other supplements.

    You know, I've really hijacked this thread...sorry. But I'm doing so much better now - breathing without meds except when I eat a high-histamine food, replacing my thyroid, cortisol (with prednisone) and using DHEA and estrogen to address the testosterone/estrogen depletion. My strength is back (OK to move large appliances, not just open jars) and so is most of my stamina (I can walk 6 miles a day, with 500 foot elevation gain, but not the 10-hour mountain hikes I could do 4 years ago. Probably still regaining muscle, and then there was the 20 lbs of not-muscle from the hypoglycemia.) I do exercise about 9-10 hours a week, but I don't walk every day. And I seem to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning, an interest in life. So, no chronic fatigue.

    I'm interested in your comments, @aaron_c . Do you make the same sense out of this as I do?

    Critterina
  20. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    @Critterina

    I am a bit limited today. Hopefully another time I can respond more fully.

    100 mg seems like it could be a lot of B6 for someone with a CBS mutation. Interestingly, when Rich Van K and Dr. Neil Nathan did their study, CBS C699T -/+ and +/+ had similarly low levels of homocysteine (hcy) and SAH. Are you methyl sensitive? It sounds like you have the methionine/hcy cycle in balance, so I'm really just taking the chance to pick your experience: But I could imagine the 100 mg B6 draining most of your hcy into the transulfuration pathway, thus limiting your methyl groups, and contributing to or causing your histamine intolerance, perhaps your current low creatine, and perhaps your current mild muscle wasting (as you probably know--and I just read--in the absence of enough sulfur, the body will catabolize muscle tissue).

    I am curious: how do you see your genetics fitting into this? Also, what precipitated your illness?

    What did your thyroid tests look like? T3, T4, TSH, heck, reverse T3 if you have it.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    Gondwanaland likes this.

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