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High Dose Selenium Significantly Improves My Fatigue and Brain Fog

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Hip, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. xrunner

    xrunner Senior Member

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    @Snowdrop
    I do not know I never experienced side effects. I used to take the average 200 mcg dose as part of a multimineral and occasionally, around the time of amalgams removal but only for a few days, a higher dose.
    Snowdrop likes this.
  2. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    TigerLilea and Snowdrop like this.
  3. Antares in NYC

    Antares in NYC Senior Member

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    Wow... I don't know how I ended up in this thread, but it brought a memory of my original CFS onset. Allow me to explain:

    About a month or two before I first fell ill, I started taking a selenium supplement. At the time I was a health nut, and tried different vitamin supplements with my diet. I had read an article about the benefits of selenium, and started taking it daily. It was a pharmacy brand, not sure the dosage, but I think it was 50 or 100 mcg. I did this for about two months. My memory is a mess, so it's difficult to recall clear details.

    I remember learning about selenium toxicity. I think a coworker saw the bottle and told me that certain minerals can be toxic, to be careful with supplements, etc. I researched online and got a bit freaked out. Despite no signs of any toxicity, I stopped taking it right away.

    One or two weeks later I fell really ill. It was my first CFS onset, but I didn't know that at the time (I would not get a diagnosis for the next 14 years). That illness felt worst than a simple flu, with tremendous brain fog, nausea, and headaches. I felt like I was poisoned.

    For the longest time I feared I got sick because of the selenium supplement. Of course this didn't have anything to do with selenosis, but the illness was so weird and intense, and no doctor could figure it out, that I started suspecting it was the supplement. It would take 14 years until I was diagnosed with ME/CFS.

    Now, upon learning that selenium actually affects enteroviruses, I wonder if the sudden stop taking the selenium contributed as a possible trigger. Of all the theories about CFS, the enterovirus scenario by dr. Chia always made a lot of sense to me.

    Could a combination of stress, environmental pollution, and a sudden depletion of selenium created an ideal scenario for my CFS onset? Food for thought.
  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I don't think that stopping selenium supplementation would help trigger ME/CFS. But you might like to try selenium to see if it ameliorates your ME/CFS symptoms as it did mine.
    Antares in NYC likes this.
  5. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    This could be a coincidence because I am going through some degree of relapse anyway, but I started taking 150mcg selenomethionine once per morning and after a few days I started feeling worse. Most of my attempts in the last few years at taking supplements to combat oxidative stress and/or target mitochondria have resulted in experiencing some sort of PEM-like side-effect, which makes me suspect that something is wrong in that area so perhaps I shouldn't be meddling until more is known. Maybe I will try selenium again later during a better phase of health and try to tolerate the symptoms.
  6. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Nutrients don't act alone in your body. Taking extra selenium can use up your supply of one or more nutrients that it acts with. According to my notes, which are by no means thorough, selenium acts with zinc, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C. (And zinc and copper act with iron. You should never take supplemental iron unless you know that you need it, but you should test iron periodically if you are taking zinc and copper.)
    leela likes this.
  7. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    I took 400mcg for two days, and became too stimulated! So I took a break for a week or so, and am going to try it again at 200mcg for a few weeks, then ramp up to the 400mcg again and see if I tolerate it better. I would be nice to have that increased boost and level of energy again, but have to build up b/c it led to a mini crash.

    I didn't expect that much difference between the lower and the higher dose, or the immediate response. I have to do further testing to ensure that it was in fact the Se and not something else, or placebo. I seriously don't think so, however. The effects were pretty obvious and new, and I think it was almost definitely the Se.
  8. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @jeffrez

    This is similar to what I found: I did not get stimulation, but just increased energy and lower brain fog at 400 mcg. But when I went down to just 200 mcg, these benefits largely disappeared. So there seems to be something disproportionately effective about the 400 mcg dose, because you don't get these benefits at the 200 mcg dose.

    Maybe you could try 300 mcg, Jeffrez, as a compromise: the stimulation might be more acceptable at 300 mcg.
    jeffrez likes this.
  9. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    I think you're right, because I took 200 for a really long time, like a year, and I can't say I noticed anything (did I mention that already? Too lazy to go back and look, lol). Trying 300mcg is a great idea, I think I'll do that next week after tomorrow and the weekend on 200.
  10. Jon_Tradicionali

    Jon_Tradicionali Senior Member

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    @Hip

    Hi Hip,

    I took 400mcg selenium for the whole month of October of 2013. I then continued for another month at a dose of 300mcg.

    No change in symptoms at all.

    It did however cause some sort of reaction.
    I started developing cysts across various parts of the body at an average rate of 2 per month. They keep increasing in size and numbers every month and its become very worrying and skyrocketed to the top three of my worst symptoms.

    I've stopped the selenium in early December.

    I saw an alt. CFS doc yesterday who told me it was because the selenium suppressed viruses in general but things which it isnt as effective against (e.g bartonella) were allowed to proliferate.

    But I don't know. ...

    Just that selenium has caused yet another symptom to add onto my CV.
  11. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Senior Member

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    Wow, @Hip very happy to hear you found something that is working for you. And I love the relentlessly analytical / empirical approach you apply to all your posts.

    This might explain why I feel worse when I take Selenium, as I'm mercury toxic. I feel markedly worse, distressed and irritated, within a few hours of taking selenium. Oddly this only happens when I take it as a supplement, not when I was eating Brazil nuts. I did stop eating the nuts because of concerns about mold.

    Zinc has been working better for me lately.
  12. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    Optisel by Douglas Labs for inorganic Sodium SELENATE
    Jarrows methyl selenocysteine is the other form I use.

    @Sparrowhawk funny that u mentioned that, you are the 4th or 5th person now to have that reaction to Se. All of you consider yourselves mercury toxic.

    One way around this is to take NAC or glutathione at the same time that you are taking the Se. The mobilised Hg can be processed and removed as soon as possible. The liver will dump the toxins into the bile, then take something to stimulate bile and then a fiber to capture the bile before it gets reabsorbed. This would be a pulsed treatment.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  13. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @Sparrowhawk
    Let's hope the analysis is right though!

    If you say Brazil nuts are fine, then perhaps you might want to try eating a few of these nuts each day, so that you get a daily dose of 400 mcg of selenium from them.

    It seems that the selenium content of a Brazil nut varies widely. You can see from the table below that the average selenium content of a single Brazil nut can be as little as 8 mcg, or as much as 220 mcg, depending on its country or region of origin.

    Though the table states that Brazil nuts bought in the USA have 96 mcg of selenium per nut.

    Selenium content of Brazil nuts.png
    Source: here.



    If mercury is the cause of your feeling worse when taking selenium, then as undcvr suggests, maybe you might try some glutathione with your selenium, to mop up the mercury that selenium displaces.

    Dr Myhill advises:
    Sparrowhawk likes this.
  14. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    I came to the same conclusion as Myhill just by trial and error. When you move the Mercury (Hg) you need the glutathione to detox it otherwise it will just redistribute elseplace. She is wrong about methionine though, it is chemically so many steps away from SAM-e that those reaction steps might already be posioned and not working. This is usually the case for pple with ME. And you also need to take lots of B12, folate and P5P to push those reactions.

    Also bile and fiber, can't stress this enuf, its a multi-step process to get it out.
  15. Soundthealarm21

    Soundthealarm21 Senior Member

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    Is the ox bile in my digestive enzymes helping remove toxins from my liver?
  16. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    I really doubt it but it does cleanse your gut while it is in it, you see your own liver MUST MAKE BILE. It is a big detox step for oil soluble toxins. That and sweating is how the liver removes toxins. Bile supplements help you digest fats going in but not coming out. Once the gall bladder dumps bile into the gut u NEED FIBER to bind to it and keep it in the gut while it waits to pass out. Without fiber it just gets reabsorbed again and the toxins get redistributed. This is a difficult cycle to break but break it you must.
    cigana likes this.
  17. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    @Hip - its funny that u recommend that sparrowhawk take brazil nuts bc i was going to suggest the opposite since she is not feeling anything from it. Also sparrow what was the form of the Se you were taking ?
  18. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    Optisel by Douglas Labs and Jarrows' Se is what I use. I do supplement with Zn picolinate about 150 - 300mg daily but very rarely take any copper.
    About titrating, that would depend if you consider yourself mercury toxic cos that can cause a host bunch of other problems as the Se trys to move it. Yes start low and see how you feel. With Selenate I feel very safe taking 800 mcg daily not with the other forms though.
    Snowdrop likes this.
  19. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    It says here that mercury is able to bind directly to methionine.
  20. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    Yes it does but it also says " Mercury is able to bind to methionine and inhibit it being used in the production of cysteine and glutathione" It think it is like 5 chemical steps to get from methionine to glutathione, its too many. ME pple can't do that, that is why we need to supplement it with end step ingredients. Btw this website also says that glutathione is used in Mercury detox and implies that glutathione supplements will help. That is wrong. The body recognises glutathione in the diet as a protein, stomach acid will attack it and break it up and gut enzymes will also attack it. Taking it on an empty stomach might help or so does taking it with Tums but there is very little info about that. We also don't know if oral glutathione makes it into cells or does it just hang around in the bloodstream. It's not bad to hang around in the blood but into the cells is where we really want it to go. That is the same reason why n acetyl cysteine works. The acetyl group marks the amino acid to be picked up into cells where the glutathione molecule is then formed. Having said all this, the the kind of glutathione that the liver actually manufactures for the body is acetyl-glutathione. It is a relatively new supplement and very expensive but there is some research that suggests that the acetyl group does allow the glutathione molecule to enter the cell.

    Again, but not finally, it all comes back to Se. Se triggers the glutathione molecule to detox through the glutathione peroxidase enzyme, it is the enzyme NOT the glutathione molecule that needs the Se.

    Also don't mean to go on about it but the article mentions B6. ME people will need B6 in the activated form of P5P. P5P also does not have the issues of nerve damage from long-term use like Pyridoxine has. The situation here is the same as folic acid acid having to go through multiple steps to become metylfolate before the body can use it.
    Asklipia likes this.

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