Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Wham: Selenium --The Evidence Keeps Coming In

For anyone who reads the daily news about vitamins and supplements, there is one inexpensive and previously undervalued supplement that has really become hot lately . . . Selenium. What a great ride the makers of Selenium products must be on right now, because this supplement is looking more and more effective in a number of areas. It is rapidly becoming one of those "must have" ingredients in your daily vitamin regimen.

As the wire services reported yesterday and today, Selenium supplementation has now been found to potentially combat HIV. Some very significant evidence is accumlating that Selenium may help the immune system fight back against the virus that causes Aids, and this comes after a huge wave of interest in Selenium by those who want to protect themselves against Prostate Cancer. Recent evidence there has been very positive as well.

The University of Miami found a lower HIV viral load in patients who took selenium supplements for nine months. And this was't some abnormally large amount of Selenium. . . this was a 200 microgram daily dose, which is the usual amount of Selenium contained in small yeast-derived supplements selling on the market for as little as $2 or $3 for a month's supply.

Selenium deficiencies have been recorded in HIV patients, and evidence suggests the mineral can improve the function of the immune system. In fact, the Archives of Internal Medicine study suggests the supplements may be a cheap and easy way to help keep HIV in check, as a useful addition to traditional combination therapy.

From the BBC World News (linked to the headline of this post) . . . Over nine months, the University of Miami team gave 91 HIV patients a daily capsule containing 200 micrograms of high-selenium yeast, and another 83 patients a daily placebo capsule. Those with higher selenium levels in their blood were more likely to have a lower HIV viral load, and higher numbers of CD4 cells, which play a key role in fighting off infection.

If you are going to add Selenium to your daily mix of supplements, make sure that you check your multiple vitamin for it's Selenium content and then add extra to reach the recommended 200 mcg dosage. (Like many other supplements, there is no advantage in "doubling up").


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