What it does in the body
Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential to good health, but required only in small amounts.1 Selenium is incorporated into proteins to make antioxidant enzymes referred to as selenoproteins. The antioxidant properties of selenoproteins help prevent cellular damage from free radicals, which are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism that may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Other selenoproteins help regulate thyroid function and play a role in maintaining the immune system.2
- Selenium can be found in whole grain foods, dairy products, meat, fish, poultry and other foods rich in protein.3
Recommended Dietary Allowance
- The RDA for Selenium varies with age and pregnant and lactating women are also encouraged to take in more. For example, males and females over the age of 14 should consume at least 40 micrograms/day, while lactating women should consume up to 70 micrograms/day.4 Orthomolecular treatment levels are much higher.
Orthomolecular Dosage Range: Much larger than the RDA.
- 200 mcg; Orthomolecular physicians sometimes prescribe much more.
There is evidence suggesting that increasing intake of selenium in adults to about 200 micrograms per day has a protective effect against cancer.5 APEX to put details in here of one of the cases sited at this reference.
According to the latest work on AIDS by Dr. Harold Foster, AIDS patients are very deficient in four nutrients including selenium. His research published in Medical Hypotheses and in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine indicates that replenishing these nutrients can reverse AIDS, and in some cases possibly prevent its recurrence.
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, April 26, 2006
AIDS MAY BE A COMBINATION OF NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES:
HIV Depletes Body of Selenium and Three Amino Acids
(OMNS, April 26, 2006) New clinical reports from Zambia, Uganda and South Africa indicate that AIDS may be stopped by nutritional supplementation. A number of members of the medical profession have observed that high doses of the trace element selenium, and of the amino acids cysteine, tryptophan, and glutamine can together rapidly reverse the symptoms of AIDS, as predicted by Dr. Harold D. Foster's nutritional hypothesis.6
These nutrients are necessary for the human body to produce the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme is strongly antiretroviral (it is an antagonist of reverse transcriptase) and can greatly reduce HIV replication. Unfortunately, HIV has developed the ability to compete with the body for these four nutrients because shortages of them allow its more effective replication. Specifically, HIV has a gene that allows it to produce an analogue of glutathione peroxidase.
Diets high in selenium, cysteine, tryptophan and glutamine seem to have two major benefits for AIDS patients:
- They replace these four nutrients in the body, correcting the deficiencies HIV has caused. AIDS is what we call these combined deficiency symptoms.
- High levels of these four key nutrients push up the body's glutathione peroxidase levels, making it much more difficult for HIV to replicate. This enzyme also beneficially interferes with the replication of Hepatitis B and C. Nutritionally treated patients are still HIV-positive, but seem to generally remain in good health unless they start to eat a diet that once again is poor in one or more of these nutrients. If this occurs, glutathione peroxidase levels fall, HIV begins to be replicated and the AIDS cycle begins again.
Some countries or regions, like Senegal and Bolivia, have been very fortunate. Their bedrock is naturally elevated in selenium and their diets are normally high in the three amino acids. As a result, they are rarely infected by HIV. Others, like Finland, have wisely mandated the addition of selenium to their fertilizers, with similar results. In contrast, some regions like Kwazulu Natal have bedrock and soils that contain little selenium and diets are poor in one or more of the key nutrients. For example, corn (maize) is low in both selenium and tryptophan. As a result, populations eating a great deal of corn are easy to infect with HIV and die very quickly of its associated nutritional deficiencies (AIDS).
To halt AIDS, to stop HIV from replicating, the needed nutrient levels are high. Selenium, for example, is taken at several times the commonly recommended daily allowance for the first month. Dosage is considered in more detail in "What Really Causes AIDS." 7 This book is available for free reading and downloading at www.hdfoster.com.
1 Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Selenium. Site viewed December 9, 2007. http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/selenium.asp
2 Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Selenium. Site viewed December 9, 2007. http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/selenium.asp
3 Walsh, Stephen. Plant Based Nutrition and Health. The Vegan Society: 2003. Pg. 109
6 Foster HD. How HIV-1 causes AIDS: Implications for prevention and treatment," Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 62(4), p 549-553, 2004.
7 Foster HD. What really causes AIDS. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2002. Free download at www.hdfoster.com.
For further reading:
"HIV/AIDS: a nutrient deficiency disease," Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2005, Vol. 20(2), p 67-69.
"Environmental factors and the pathogenesis of selenium-CD-4 cell tailspin in AIDS." Chinese Journal of AIDS and STD, Vol. 10(5), p 390-392,402 2004.
"AIDS and the selenium-CD4T cell tailspin." World Journal of Infection, Vol. 3(6), p 456-459, 2003.
"Micronutrients in pathogenesis and treatment of AIDS," Foreign Medical Sciences: Section of Medgeography, Vol. 24(2), p 49-53, 2003.
"Why HIV-1 has diffused so much more rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa than in North America." Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 60(4), p 611-614, 2003.
"How HIV-1 kills: Implications for the treatment and prevention of AIDS." Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, No. 255, p 76-78, 2002.
"Aids and the 'selenium - CD4T cell tailspin': the geography of a pandemic," Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, No. 209, p 94-99, 2000.