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Description
Helps fight cell-damaging free radicals*

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Supplement Facts

As a dietary supplement, take one or two tablets daily. For maximum benefits, take as directed every day.

Serving Size 1 Tablets
Servings Per Container 100
Amount Per Serving % DV
Selenium (as Selenium Yeast) 100.00 mcg 143%
** Daily Value (DV) not established

Other Ingredients: Cellulose, Dicalcium Phosphate

No Sugar, No Artificial Colors, No Artificial Flavors, Sodium Free, No Wheat, No Gluten, No Corn, No Soy, No Dairy.

Warning: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN

Distributed by: General Nutrition Center Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Health Notes

Selenium

Selenium
This nutrient has been used in connection with the following health goals
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Atherosclerosis
Dose: 100 mcg daily
Some doctors recommend that people with atherosclerosis supplement with selenium, which has been shown in one study to help reduce the risk of death from heart disease.(more)
Heart Attack
Dose: 100 to 200 mcg daily
Some doctors recommend that people at risk for a heart attack supplement with selenium.(more)
Edema
Dose: 230 mcg daily
People with lymphedema of the arm or head-and-neck region who were treated with selenium saw an improvement in quality of life and edema symptoms in one study.(more)
High Cholesterol
Dose: Refer to label instructions
A double-blind trial found that, in people with moderately elevated cholesterol levels, supplementing with selenium in the form of high-selenium yeast resulted in a small but statistically significant decrease in serum cholesterol.(more)
Cardiac Arrhythmia
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Supplementing with selenium may improve many arrhythmias. (more)
Cardiomyopathy and Keshan's Cardiomyopathy
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Supplementing with selenium can correct selenium deficiency, which is believed to be a cause of Keshan's disease, a form of cardiomyopathy found in China.(more)
Immune Function
Dose: 100 mcg daily with 20 mg zinc daily
Selenium supplements have been reported to help improve immune function in seniors. (more)
Infection
Dose: 100 mcg per day with 20 mg per day of zinc
Selenium supplements have been reported to help reduce infections in elderly people.(more)
HIV and AIDS Support
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 400 mcg daily
Supplementing with selenium may result in fewer infections, a healthier appetite, and other benefits.(more)
Pre- and Post-Surgery Health
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Selenium has an important role in immune function and infection prevention, and supplementing with it may correct a postoperative selenium deficiency.(more)
Asthma
Dose: 100 mcg daily
Asthma involves free-radical damage that selenium might protect against. In one trial, supplementing with sodium selenite (a form of selenium) improved symptoms in some patients.(more)
Asthma
Dose: Refer to label instructions
There is some evidence that a combination of antioxidants vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium may help prevent asthma thought to be caused by air pollution. (more)
Prostate Cancer
Dose: 200 mcg daily
Selenium has been reported to have diverse anticancer actions. Supplementing with this mineral may decrease your prostate cancer risk.(more)
Pancreatic Insufficiency
Dose: 600 mcg, taken under the supervision of a doctor
Taking antioxidant supplements, such as selenium, may lessen pain and prevent pancreatitis recurrences.(more)
Type 1 Diabetes
Dose: Refer to label instructions
A combination of the antioxidants selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E has been shown to improve diabetic retinopathy.(more)
Type 1 Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Antioxidant nutrients including selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E may combat free radicals associated with diabetic retinopathy.(more)
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dose: 200 mcg daily
People with rheumatoid arthritis have been found to have lower selenium levels than healthy people. Supplementing with selenium may reduce pain and joint inflammation.(more)
Burns
Dose: Refer to label instructions
(more)
Dermatitis Herpetiformis
Dose: 200 mcg daily
Supplementing with selenium and vitamin E has been shown to correct an antioxidant deficiency common in DH.(more)
Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Vitamin B12 injections have been reported to improve adult seborrheic dermatitis.(more)
Male Infertility
Dose: 100 mcg daily
In a study of infertile men with reduced sperm motility, supplementing with selenium significantly increased sperm motility.(more)
Burns
Dose: Refer to label instructions
(more)
Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Dose: 150 mcg a day with 400 IU a day of vitamin E
Taking a combination of vitamin E and selenium may help the healing.(more)
Childhood Diseases
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Supplementing with selenium, an antioxidant mineral, supports a healthy immune system and has been found to prevent viral infections.(more)
Macular Degeneration
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which can cause macular degeneration. Selenium protects against oxidative damage and may reduce macular degeneration risk.(more)
Macular Degeneration
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which can cause macular degeneration. Selenium protects against oxidative damage and may reduce macular degeneration risk.(more)
Anti-Aging
Dose: Refer to label instructions
(more)
Hypothyroidism
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Selenium plays a role in thyroid hormone metabolism. People who are deficient in selenium may benefit from supplementation.(more)
Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Vitamin B12 injections have been reported to improve adult seborrheic dermatitis.(more)
Halitosis and Gum Disease
Dose: Spray a lotion containing 3.7% citronella in a slow-release formula every morning for six days per week
Selenium is often recommended by doctors to help prevent and treat periodontitis.(more)
Abnormal Pap Smear
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Low levels of selenium have been observed in women with cervical dysplasia.(more)
Atherosclerosis
Dose: 100 mcg daily

In some studies, people who consumed more selenium in their diet had a lower risk of heart disease.1, 2 In one double-blind report, people who had already had one heart attack were given 100 mcg of selenium per day or placebo for six months.3 At the end of the trial, there were four deaths from heart disease in the placebo group but none in the selenium group; however, the number of people was too small for this difference to be statistically significant. Some doctors recommend that people with atherosclerosis supplement with 100-200 mcg of selenium per day.

References

1. Salonen JT et al. Association between cardiovascular death and myocardial infarction and serum selenium in a matched-pair longitudinal study. Lancet 1982;ii:175.

2. Shamberger RJ, Willis CE. Epidemiological studies on selenium and heart disease. Fed Proc 1976;35:578 [abstract #2061].

3. Korpela H, Kumpulainen J, Jussila E, et al. Effect of selenium supplementation after acute myocardial infarction. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol 1989;65:249-52.

Heart Attack
Dose: 100 to 200 mcg dailyThe relation between selenium and protection from heart attacks remains uncertain. Low blood levels of selenium have been reported in people immediately following a heart attack,1 suggesting that heart attacks may increase the need for selenium. However, other researchers claim that low selenium levels are present in people before they have a heart attack, suggesting that the lack of selenium might increase heart attack risk.2 One report found that low blood levels of selenium increased the risk of heart attack only in smokers,3 and another found the link only in former smokers.4 Yet others have found no link between low blood levels of selenium and heart attack risk whatsoever.5 In a double-blind trial, individuals who already had one heart attack were given 100 mcg of selenium per day or placebo for six months.6 At the end of the trial, there were four deaths from heart disease in the placebo group but none in the selenium group (although the numbers were too small for this difference to be statistically significant). In other controlled research, a similar group was given placebo or 500 mcg of selenium six hours or less after a heart attack followed by an ongoing regimen of 100 mcg of selenium plus 100 mg of coenzyme Q10 per day.7 One year later, six people had died from a repeat heart attack in the placebo group, compared with no heart attack deaths in the supplement group. Despite the lack of consistency in published research, some doctors recommend that people at risk for a heart attack supplement with selenium-most commonly 200 mcg per day.
References

1. Auzepy P, Blondeau M, Richard C, et al. Serum selenium deficiency in myocardial infarction and congestive cardiomyopathy. Acta Cardiol 1987;42:161-6.

2. Oster O, Drexler M, Schenk J, et al. The serum selenium concentration of patients with acute myocardial infarction. Ann Clin Res 1986;18:36-42.

3. Beaglehole R, Jackson R, Watkinson J, et al. Decreased blood selenium and risk of myocardial infarction. Int J Epidemiol 1990;19:918-22.

4. Kardinaal AFM, Kok FJ, Kohlmeier L, et al. Association between toenail selenium and risk of acute myocardial infarction in European men. Am J Epidemiol 1997;145:373-9.

5. Salvini S, Hennekenes CH, Morris JS, et al. Plasma levels of the antioxidant selenium and risk of myocardial infarction among U.S. physicians. Am J Cardiol 1995;76:1218-21.

6. Korpela H, Kumpulainen J, Jussila E, et al. Effect of selenium supplementation after acute myocardial infarction. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol 1989;65:249-52.

7. Kuklinski B, Weissenbacher E, Fahnrich A. Coenzyme Q10 and antioxidants in acute myocardial infarction. Mol Aspects Med 1994;15 Suppl:s143-7.

Edema
Dose: 230 mcg daily

In a preliminary study, individuals with lymphedema of the arm or head-and-neck region were treated with approximately 230 mcg of selenium per day, in the form of sodium selenite, for four to six weeks. A quality-of-life assessment showed an improvement of 59%, and the circumference of the edematous arm was reduced in 10 of 12 cases.1

References

1. Micke O, Bruns F, Mucke R, et al. Selenium in the treatment of radiation-associated secondary lymphedema. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2003;56:40-9.

High Cholesterol
Dose: Refer to label instructionsIn a double-blind trial, supplementation with selenium (100 or 200 mcg per day) in the form of high-selenium yeast for six months resulted in a small but statistically significant decrease in serum cholesterol levels, compared with a placebo, in people with moderately elevated cholesterol levels. Selenium in the amount of 300 mcg per day was resulted in a smaller decrease in cholesterol levels that was not statistically significant.1 High-selenium yeast contains one or more unique selenium-containing compounds that are not present in other selenium supplements. Additional research is therefore needed to determine whether other forms of selenium also lower cholesterol levels.
References

1. Rayman MP, Stranges S, Griffin BA, et al. Effect of supplementation with high-selenium yeast on plasma lipids: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2011;154:656-65.

Cardiac Arrhythmia
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Gross deficiency of dietary selenium may cause many heart problems, including arrhythmia. Based on this finding, one author has theorized that correction of low selenium status may improve many arrhythmias, even in the absence of overt deficiency symptoms.1 Controlled research is needed to evaluate this possibility.

References

1. Lehr D. A possible beneficial effect of selenium administration in antiarrhythmic therapy. J Am Coll Nutr 1994;13:496-8.

Cardiomyopathy and Keshan's Cardiomyopathy
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Selenium deficiency has occasionally been reported as a cause of cardiomyopathy.1, 2 Selenium deficiency is the probable cause of Keshan's disease, a form of cardiomyopathy found in China3, 4 but only rarely reported in the United States.5 Studies comparing populations in parts of the world other than mainland China have not supported a link between selenium deficiency and DCM,6, 7 except in Taiwan.8 Moreover, no clinical trials outside of China have explored the effects of supplementation with selenium for people with DCM, nor is there reason to believe that selenium supplementation would help most people outside of China and Taiwan suffering from cardiomyopathy.

References

1. Auzepy P, Blondeau M, Richard C, et al. Serum selenium deficiency in myocardial infarction and congestive cardiomyopathy. Acta Cardiol 1987;42:161-6.

2. Oster O, Prellwitz W, Kasper W, Meinertz T. Congestive cardiomyopathy and the selenium content of serum. Clin Chim Acta 1983;29(128):125-32.

3. Xu GL, Wang SC, Gu BQ, et al. Further investigation on the role of selenium deficiency in the aetiology and pathogenesis of Keshan disease. Biomed Environ Sci 1997;10:316-26.

4. Neve J. Selenium as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. J Cardiovasc Risk 1996;3:42-7.

5. Collipp PJ, Chen SY. Cardiomyopathy and selenium deficiency in a two-year-old girl. N Engl J Med 1981;304:1304-5 [letter].

6. Raines DA, Kinsara AJ, Eid Fawzy M, et al. Plasma and urinary selenium in Saudi Arabian patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. Biol Trace Elem Res 1999;69:59-68.

7. Ikram H, Crozier IG, Webster M, Low CJ. The role of selenium deficiency in occidental dilated cardiomyopathy. N Z Med J 1989;102:100-2.

8. Chou HT, Yang HL, Tsou SS,et al. Status of trace elements in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in central Taiwan. Chung Hua I Hsueh Tsa Chih (Taipei) 1998;61:193-8.

Immune Function
Dose: 100 mcg daily with 20 mg zinc daily

Most,1, 2 but not all,3 double-blind studies have shown that elderly people have better immune function and reduced infection rates when taking a multiple vitamin-mineral formula. In one double-blind trial, supplements of 100 mcg per day of selenium and 20 mg per day of zinc, with or without additional vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, reduced infections in elderly people, though vitamins without minerals had no effect.4 Burn victims have also experienced fewer infections after receiving trace mineral supplements in double-blind research.5 These studies suggest that trace minerals may be the most important micronutrients for enhancing immunity and preventing infections in the elderly.

References

1. Pike J, Chandra RK. Effect of vitamin and trace element supplementation on immune indices in healthy elderly. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1995;65:117-21.

2. Chandra RK. Effect of vitamin and trace-element supplementation on immune responses and infection in elderly subjects. Lancet 1992;340:1124-7.

3. Chavance M, Herbeth B, Lemoine A, et al. Does multivitamin supplementation prevent infections in healthy elderly subjects? A controlled trial.Int.J Vitam Nutr Res 1993;63:11-6.

4. Girodon F, Lombard M, Galan P, et al. Effect of micronutrient supplementation on infection in institutionalized elderly subjects: a controlled trial. Ann Nutr Metab 1997;41:98-107.

5. Berger MM, Spertini F, Shenkin A, et al. Trace element supplementation modulates pulmonary infection rates after major burns: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68:365-71.

Infection
Dose: 100 mcg per day with 20 mg per day of zinc

Most,1, 2 but not all,3 double-blind studies have shown that elderly people have better immune function and reduced infection rates when taking a multiple vitamin-mineral formula. In one double-blind trial, supplements of 100 mcg per day of selenium and 20 mg per day of zinc, with or without additional vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, reduced infections in elderly people, though vitamins without minerals had no effect.4 Burn victims have also experienced fewer infections after receiving trace mineral supplements in double-blind research.5 These studies suggest that trace minerals may be the most important micronutrients for enhancing immunity and preventing infections in the elderly.

References

1. Pike J, Chandra RK. Effect of vitamin and trace element supplementation on immune indices in healthy elderly. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1995;65:117-21.

2. Chandra RK. Effect of vitamin and trace-element supplementation on immune responses and infection in elderly subjects. Lancet 1992;340:1124-7.

3. Chavance M, Herbeth B, Lemoine A, et al. Does multivitamin supplementation prevent infections in healthy elderly subjects? A controlled trial.Int.J Vitam Nutr Res 1993;63:11-6.

4. Girodon F, Lombard M, Galan P, et al. Effect of micronutrient supplementation on infection in institutionalized elderly subjects: a controlled trial. Ann Nutr Metab 1997;41:98-107.

5. Berger MM, Spertini F, Shenkin A, et al. Trace element supplementation modulates pulmonary infection rates after major burns: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68:365-71.

HIV and AIDS Support
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 400 mcg daily

Selenium deficiency is an independent factor associated with high mortality among HIV-positive people.1 HIV-positive people who took selenium supplements experienced fewer infections, better intestinal function, improved appetite, and improved heart function (which had been impaired by the disease) than those who did not take the supplements.2 The usual amount of selenium taken was 400 mcg per day.

Selenium deficiency has been found more often in people with HIV-related cardiomyopathy (heart abnormalities) than in those with HIV and normal heart function.3 People with HIV-related cardiomyopathy may benefit from selenium supplementation. In a small preliminary trial, people with AIDS and cardiomyopathy, 80% of whom were found to be deficient in selenium, were given 800 mcg of selenium per day for 15 days, followed by 400 mcg per day for eight days. Improvements in heart function were noted after selenium supplementation.4 People wishing to supplement with more than 200 mcg of selenium per day should be monitored by a doctor.

References

1. Baum MK, Shor-Posner G, Lai S, et al. High risk of HIV-related mortality is associated with selenium deficiency. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 1997;15:370-4.

2. Olmsted L, Schrauzer GN, Flores-Arce M, Dowd J. Selenium supplementation of symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus infected patients. Biol Trace Elem Res 1989;25:89-96.

3. Chariot P, Perchet H, Monnet I. Dilated cardiomyopathy in HIV-infected patients [letter; comment]. N Engl J Med 1999;340:732 (discussion 733-5).

4. Zazzo JF, Lafont A, Darwiche E, et al. Is non-obstructive myocardiopathy (NOMC) in AIDS selenium-deficiency related? In: Neve J, Favier A, eds. Selenium in biology and medicine. W. DeGruyter & Co.: Berlin New York, 1988, 281-2.

Pre- and Post-Surgery Health
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Selenium is a mineral nutrient with an important role in immune function and infection prevention,1, 2, 3 and selenium deficiency has been reported in patients after intestinal surgery.4 A controlled trial of critically ill patients, including some with recent major surgery, found that those receiving daily intravenous selenium injections for three weeks showed less biochemical signs of body stress compared with unsupplemented patients. The amount used in this trial was 500 mcg twice daily for the first week, 500 mcg once daily for the second week, and 100 mcg three times daily for the third week.5

References

1. McKenzie RC, Rafferty TS, Beckett GJ. Selenium: an essential element for immune function. Immunol Today 1998;19:342-5 [review].

2. Hughes DA. Effects of dietary antioxidants on the immune function of middle-aged adults. Proc Nutr Soc 1999;58:79-84 [review].

3. Lesourd BM. Nutrition and immunity in the elderly: modification of immune responses with nutritional treatments. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;66:478S-84S [review].

4. Gjorup I, Gjorup T, Andersen B. Serum selenium and zinc concentrations in morbid obesity. Comparison of controls and patients with jejunoileal bypass. Scand J Gastroenterol 1988;23:1250-2.

5. Lehmann C, Egerer K, Weber M, et al. Effect of selenium administration on various laboratory parameters of patients at risk for sepsis syndrome. Med Klin 1997;92:14-6 [in German].

Asthma
Dose: 100 mcg daily

People with low levels of selenium have a high risk of asthma.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Asthma involves free-radical damage6 that selenium might protect against. In a small double-blind trial, supplementation with 100 mcg of sodium selenite (a form of selenium) per day for 14 weeks resulted in clinical improvement in six of eleven patients, compared with only one of ten in the placebo group.7 Most doctors recommend 200 mcg per day for adults (and proportionately less for children)-a much higher, though still safe, level.

References

1. Stone J, Hinks LJ, Beasley R, et al. Reduced selenium status of patients with asthma. Clin Sci 1989;77:495-500.

2. Flatt A, Pearce N, Thomson CD, et al. Reduced selenium in asthmatic subjects in New Zealand. Thorax 1990;45:95-9.

3. Kadrabova J, Mad'aric A, Kovacikova Z, et al. Selenium status is decreased in patients with intrinsic asthma. Biol Trace Elem Res 1996;52:241-8.

4. Misso NL, Powers KA, Gillon RL, et al. Reduced platelet glutathione peroxidase activity and serum selenium concentration in atopic asthmatic patients. Clin Exp Allergy 1996;26:838-47.

5. Shaw R, Woodman K, Crane J, et al. Risk factors for asthma symptoms in Kawerau children. N Z Med J 1994;107:387-91.

6. Owen S, Pearson D, Suarez-Mendez V, et al. Evidence of free-radical activity in asthma. N Engl J Med 1991;325:586-7 [letter].

7. Hasselmark L, Malmgren R, Zetterstrom O, Unge G. Selenium supplementation in intrinsic asthma. Allergy 1993;48:30-6.

Asthma
Dose: Refer to label instructions

There is some evidence that combinations of antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium may help improve symptoms of asthma throught to be caused by air pollution.1 In one double-blind study, 46 Dutch bicyclists were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or 100 mg of vitamin E and 500 mg of vitamin C daily for 15 weeks.2 Lung function was measured before and after each training session on 380 different occasions, and ambient ozone concentrations were measured during each training session. After analysis, researchers concluded that bicyclists with the vitamins C and E blunted the adverse effects of ozone on measures of lung function. In another double-blind study, 17 adults (18 to 39 years old) were randomly assigned to receive either 400 IU per day of vitamin E and 500 mg per day of vitamin C or a placebo for five weeks.3 Tests showing improved measures of lung function led researchers to conclude that supplementation with vitamins C and E inhibited the decline in pulmonary function induced in asthmatics by exposure to air pollutants. Also using a double-blind design, another study of 158 children with asthma living in Mexico City were randomly assigned to receive, a daily supplement containing 50 mg of vitamin E and 250 mg of vitamin C or a placebo.4 Tests results suggested that supplementing with vitamins C and E may reduce the adverse effect of ozone exposure on lung function of children with moderate to severe asthma.

References

1. Ames BN, Shigenaga MK, Hagen TM. Oxidants, antioxidants, and the degenerative diseases of aging. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1993;90:7915-22.

2. Grievink L, Zijlstra AG, Ke X, Brunekreef B. Double-blind intervention trial on modulation of ozone effects on pulmonary function by antioxidant supplements. Am J Epidemiol 1999;149:306-14.

3. Trenga CA, Koenig JQ, Williams PV. Dietary antioxidants and ozone-induced bronchial hyperresponsiveness in adults with asthma. Arch Environ Health 2001;56:242-9.

4. Romieu I, Sienra-Monge JJ, Ramirez-Aguilar M, Tellez-Rojo MM, Moreno-Macias H, Reyes-Ruiz NI, et al. Antioxidant supplementation and lung functions among children with asthma exposed to high levels of air pollutants. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2002;166:703-9.

Prostate Cancer
Dose: 200 mcg daily

Selenium has been reported to have diverse anticancer actions.1, 2 Selenium inhibits cancer in animals.3 Low soil levels of selenium (probably associated with low dietary intake), have been associated with increased cancer incidence in humans.4 Blood levels of selenium have been reported to be low in patients with prostate cancer.5 In preliminary reports, people with the lowest blood levels of selenium had between 3.8 and 5.8 times the risk of dying from cancer compared with those who had the highest selenium levels.6, 7

The strongest evidence supporting the anticancer effects of selenium supplementation comes from a double-blind trial of 1,312 Americans with a history of skin cancer who were treated with 200 mcg of yeast-based selenium per day or placebo for 4.5 years and then followed for an additional two years.8 Although no decrease in skin cancers occurred, a dramatic 50% reduction in overall cancer deaths and a 37% reduction in total cancer incidence were observed. A statistically significant 63% decrease in prostate cancer incidence was reported.9 However, in a follow-up double-blind trial that included 35,533 healthy men, supplementing with 200 mcg per day of selenium for an average of 5.5 years had no effect on the incidence of prostate cancer.10 In another trial, 5,141 men were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or a daily supplement containing 100 mcg of selenium, 120 mg of vitamin C, 30 IU of vitamin E, 6 mg of beta-carotene, and 20 mg of zinc 20 for eight years. Among men with a normal PSA level at the start of the study, there was a statistically significant 48% reduction in the incidence of prostate cancer. Among men with an initially elevated PSA level, the supplemented group had an increased incidence of prostate cancer that was not statistically significant.11

References

1. Medina D. Mechanisms of selenium inhibition of tumorigenesis. Adv Exp Med Biol 1986;206:465-72.

2. Beisel WR. Single nutrients and immunity. Am J Clin Nutr 1982;35:417-68.

3. Medina D, Morrison DG. Current ideas on selenium as a chemopreventative agent. Pathol Immunopathol Res 1988;7:187-99.

4. Shamberger RJ, Rukoven E, Lonfield AK, et al. Antioxidants and cancer. I. Selenium in the blood of normals and cancer patients. J Natl Cancer Inst 1973;4:863-70.

5. Willett WC, Polk BF, Morris JS, et al. Prediagnostic serum Selenium and risk of cancer. Lancet 1983;42:130-4.

6. Fex G, Pettersson B, Akesson B. Low plasma selenium as a risk factor for cancer death in middle-aged men. Nutr Cancer 1987;10:221-9.

7. Salonen J, Salonen R, Lappetelainen R, et al. Risk of cancer in relation to serum concentrations of selenium and vitamins A and E; matched case-control analysis of prospective data. BMJ 1985;290:417-20.

8. Clark LC, Combs GF Jr, Turnbull BW, et al. Effects of selenium supplementation for cancer prevention in patients with carcinoma of the skin. JAMA 1996;276:1957-63.

9. Clark LC, Combs GF Jr, Turnbull BW, et al. Effects of selenium supplementation for cancer prevention in patients with carcinoma of the skin. JAMA 1996;276:1957-63.

10. Lippman SM, Klein EA, Goodman PJ, et al. Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA 2009;301:39-51.

11. Meyer F, Galan P, Douville P, et al. Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplementation and prostate cancer prevention in the SU.VI.MAX trial. Int J Cancer 2005;116:182-6.

Pancreatic Insufficiency
Dose: 600 mcg, taken under the supervision of a doctorThere are few controlled trials of antioxidant supplementation to patients with pancreatitis. One small controlled study of acute pancreatitis patients found that sodium selenite at a dose of 500 micrograms (mcg) daily resulted in decreased levels of a marker of free radical activity, and no patient deaths occurred.1 In a small double-blind trial including recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis patients, supplements providing daily doses of 600 mcg selenium, 9,000 IU beta-carotene, 540 mg Vitamin C, 270 IU vitamin E, and 2,000 mg methionine significantly reduced pain, normalized several blood measures of antioxidant levels and free radical activity, and prevented acute recurrences of pancreatitis.2 These researchers later reported that continuing antioxidant treatment in these patients for up to five years or more significantly reduced the total number of days spent in hospital and resulted in 78% of patients becoming pain-free and 88% returning to work.3
References

1. Kulinski B, Buchner M, Schweder R, Nagel R. Acute pancreatitis-a free radical disease. Decrease in fatality with sodium selenite (Na2SeO3) therapy. Z Gesamte Inn Med 1991;46:145-9 [in German].

2. Uden S, Bilton D, Nathan L, et al. Antioxidant therapy for recurrent pancreatitis: placebo-controlled trial. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1990;4:357-71.

3. McCloy R. Chronic pancreatitis at Manchester, UK. Focus on antioxidant therapy. Digestion 1998;59(suppl 4):36-48 [review].

Type 1 Diabetes
Dose: Refer to label instructionsBecause oxidation damage is believed to play a role in the development of diabetic eye damage (retinopathy), antioxidant nutrients might be protective. One doctor has administered a daily regimen of 500 mcg selenium, 800 IU vitamin E, 10,000 IU vitamin A, and 1,000 mg vitamin C for several years to 20 people with diabetic eye damage (retinopathy). During that time, 19 of the 20 people showed either improvement or no progression of their retinopathy.1 People who wish to supplement with more than 250 mcg of selenium per day should consult a healthcare practitioner.
References

1. Crary EJ, McCarty MF. Potential clinical applications for high-dose nutritional antioxidants. Med Hypotheses 1984;13:77-98.

Type 1 Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy
Dose: Refer to label instructionsBecause oxidation damage is believed to play a role in the development of diabetic eye damage (retinopathy), antioxidant nutrients might be protective. One doctor has administered a daily regimen of 500 mcg selenium, 800 IU vitamin E, 10,000 IU vitamin A, and 1,000 mg vitamin C for several years to 20 people with diabetic eye damage (retinopathy). During that time, 19 of the 20 people showed either improvement or no progression of their retinopathy.1 People who wish to supplement with more than 250 mcg of selenium per day should consult a healthcare practitioner.
References

1. Crary EJ, McCarty MF. Potential clinical applications for high-dose nutritional antioxidants. Med Hypotheses 1984;13:77-98.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dose: 200 mcg daily

People with RA have been found to have lower selenium levels than healthy people.1, 2 One3 of two double-blind trials using at least 200 mcg of selenium per day for three to six months found that selenium supplementation led to a significant reduction in pain and joint inflammation in RA patients, but the other reported no beneficial effect.4 More controlled trials are needed to determine whether selenium reduces symptoms in people with RA.

References

1. Tarp U, Overvad K, Hansen JC, Thorling EB. Low selenium level in severe rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol 1985;14:97-101.

2. Aaseth J, Munthe E, Forre O, Steinnes E. Trace elements in serum and urine of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol 1978;7:237-40.

3. Peretz A, Neve J, Duchateau J, Famaey JP. Adjuvant treatment of recent onset rheumatoid arthritis by selenium supplementation: preliminary observations. Br J Rheumatol 1992;31:281-2 [letter].

4. Tarp U, Overvad K, Thorling EB, et al. Selenium treatment in rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol 1985;14:364-8.

Burns
Dose: Refer to label instructions

In a double-blind trial, daily intravenous administration of the trace minerals zinc, copper, and selenium to patients hospitalized with extensive burns significantly decreased the number of postburn infections and increased the rate of healing.1

References

1. Berger MM, Baines M, Raffoul W, et al. Trace element supplementation after major burns modulates antioxidant status and clinical course by way of increased tissue trace element concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:1293-300.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis
Dose: 200 mcg daily

A deficiency in the selenium-containing antioxidant enzyme known as glutathione peroxidase has been reported in DH.1, 2 Preliminary3 and double-blind4 trials suggest that supplementation with 10 IU of vitamin E and 200 mcg of selenium per day for six to eight weeks corrected this deficiency but did not lead to symptom improvement in the double-blind trial.

References

1. Juhlin L, Edqvist LE, Ekman LG, et al. Blood glutathione-peroxidase levels in skin diseases: effect of selenium and vitamin E treatment. Acta Derm Venereol 1982;62:211-4.

2. Ljunghall K, Juhlin L, Edqvist LE, Plantin LO. Selenium, glutathione-peroxidase and dermatitis herpetiformis. Acta Derm Venereol 1984;64:546-7.

3. Juhlin L, Edqvist LE, Ekman LG, et al. Blood glutathione-peroxidase levels in skin diseases: effect of selenium and vitamin E treatment. Acta Derm Venereol 1982;62:211-4.

4. Ljunghall K, Juhlin L, Edqvist LE, Plantin LO. Selenium, glutathione-peroxidase and dermatitis herpetiformis. Acta Derm Venereol 1984;64:546-7.

Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Male Infertility
Dose: 100 mcg daily

In a double-blind study of infertile men with reduced sperm motility, supplementation with selenium (100 mcg per day for three months) significantly increased sperm motility, but had no effect on sperm count. Eleven percent of 46 men receiving selenium achieved paternity, compared with none of 18 men receiving a placebo.1

References

1. Scott R, MacPherson A, Yates RWS, et al. The effect of oral selenium supplementation on human sperm motility. Br J Urol 1998;82:76-80.

Burns
Dose: Refer to label instructions

In a double-blind trial, daily intravenous administration of the trace minerals zinc, copper, and selenium to patients hospitalized with extensive burns significantly decreased the number of postburn infections and increased the rate of healing.1

References

1. Berger MM, Baines M, Raffoul W, et al. Trace element supplementation after major burns modulates antioxidant status and clinical course by way of increased tissue trace element concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:1293-300.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Dose: 150 mcg a day with 400 IU a day of vitamin E

Based on the personal experience of a doctor who reported his findings,1 some physicians recommend vitamin E (400 IU per day) and selenium (50 mcg three times per day). One well-known, nutritionally oriented doctor reports anecdotally that he has had considerable success with this regimen and often sees results in two to six weeks.2

References

1. Reich, CJ. Vitamin E, selenium, and knee problems. Lancet 1976;i:257 [letter].

2. Wright JW. Personal correspondence, April 1997.

Childhood Diseases
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Selenium is a mineral known to have antioxidant properties and to be involved in healthy immune system activity. Recent animal and human research suggests that selenium deficiency increases the risk of viral infection and that supplementation prevents viral infection.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 In a controlled trial, children with a specific viral infection (respiratory syncytial virus) who received a single supplement of 1 mg (1,000 mcg) of sodium selenite (a form of selenium) recovered more quickly than children who did not receive selenium.6 While it is possible that childhood exanthemous viral infections might similarly be more severe in selenium-deficient children and helped through supplementation, none of the current research involves these specific viruses.

References

1. Levander OA, Beck MA. Selenium and viral virulence. Br Med Bull 1999;55:528-33.

2. Beck MA, Levander OA. Host nutritional status and its effect on a viral pathogen. J Infect Dis 2000;182:S93-S96 [review].

3. Beck MA. Nutritionally induced oxidative stress: effect on viral disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:1676S-81S [review].

4. Beck MA. Selenium and host defence towards viruses. Proc Nutr Soc 1999;58:707-11 [review].

5. Beck MA, Levander OA. Dietary oxidative stress and the potentiation of viral infection. Annu Rev Nutr 1998;18:93-116 [review].

6. Liu X, Yin S, Li G. Effects of selenium supplement on acute lower respiratory tract infection caused by respiratory syncytial virus. Chung Hua Yu Fang I Hsueh Tsa Chih 1997;31:358-61 [in Chinese].

Macular Degeneration
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which in turn can cause macular degeneration.1 Animals given antioxidants-which protect against oxidative damage-have a lower risk of this vision problem.2 People with high blood levels of antioxidants also have a lower risk.3 Those with the highest levels (top 20th percentile) of the antioxidants selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin E may have a 70% lower risk of developing macular degeneration, compared with people with the lowest levels of these nutrients (bottom 20th percentile).4 People who eat fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene, another antioxidant, are also at low risk.5 Some doctors recommend antioxidant supplements to reduce the risk of macular degeneration; reasonable adult levels include 200 mcg of selenium, 1,000 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, and 25,000 IU of natural beta-carotene per day. However, a preliminary study found no association between age-related macular degeneration and intake of antioxidants, either from the diet, from supplements, or from both combined.6 Moreover, in a double-blind study of male cigarette smokers, supplementing with vitamin E (50 IU per day), synthetic beta-carotene (about 33,000 IU per day), or both did not reduce the incidence of age-related macular degeneration.7

References

1. Young RW. Solar radiation and age-related macular degeneration. Surv Ophthalmol 1988:32:252-69.

2. Katz ML, Parker KR, Handelman GJ, et al. Effects of antioxidant nutrient deficiency on the retina and retinal pigment epithelium of albino rats: a light and electron microscopic study. Exp Eye Res 1982;34:339-69.

3. West S, Vitale S, Hallfrisch J, et al. Are anti-oxidants or supplements protective of age-related macular degeneration? Arch Ophthalmol 1994:112:222-7.

4. Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group. Antioxidant status and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 1993:111:104-9.

5. Goldberg J, Flowerdew G, Smith E, et al. Factors associated with age-related macular degeneration. Am J Epidemiol 1988:128:700-10.

6. Smith W, Mitchell P, Webb K, Leeder SR. Dietary antioxidants and age-related maculopathy: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology 1999;106:761-7.

7. Teikari JM, Laatikainen L, Virtamo J, et al. Six-year supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene and age-related maculopathy. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 1998;76:224-9.

Macular Degeneration
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which in turn can cause macular degeneration.1 Animals given antioxidants-which protect against oxidative damage-have a lower risk of this vision problem.2 People with high blood levels of antioxidants also have a lower risk.3 Those with the highest levels (top 20th percentile) of the antioxidants selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin E may have a 70% lower risk of developing macular degeneration, compared with people with the lowest levels of these nutrients (bottom 20th percentile).4 People who eat fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene, another antioxidant, are also at low risk.5 Some doctors recommend antioxidant supplements to reduce the risk of macular degeneration; reasonable adult levels include 200 mcg of selenium, 1,000 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, and 25,000 IU of natural beta-carotene per day. However, a preliminary study found no association between age-related macular degeneration and intake of antioxidants, either from the diet, from supplements, or from both combined.6 Moreover, in a double-blind study of male cigarette smokers, supplementing with vitamin E (50 IU per day), synthetic beta-carotene (about 33,000 IU per day), or both did not reduce the incidence of age-related macular degeneration.7

References

1. Young RW. Solar radiation and age-related macular degeneration. Surv Ophthalmol 1988:32:252-69.

2. Katz ML, Parker KR, Handelman GJ, et al. Effects of antioxidant nutrient deficiency on the retina and retinal pigment epithelium of albino rats: a light and electron microscopic study. Exp Eye Res 1982;34:339-69.

3. West S, Vitale S, Hallfrisch J, et al. Are anti-oxidants or supplements protective of age-related macular degeneration? Arch Ophthalmol 1994:112:222-7.

4. Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group. Antioxidant status and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 1993:111:104-9.

5. Goldberg J, Flowerdew G, Smith E, et al. Factors associated with age-related macular degeneration. Am J Epidemiol 1988:128:700-10.

6. Smith W, Mitchell P, Webb K, Leeder SR. Dietary antioxidants and age-related maculopathy: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology 1999;106:761-7.

7. Teikari JM, Laatikainen L, Virtamo J, et al. Six-year supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene and age-related maculopathy. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 1998;76:224-9.

Anti-Aging
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Hypothyroidism
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Selenium plays a role in thyroid hormone metabolism. Severe selenium deficiency has been implicated as a possible cause of goiter.1 Two months of selenium supplementation in people who were deficient in both selenium and iodine was shown to induce a dramatic fall of the already impaired thyroid function in clinically hypothyroid subjects.2 Researchers have suggested that people who are deficient in both selenium and iodine should not take selenium supplements without first receiving iodine or thyroid hormone supplementation.3 There is no research demonstrating that selenium supplementation helps people with hypothyroidism who are not selenium-deficient.

References

1. Thilly CH, Swennen B, Bourdoux P, et al. The epidemiology of iodine-deficiency disorders in relation to goitrogenic factors and thyroid-stimulating-hormone regulation. Am J Clin Nutr 1993;57(2 Suppl):267S-70S.

2. Contempre B, Dumont JE, Ngo B, et al. Effect of selenium supplementation in hypothyroid subjects of an iodine and selenium deficient area: the possible danger of indiscriminate supplementation of iodine-deficient subjects with selenium. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1991;73:213-5.

3. Vanderpas JB, Contempre B, Duale NL, et al. Selenium deficiency mitigates hypothyroxinemia in iodine-deficient subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1993 Feb;57(2 Suppl):271S-275S [review].

Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Halitosis and Gum Disease
Dose: Spray a lotion containing 3.7% citronella in a slow-release formula every morning for six days per week

Nutritional supplements recommended by some doctors for prevention and treatment of periodontitis include vitamin C (people with periodontitis are often found to be deficient),1vitamin E, selenium, zinc, coenzyme Q10, and folic acid.2 Folic acid has also been shown to reduce the severity of gingivitis when taken as a mouthwash.3

References

1. Vaananen MK, Markkanen HA, Tuovinen VJ, et al. Periodontal health related to plasma ascorbic acid. Proc Finn Dent Soc 1993;89:51-9.

2. Murray M, Pizzorno J. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, rev2d ed. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1998, 722-9.

3. Pack ARC. Folate mouthwash: effects on established gingivitis in periodontal patients. J Clin Periodontol 1984;11:619-28.

Abnormal Pap Smear
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Low levels of selenium1 and low dietary intake of vitamin C2, 3 have been observed in women with cervical dysplasia.

References

1. Dawson EB, Nosovitch JT, Hannigan EV. Serum vitamin and selenium changes in cervical dysplasia. Fed Proc 1984;43:612.

2. Wassertheil-Smoller S, Romney SL, Wylie-Rosett J, et al. Dietary vitamin C and uterine cervical dysplasia. Am J Epidemiol 1981;114:714-24.

3. Ho GY, Palan PR, Basu J, et al. Viral characteristics of human papillomavirus infection and antioxidant levels as risk factors for cervical dysplasia. Int J Cancer 1998;78:594-9.

Selenium is an essential trace mineral.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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