SELENIUM - A critical mineral for health and healing

  • 20 June, 2020
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by Chandralal Kalansooriya

Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient and has been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), America as an anti-cancer nutrient. Its Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) stands at 55 micrograms (mcg)/day.

Selenium is a fascinating element and it opens up an entire world of experience for human beings. Selenium is required for the functioning and development of certain areas of the brain that open a person to higher emotions and thought. It is also an essential mineral for thyroid functioning, along with iodine.

Since everyone needs Selenium, supplementation of Selenium is included in nutritional balancing programs (although it is usually not the case in Sri Lanka). It is important to examine the sources, functions and metabolic effects of selenium on the human body.


While selenium is found in some foods, most refined and processed foods are very low in selenium. Also, the selenium in many foods such as most meats and sea food is not well-consumed.

Mustard of all kinds- This spice is actually an excellent source of selenium. Fresh organic ground mustard seeds are probably the best, but any mustard is good.

Garlic and onions - These are excellent common food sources of well-utilized selenium. For Sri Lankans, this is the best selection.

Arrowroot powder- This is a thickener used in soups and other dishes. It is more costly than corn starch, but also far more nutritious and can be added to any meal during preparation in which a thickener is needed. It, too, contains selenium.

Almond Nuts and Brazil Nuts – A bigger range of vital minerals are available in these nuts including selenium.


Thyroid activity - Selenium is required to produce thyroid hormone, T4. It is also needed for the conversion of T4 to the more active form of the hormone, T3. This is a critical function that is sub-optimal in many people today.If the body cannot convert T4 to T3, then thyroid hormone activity will diminish significantly, even if enough T4 is being produced. Many health professionals measure these hormones and prescribe hormone replacement of T3 if it is low. Balancing selenium will often correct the problem in a more elegant and physiological manner, without the need for drugs.

Selenium has been found to specifically counteract eye dysfunction, in response to swelling and inflammation of the muscles and structures behind and around the eyeball.

Anti-oxidant activity and glutathione synthesis - Glutathione is a substance produced in the liver and elsewhere that is critical for detoxification within the liver and in each body cell. Glutathione is one of the most important substances in the human body. Its production depends on the availability of several amino acids, along with iron and selenium. This forms the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is a step in glutathione production and metabolism. Glutathione is the best antioxidant in the human body.

When glutathione production is low, detoxification in the liver is seriously impaired. This means the body is less able to eliminate all toxic metals, many toxic chemicals and other substances such as biological toxins. Thus, this function of selenium is also a critical one.

Heavy metal detoxification - This has to do with glutathione production although thyroid activity and other functions related to selenium are required for all metal detoxification. This is why garlic and other sources of selenium are so important.

Immune System Enhancer – Selenium enhances the immune system response in fighting against infections, cancer cells, particularly pre-cancerous cells or wandering cancer cells. Selenium helps to reverse cancer in a very non-toxic manner and reduces toxic metals that can lead to cancer.

Mental health - Selenium, along with silicon, share certain characteristics. They help impart a silky, smooth quality to the personality. It may sound odd to think that a silky, smooth texture of a mineral could have a similar effect on the nervous system, but it is the case. Selenium and silicon are absolutely essential for mental health. They help with feelings of joy and happiness, and give certain lightness to the personality.

Etheric development and life extension- Selenium is absolutely essential for the development of the etheric body. This is one of the main subtle human bodies. (The Human Aura/Subtle Energy Field.) As etheric body develops, it is helpful to improve health, which extends the lifespan rather dramatically.

Selenium needs for "development"- This is also an esoteric concept that is related to the growth of the etheric body. Selenium plays a role in activating certain areas of the brain that are associated with mental/ spiritual development.


This is extremely common today. To a certain extent, this can be called "Selenium deficiency Syndrome", since it is so common. Those who are deficient in selenium and silicon tend to be irritable, anxious, rather hopeless, depressed, negative and not pleasant to be around. They all have low thyroid function, even if the serum thyroid hormone levels seem normal.

Physical symptoms also often include impaired hair and nail growth, fatigability that can be severe, nervous sensitivity and irritability, a tendency for infections and cancers, an impaired immune response in general, weak adrenal activity, and other symptoms as well that are secondary and related to hypoglycemia, allergies, asthma, low or high blood pressure and arterial diseases.


Selenium can be toxic if consumed in an incorrect form or if too much is ingested. The most common cause of selenium toxicity in human beings, seen on hair mineral analysis is the result of overuse of shampoos that contain Selenium to remove dandruff. Such products contain a slightly toxic form of selenium that can be absorbed to a certain degree.


Selenium levels can be read in the hair tissue with a fair amount of accuracy. Most hair mineral testing indicates a normal value between 0.08 and 0.12 mg%. An ideal level is probably 0.12 mg% or 1.2 parts per million.

 On the whole, it is possible that most of the people’s hair selenium levels could be low because selenium is deficient in the diets today. Selenium is required for detoxification, and lacking of selenium is a health concern for everyone.


Selenium is a wonderful aid for general health. It is one of the reasons that garlic has an important place in the food kingdom and herbal medicine from ancient times. Garlic is quite high in bioavailable form of selenium. Garlic, also contains many other nutritious items such as Sulfur bearing amino acids.

Because Selenium is needed in the human beings so much, garlic is a highly-prized food today, as it was even in the days of the Egyptian slaves, who ate garlic for strength and long life. Garlic is also useful to lower blood pressure and to fight against infections. Many of these attributes are in part due to Garlic’s selenium content. Selenium is so important that it is an essential nutrient today.