Saturday, August 9, 2014

What Is Known About Selenium and Ebola ?


Vets often give bovine selenium injections to alpacas.

            As early as 1995, there was a study which postulated that outbreaks and virulence of the then Zaire strain of Ebola virus depended heavily on the presence of selenium deficiency. The theory exists that the deficiency state of selenium allows the virus to get a foothold and to replicate more readily.

             This theory is particularly interesting because there are very low levels of selenium in the soil in all of the places in which Ebola outbreaks have occurred.  When selenium soil levels are low, then the food people harvest and eat from their region, are also low in selenium, leaving people more vulnerable to HIV-AIDS, herpetiform viruses, Coxsackie-B virus (which can cause both Type I- autoimmune diabetes, and a particular type of heart enlargement),  a broad range of other viral illnesses, and also the pathogenic in humans varieties of Ebola virus.

         It is broadly recognized by veterinarians that keeping a good deal of farm animals health depends on the occasional selenium injection, but we hear a good deal less about selenium oral supplementation in human beings.

           Selenium is simply a trace mineral which can be bought in the US in most pharmacies and online for about five to ten dollars for a hundred tablets with the 200 mcg. dosage.   Since it causes stomach upset in a few, you should take it after a meal.  If you don't have any, then egg yolks are a good source of selenium. People who eat whole eggs regularly are less likely to be selenium deficient.

            Other available articles have furthur postulated that a combination of supplemental selenium and vitamin C provide the best overall circumstance in addition to careful hygiene generally, in avoiding the spread of Ebola virus and other viral agents.

            This is no panacea, but if selenium deficiency is a chink in the armor that allows this disease to spread more easily, then it is a safe supplement for most people, along with vitamin C.

        Selenium in the amount of 200mcg. daily would probably be a safe supplement for most people.  I take Vitamin C in the amount of 1000 mg. daily.  (Yes, selenium comes in micrograms and Vitamin C is dispensed in milligrams.)  You should run past your doctor any new supplements you wish to take, as all supplements have the ability to interact with medications you are taking and do sometimes have a negative effect with regard to another disease process you might already be enduring.

           Still, this is an important issue that on the eve of a potential US outbreak, people should know something about.


From the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine

From Dr. Passwater