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Selenium and the Flu

Selenium can become one of your best friends when it comes to preventing your getting, fighting off, or helping to recover faster from the flu. Not only that, but it looks like selenium may benefit people suffering from other viruses such as HIV/AIDS. There are many other positive health outcomes from the use of selenium but I will concentrate on the flu in today’s blog.

What scientists have discovered is that selenium deficient animals were far more likely to come down with an infectious disease than their selenium rich cohorts. While this is not surprising as I have mentioned in the past on how any trace mineral deficiency makes people much more susceptible to illness. The first health issue that crops up when you are mineral deficient is that your immune system suffers. But, the findings that have come out of scientific research recently are fascinating when it comes to selenium.

What was found was that those animals who were selenium deficient were far more likely to develop a more virulent form of the virus than those with adequate selenium. The mechanism behind why this happens is two-fold. The first is a well known process revolving around the minerals stimulation of the antioxidant glutathione. Increased glutathione production is essential to a healthy immune system so this comes as no surprise. It is the second mechanism that has researchers fascinated.

It seems that viruses that cause the flu are selenium scavengers, needing the trace mineral to survive and replicate. You must be saying to yourself, ‘ Wait, why are we feeding the virus?’. The answer may surprise you. The viruses are simply trying to keep themselves happy and well fed. When they don’t get enough selenium to accomplish that feat, the get angry or in immunological terms, more virulent. Feed them adequate selenium and they are less likely to mutate and become dangerous.

So what dose do I recommend? For a standard daily dose, 125 micrograms seems to do the trick. When confronted with a viral exposure, you need to up the dose to between 1 and 2 milligrams. Pair that up with some other glutathione┬áprecursors┬álike n-acetyl-cysteine and vitamin C and you got a powerful immune booster. Don’t forget to add vitamin D to your pre-flu regime and if you get it, you’ll be over it in no time.

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