Herbal Remedy

Selenium

Take to enhance immunity and thyroid health.

What it's Used For

nutritional support,immunity,enhancement

How to Take It

200 micrograms per day, in combination with vitamin E for best results. Since vitamin C can interfere with the absorption of selenium, take them at separate times.

Safety

Over time, excessive doses (over 900 mcg per day) may lead to depression, nervousness, vomiting, and nausea.

Details

A powerful antioxidant, selenium works especially well with vitamin E to fight damaging free radicals. ItÕs vital for the immune system, boosting the bodyÕs defenses against bacteria and viruses, and it may reduce cancer risk, particularly in the prostate, colon, and lungs. Selenium is found in meat, wheat germ, nuts (particularly Brazil nuts), eggs, oats, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice. But modern farming practices have depleted the soil, so many people donÕt get sufficient selenium from their diets anymore, says Tanya Edwards, M.D., medical director for the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Food processing also reduces selenium levels, which is why eating whole, unprocessed, organic food is the best way to obtain the nutrient. Since this isnÕt always possible, Edwards recommends the supplement, which can be found by itself or in multivitamins. Taking selenium is particularly recommended for people with certain digestive conditions, such as CrohnÕs disease and ulcerative colitis.

Use our Herb & Supplement Guide for background and dosage information on dozens of herbs and supplements.