Modest Selenium Deficiency Increases Risk for Diseases of Aging & Thyroid Problems
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
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A recent article evaluating modest deficiencies in selenium1 led to this rather stunning statement by the journal editor, “This paper should settle any debate about the importance of taking a good, complete, multivitamin every day,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. “As this report shows, taking a multivitamin that contains selenium is a good way to prevent deficiencies that, over time, can cause harm in ways that we are just beginning to understand.”
While the FDA likes to assert, so as to protect the sales and services of its friends in Big Pharma and the medical profession, that nutrition cannot prevent or treat disease, science is clearly showing the opposite. This is simply more data demonstrating the extreme irrelevance of FDA policy to assist human health.
The new study proves beyond any doubt the power of selenoproteins to preserve human health and prevent disease. Even a modest deficiency of selenium over the course of time can cause huge health problems that result in the onset of disease. Of course, I cannot help but point out that the statin Class of drugs aka HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that are used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme that plays a central role in liver function and cholesterol production. drugs for lowering cholesterol reduce the production of selenoproteins in the process of suppressing cholesterol production (selenoproteins are made as cholesterol is synthesized). While the combination of a lack of selenium along with statin Class of drugs aka HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that are used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme that plays a central role in liver function and cholesterol production. ingestion was not the subject of this study, it is a public health debacle of the highest order.
Long gone is the simplistic concept of the lack of a vitamin causing a specific disease, such as a lack of vitamin C causing scurvy. While that is still true, the new understanding of nutrition and disease prevention takes on a far more significant role. The ability to evaluate genes and gene function is leading to a new era of health. This new study shows that when nutrients are lacking only key systems get them, leaving other systems that also need them in short supply. Over time, that adds up to big problems, i.e., increased risk for many of the diseases of aging.
Every person in America should take a high quality multiple vitamin with minerals like selenium. In some cases, such as poor thyroid function, higher levels of selenium are indicated. After all, it is the selenoproteins that enable the conversion of basic T4 thyroid hormone into the biologically active T3.
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