It didn’t take a global pandemic for us to learn the benefits of selenium on the immune system, butit did reinforce them! A recent article from Environmental Research, Selenium (Se) plays a key role in the biological effects of some viruses: implications for COVID-19, dives deep into the powerful effects of selenium against potentially deadly viruses.
- Selenium is an essential trace mineral for the human body required for antioxidant function and optimal immune health.
- Selenium deficiency increases RNA-virus replication and mutations (like the COVID-19 Delta variant), which in turn leads to greater viral virulence.
- The incidence of COVID-19 was more than 10 times higher in selenium-deficient regions in China and mortality was more than 5 times higher, compared to selenium-rich regions.
- The amount of selenium any one person gets is not solely based on their diet choices.
- Selenium content in soil can vary 20-fold throughout the world, resulting in foods that carry insufficient nutritional value.
- Selenium deficiency has been linked to HIV/AIDS and the Ebola fever epidemics in West Africa.
- Mortality was reduced by nearly 60% with selenium supplementation in virally infected mice (H1N1).
- Selenium supplementation has also been shown to reduce mortality rate of severe hemorrhagic fever from 100% down to 37%, and from 22% to 0% in less severe cases.
Reference: Liu Q, Zhao X, Ma J et al. Selenium (Se) plays a key role in the biological effects of some viruses: implications for COVID-19. Environmental Research 2021;196:110984.