Achieving Optimal Plasma Selenium Status

Hurst et al. administered 50-mcg, 100-mcg, or 200-mcg of selenium daily for ten weeks to 119 healthy men and women aged 50–64 years living in the United Kingdom.

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A healthy immune system depends upon an optimal selenium status to promote the bio-synthesis of antioxidant selenoproteins.

The researchers were testing the effect of the different daily dosages on plasma selenium status and plasma selenoprotein P status. They used a pharmaceutical-grade high-selenium yeast preparation with a documented 88.7% absorption [Bügel 2004].

The men and women in the study had a daily dietary selenium intake of approximately 55 mcg/day.  Intakes of selenium in the United Kingdom had fallen from a mean of 60 mcg/day in 1991 to a minimum of 30 to 40 mcg/day in 1995–2000; in 2010, the mean intake was 48–58 mcg/day [Hurst 2010]. read more

Properties of a high-selenium yeast preparation

The element selenium is seldom found alone and unbound. In the body, it forms a part of the amino acids selenomethionine and selenocysteine and functions as a component of some 25 selenoproteins. The high-selenium yeast used in nutritional supplements is produced by enriching Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast (also known as baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast) with selenium. As the yeast grows, it absorbs the selenium. The result is an organic high-selenium yeast that has a relatively good absorption and bio-availability. It provides several species of selenium that are necessary for many cellular functions in the body. The yeast in the high-selenium yeast tablets is dead. It cannot cause yeast infections.

The evidence from clinical studies shows that high-selenium yeast preparations give the best health outcomes [Alehagen; Blot; Clark; Yu].

Today, I want to look at the documented properties of the high-selenium yeast preparation that was developed for use in the PRECISE studies.  PRECISE is the acronym for PREvention of Cancer by Intervention with SElenium.  The PRECISE studies were designed to test the effectiveness of selenium supplementation at preventing cancer.

The preparation is also the high-selenium yeast preparation used in the KiSel-10 study of combined selenium and Coenzyme Q10 supplementation of healthy elderly citizens to protect against heart disease.  Professor Urban Alehagen and the researchers at Linköping University in Sweden have written about the special interrelationship between selenium and Coenzyme Q10: our cells need adequate selenium status to obtain optimal concentrations of Coenzyme Q10, and our cells need adequate Coenzyme Q10 status to realize optimal selenoprotein function [Alehagen]. read more