Blog — Selenium

Heavy Metals, Nutrients & Mental Health

Posted by Ben White on

By Dr Kate Placzek, ZRT Laboratory Influenced by our environment, we are constantly being exposed to elements, whether nutritional or toxic. They are a big contribution to the yin yang dualism of health and disease.  With heavy metals, contamination is so extensive nowadays that it is no longer a question of whether exposure took place, but rather what the level of exposure was or continues to be. Toxicity from low levels of exposure can lead to a wide array of neurological disturbances and can be much more insidious in presentation than acute toxicity, which is, in contrast, rather obvious in...

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As A Selenium Supplement - Brazil Nuts

Posted by Ben White on

By Theodore Zava, ZRT Laboratory. Selenium is a trace essential element that is incorporated into selenoproteins. There are at least 25 known selenoproteins in the human body, their primary roles being antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase and thyroid deiodinases that convert thyroxine (T4) to active thyroid hormone (T3). Deficiencies in selenium can be detrimental to health, while selenium excess can be just as dangerous. Brazil nuts are commonly used as a form of selenium supplementation, but it isn’t commonly known that the level of selenium in Brazil nuts is highly variable.   Why Are Brazil Nuts High in Selenium?...

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Selenium Supplementation and Its Effect

Posted by Ben White on

While optimal selenium levels are imperative for proper thyroid function, abnormally high selenium intake can be toxic – causing gastrointestinal disturbances, changes in nails and hair, weakness, convulsions and decreased cognitive function. So it’s important to understand the ways in which we take in selenium, both in the diet and as supplements. A balance of nutrients is required by our bodies to maintain good health, and selenium (Se) is an important one that often gets overlooked. This essential element is a required component of the selenoproteins, which include those that are needed to convert thyroid hormone from the inactive to the active form, and...

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An Essential Element? Bromine

Posted by Ben White on

Bromine should be recognised as the 28th essential element for all species, from fruit flies to humans, in according to researchers at Vanderbilt University. Study results were published 2014 in Cell, and demonstrate that without bromine, collagen type IV molecules will not bond together properly to form the structural proteins of connective tissues, leading to disrupted tissue development.   This figure demonstrates bromines role as a co-factor in formation of collagen IV crosslinks:  Image Source: McCall S, Cummings C, Bhave G, Vanacore R, Page-MCaw A, Hudson B. Bromine is an essential trace element for assembly of collagen IV scaffolds in...

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Element Testing – Why Sample Type Matters!

Posted by Ben White on

Urine, serum, plasma, whole blood, red blood cells, feces, hair, fingernails … the list goes on. How do you decide what biological sample(s) to use for element analysis? Can results be compared to scientific literature or do they have clinical significance? Is it possible for values to be elevated or low in one sample type and normal in another? Do test results indicate recent intake, body burden, acute toxicity, chronic toxicity, deficiency, or homeostatic regulation? These are just some of the questions facing a testing laboratory when they want to develop and validate essential and toxic element profiles that will...

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