Selenium. Brazil nuts (though not really “nuts” but rather more of a fruit) contain unusually rich amounts of selenium. Simple supplementation with this key mineral can turn what might otherwise be a deadly case of coxsackie virus-induced myocarditis (with heart failure, the need for a heart transplant, etc) into a nuisance respiratory infection to which your immune system successfully responds with lifelong immunity. I read today a fear-mongering story in the LA Times about the devastation wrought by the West Nile virus in the case of a 55 year old woman who is now wheelchair bound. What could have prevented this? Oh, I know…
…another vaccine! More money to the Whatever Foundation for Research. Perhaps a new arm band or decal for the NFL. West Nile shoelaces. The evidence — rarely if ever promoted by the Mainstream Media much less the Scientific Media — that the simple supplementation of selenium might actually eliminate these catastrophic infection-induced consequences that devastate lives has been around for a long time. Physicians (and many in the patient public) can understand this picture that aptly illustrates the fact that an ideal selenium status confers a certain balance to the immune response that has been shown to render many type of infections as simple nuisances. Why is this such a “secret”?
Steinbrenner H, Al-Quraishy S, Dkhil MA, Wunderlich F, Sies H. Dietary selenium in adjuvant therapy of viral and bacterial infections. Adv Nutr. 2015 Jan 15;6(1):73-82. doi: 10.3945/an.114.007575. Review. PubMed PMID: 25593145; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4288282.
Daily supplementation with ~ 1-1.5 mcg/lb/day will greatly enhance immune function and particularly resilience to viral infections that might otherwise be devastating. A Brazil nut or two per day might render selenium deficient individuals (probably > 50% of the non-supplementing public) nearly invulnerable to the kind of outcomes described in the LA Times piece above. Can you measure your selenium status? Of course! But you likely won’t get that done at your local HealthNazis clinic. You will need to find an informed provider who knows such things, and they are finally becoming easier to find. Don’t look at Mayo either, btw. The Cleveland Clinic is one of the rare Big Box institutions finally on board with functional medicine principles.
A few weeks ago the editorial staff of the Journal of the American Medical Association once again embarrassed themselves by ridiculing the patient public for being stupid enough to keep buying dietary supplements. The evidence that they are useful — especially when consulting with that rare MD or ND or nurse who actually KNOWS something about them — is both scientific and robust and has been this way for decades. But this simply does not service the corporate narrative. Fear, vaccines, and the sacrament of medicine often have little to do with the public health. I am a firm believer in the profit motive and the success of good business. But not when it is built around a foundation of deception. We’ll get to the great vitamin D (for “Deception”) tale in a forthcoming story.