Selenium is part of The Iodine Protocol. Dr. Brownstein recommends 200mcg – 400mcg when someone is actively taking 50mg, which most people do not start at unless they are working with a doctor. This page is one of my longer write-ups, but this is due to the importance of selenium. I have done my best to keep this page as short as possible while highlighting the important aspects. If you are interested in more info, read Selenium Continued at

What is selenium?

Selenium is a natural element found in low amounts in the Earth’s crust. Deficiency seems common among people with compromised immune systems or related conditions like auto-immune, IBS, allergies, HIV, Crohn’s disease, Grave’s disease and Hashimoto’s disease. Overdose can be common when people have certain gene expressions or do not methylate well, due to the body not being able to physically process the selenium as part of an important detox phase.

Testing selenium levels

To avoid taking too much, a lot of people test selenium levels via either plasma selenium concentration or RBC selenium concentration. There is an issue with this testing though. There is a protein called SEPP which allows selenium to be ‘bioavailable’, meaning it doesn’t really matter what our selenium levels are if we don’t have proper function of this protein. “SEPP1 plasma concentration is the best easily accessible marker of human selenium nutritional status” 1 2

There are a lot of reports of people feeling better and having better progress by supplementing selenium even though their tests indicate higher levels. This is likely due to activating SEPP with enough new selenium. So I studied the symptoms of high or low selenium and only used small amounts while continuing to pay attention to how I felt. Over time I figured out how much or how little I needed. I take 50mcg almost daily or 200mcg 2 to 4 times a month. I also eat blue corn chips pretty regularly as well as stone-ground mustard. Most seafood is also high in selenium. Sometimes when I feel familiar symptoms of low selenium, I’ll take 1,000mcg or more over the course of a day to get rid of those symptoms.

Are high doses of selenium safe?

I have read about people using upwards of 2,000mcg of selenium several times to increase their levels. This isn’t something that should be done a lot, but it shows that our body seems to be able to tolerate large doses. The issue we can run into is when we continually take more than our body is able to use. If someone’s metabolism is sluggish enough, even tiny daily doses could eventually cause them to end up with too much selenium. But as we begin balancing other nutrients, like iodine for example, our body’s demand for selenium may increase. This is why I think it’s wise to try various amounts of selenium or really any nutrients we consume while making note of how we feel with or without it. I cover this topic more on my page

Accidental overdose

A liquid selenium supplement accidentally contained 200 times the amount of selenium it’s label stated. Of the 200 known cases of accidental overdose due to this product, only 1 person was hospitalized. 3 I bring this up to highlight how we may have to try rather hard to end up with a toxic amount of selenium and many of us may have unwarranted fears of trying extra selenium as we work on rebuilding our metabolism.

Low Selenium

  • Anemia
  • Blindness, Cataracts
  • Scoliosis
  • Fibromyalgia, Cystic Fibrosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s
  • HIV (AIDS)
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart palpitations & irregular heart beat
  • Cirrhosis, Pancreatitis
  • Infertility, Miscarriages
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Elevated RT3
  • Hashimoto’s
  • Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies

Elevated Selenium

  • Anemia
  • Conception issues
  • Garlic breath
  • Metallic taste
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Brittle nails
  • Pain
  • Cirrhosis
  • Muscle spasms

Selenium and iodine

Taking iodine usually allows our body to carry out processes that it previously was not able to. As these ‘new’ processes start happening(again), our body is going to require other nutrients to handle byproducts of these new processes as well as toxins that will be knocked loose. Selenium plays an important part in a handful of metabolic processes and takes on several forms depending which form we consume as well as our levels of various other nutrients. Selenocysteine is decomposed by an enzyme that requires vitamin B6. If vitamin E is low, selenium has to step up and help mitigate oxidation of cell membranes, and is also a big part in the recycling of vitamin E. Some glutathione production relies on selenium to reduce hydrogen peroxide into water, protecting us from free radical generation. The activation of thyroid hormone depends on selenium.

So which forms do we supplement

Some people have a sensitivity to foods and supplements that contain yeast. Some forms of selenium are made via yeast. 4 Please research further if avoiding yeast sounds important to you.

Food sources of selenium

A lot of foods have a small amount of selenium. The fact that selenium deficiency seems to be rather common makes me assume that our food is not able to provide anywhere near enough selenium.

Food based selenium from INNATE Response

I started with this food based selenium when I started the iodine protocol. I was locked onto the idea that we should get all nutrients from whole food forms. This is wise to include in our regiment, but I think it is also very wise to get nutrients from the more concentrated non-whole food forms.
Here is a link to INNATE’s 50mcg x 90 tablets(4,500mcg total) for just under $30

Selenomethionine from Thorne Research

My research and a lot of people’s opinion claim this is the best form of selenium we can supplement with. Most of the time it is not made with yeast, and if it is produced with yeast, it will most likely say “from Selenium-Enriched Yeast”. 

The ‘methionine’ part of this form can help most of us get this nutrient through our methylation system, which can be very helpful by itself.

Here is a link to Thorne’s 200mcg x 60 capsules(12,000mcg total) for $10

Selenomethionine from Miss Lizzy

ThyroConvert is a nutrient-rich whole-food selenium made in a physiological dose, formulated to support healthy absorption†, detoxification, and thyroid conversion.

Here is a link to Miss Lizzy’s 200mcg x 60 capsules(12,000mcg total) for $77 with occasional deals. Use coupon code BEGINNER for 10% off

Trace Minerals Complex II

This is a blend of common nutrients used in the processes selenium may allow our body to start carrying out. If we are not getting the extra nutrients of this blend in a multi or protein shake, this complex could be very beneficial vs a solo selenium supplement. 

Here is a link to Seeking Health’s Trace Minerals Complex II which contains 200mcg yeast based selenium x 30 capsules(6,000 total) for $15 which also includes various other important nutrients

Serious detox support

Our main goal with any nutrient is to support our metabolism so our body can tackle whatever is currently most important, which includes detoxing. One of the most important nutrients our body is trying to create, is glutathione. By supplementing glutathione, we can give our body an extra boost that can be extremely beneficial if our levels are low. By using a liposomal form of glutathione, it can be delivered to damaged cells that otherwise would not be able to get their hands on it. And by using a glutathione with important cofactors, we can avoid a situation where glutathione backfires and we assume this important nutrient is not something our body wants. Without B2, selenium, molybdenum, PQQ and phosphatidylchoine, our body may not be able to utilize glutathione properly and we may assume the glutathione itself is the issue, meanwhile our body is most likely in desperate need of the glutathione and the detox its allowing us to carry out. Glutathione’s dependency on selenium just shows how integrated these nutrients are with each other and how important it can be to have enough of each available to our body.

Here is a link to Seeking Health’s Optimal Liposomal Glutathione Plus which contains 50mcg selenium x 30 servings(1,500mcg total) which may or may not be enough selenium depending how much iodine we are consuming

Say no to Brazil Nuts

Some people use Brazil Nuts for their potential selenium content. There are several issues with this.

Most soils are depleted today, so its hard to know how much selenium will end up in various brands of Brazil Nuts without investigation and possibly testing. So there is a chance the brand we’re eating doesn’t have much selenium.

Digesting nuts is not easy. First we have to chew the nuts into a powder since our digestive system can only access the outside surface of the pieces we chew. Brazil nuts are over 50% fat, so our ability to digest fat most likely has something to do with our ability to get to and use some of the nutrients.

If exposed to enough heat and light or stored long enough, the fat in the nuts can become rancid.

Due to the Ellagic Acid content of Brazil Nuts, they are more susceptible to the mold Aspergillus flavus which can damage the liver. 5 6

If we can locate fresh mold free Brazil Nuts, and their soil was not depleted, they can be a decent source of: Thiamin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, Calcium and Selenium. I still don’t think they are worth the risk of aflatoxin though.

  1. Selenoprotein P – Expression, Functions, and Roles in Mammals -
  2. Genetic polymorphisms in the human selenoprotein P gene determine the response of selenoprotein markers to selenium supplementation in a gender-specific manner (the SELGEN study) -
  3. Acute Selenium Toxicity Associated With a Dietary Supplement -
  4. Preparation of selenium yeasts I. Preparation of selenium-enriched Saccharomyces cerevisiae -
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June 17, 2022

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