The Nutritional Relationships of Selenium

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    Factors Contributing to Selenium DeficiencyThere are several factors that can contribute to selenium deficiency other than reduced intake.Figure 1, shows the minerals that are antagonistic to selenium. The solid lines represent the knownantagonism, and the broken lines indicate suspected antagonism. Sulfur (S) protects from selenium toxicity. The antagonistic effects between selenium and silver (Ag), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and Thallium (Tl) has been described by Ganther.18 It should be noted that selenium does protect tissues from the toxic effects of heavy metals, but excretion of toxic heavy metals are not increased by selenium therapy. Selenium apparently binds these metals, such as mercury and cadmium, rendering them less damaging to cells and tissues. Fluorine (F) has been shown to counteract the effects of selenosis.19 This has been found in areas with high levels of both selenium, and fluorine. Selenium was not toxic even with a high body burden when fluorine was also present. Antagonism of lead (Pb), tin (Sn), and zinc (Zn) has been sited by Schrauzer.20 More recent investigations have confirmed the zinc-selenium antagonism.21 Copper (Cu) has also been shown to be a selenium antagonist.

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