The other day my 14 year old daughter, Sivanna, decided that she wanted to make a hot chocolate station in our kitchen. This would include hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, snacks and of course festive cups to drink the hot chocolate out of.
So she went ahead and made her hot chocolate area and it was a cute idea. She asked about getting some Christmas mugs or cups to put in the collection. I then remembered that I had donated the ones we had last year to charity. Something just did not feel right about these mugs.
Speed ahead to today. I opened my email this morning to see an email from Tamara Rubin “Lead Safe Mama” whom I follow because of my work with heavy metals and health.
Sure enough she has a whole article on the tops of Christmas cups and decorations called:
“Hello! I’m here to ruin Christmas for you! Do you know how toxic your Christmas decorations are?”
Unfortunately heavy metals are with us to stay. Unlike biodegradable materials, heavy metals never break down so we must learn how to navigate our world with these metals in it and do our best to avoid them at all costs!
The best tool that I have found for testing for heavy metals in the body and brain and well as for indicators or nutrient deficiencies is hair mineral analysis testing. You can learn more about that here if you are interested:
It seems that not a day goes by and I am presented with information around heavy metals and the havoc they wreak!
This morning I ran across this article about Heavy Metals and ADHD. It is from:
and is titled: “Heavy Metals’ Effect on Susceptibility to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Implication of Lead, Cadmium, and Antimony”
I will post the link at the bottom of this post for your reference.
Here is an Abstract from the study but in simple terms those with ADHD were tested and high levels of heavy metals were present.
Background: Heavy metals are known to be harmful for neurodevelopment and they may correlate to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In this study, we aim to explore the relationships between multiple heavy metals (manganese, lead, cadmium, mercury, antimony, and bismuth), neurocognitive function, and ADHD symptoms. Methods: We recruited 29 patients with ADHD inattentive type (ADHD-I), 47 patients with ADHD hyperactivity/impulsivity type (ADHD-H/I), and 46 healthy control children. Urine samples were obtained to measure the levels of the aforementioned heavy metals in each child. Participants’ cognitive function and clinical symptoms were assessed, respectively. Results: We found ADHD-H/I patients demonstrated the highest antimony levels (p = 0.028), and ADHD-I patients demonstrated the highest cadmium levels (p = 0.034). Antimony levels were positively correlated with the severity of ADHD symptoms that were rated by teachers, and cadmium levels were negatively correlated with the Full Scale Intelligence Quotient. Lead levels were negatively correlated with most indices of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–Fourth Edition (WISC-IV), but positively correlated with inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Lead, cadmium and antimony were associated with susceptibility to ADHD and symptom severity in school-age children. Eliminating exposure to heavy metals may help to prevent neurodevelopmental disorders in children.
The question becomes what do we do about this? The first thing I recommend is testing for the presence of heavy metals in the body and brain and the testing I use as a Board Certified Nutritionist, is Hair Mineral Analysis.
Hair Mineral Analysis is a screening test to measure the levels of up to 60 essential minerals and toxic metals. With correct testing and interpretation, one can construct a comprehensive metabolic profile of the human body and in turn develop a protocol for helping to remove these heavy metals from the body and balance nutrients.
If you would like more info about the Hair Mineral Analysis testing, you can find it here:
Once results are received it is much easier to come up with a game plan based on variables such as nutrient deficiencies present, types of heavy metals and the overall toxic load.
It is unfortunate that we have to deal with so many toxic intruders and outside pathogens that can interfere with optimal health; however, luckily, when we identify them, we can work at elimination and also use nutritional intervention to offset various deficiencies etc.
As always, I hope that you found this helpful and feel free to reach out with any questions you might have for me. I am always happy to help.
Eye floaters are spots or dots that appear in your vision and you seem to have to chase them in your vision.
I remember the first time I had eye floaters when I didn’t know what they were. I thought it was a little bug or fly in my kitchen and I kept trying to catch it. 🙂 I eventually realized that the object I was chasing was in my vision and asked around about what was happening to me (this was pre Google) and found out about eye floaters.
Although these are often harmless, they can sometimes indicate a serious condition so if your eye floaters persist be sure to visit your eye doctor for a proper examination.
As for eye health, nutrients are important for eye health, just as nutrients are important for all organs and body parts that we have.
I have been drinking daily celery juice and now realize that I no longer have eye floaters and I also have had an improvement in my eye sight.
I was reading today in Anthony Williams book “Medical Medium Celery Juice” this:
“Celery juice helps with eye floaters by reducing inflammation that occurs on the optic nerve – which is what’s responsible for this mystery symptom that confuses medical research ad science. White spots, flares, white flashes, or black spots that occur without noticeable damager to the retina, pupil, or any other part of the eye are the result of neurotoxins from the Epstein-Barr virus, combined with heavy metals such as mercury, inflaming the optic nerve.
The powerful flavonoids and vitamin C that travel with celery juice’s sodium cluster salts and specific nerves in and around the brain, including the optic nerve. They disperse neurotoxins that have been sitting on the nerve, and they even protect the nerve from viral invasion while feeding nerve cells, allowing the optic nerve to rejuvenate.”
Some of the most important nutrients for eye health
The most important nutrients for eye health include:
Vitamins C, A, and E.
It is interesting to note that when I do hair mineral analysis testing for clients to determine the presence of heavy metals in the body and brain as well as checking for nutrient deficiencies and imbalances, we almost always see low levels of Zinc and Selenium!
I personally supplement with all of the above mentioned nutrients as well my daily 16 ounces of celery juice.
There are two supplements that I highly recommend for eye health and general health. If you are looking to support your eye health and your health in general you might want to consider taking a look at these two in particular. They are beneficial for eye health and so much more!
Next is one of the most important nutrients of our time. Vitamin C! This one is delivered in a delicious drinkable form as well and taste great. You can even mix the OPC-3 and Vitamin C together and along with any other Isotonix supplements. I drink these every morning and have for 23 years!
I hope that you found this helpful and I will share some other links here too that you may also find beneficial.
It was a fascinating day spent learning both lecture style and out in the bush hands on learning about some medicinal plants that we are fortunate enough to have here in and around The Great Lakes.
Although the focus that day was not specifically about Labrador Tea, I did find his blog post about it and it blew me away! Especially for the fact of his reference to Mercury removal from the body and brain, as I work with clients and help them with identifying the presence of heavy metals in the body and brain and in the removal of these nasty buggers.
His blog post is loaded with good info about the benefits of Labrador Tea and covers all about mercury and how difficult in can be to remove from the brain. *Labrador Tea to the Rescue* Here is the link:
You can read the full article but here is a snippet of just some of the other amazing benefits of Labrador Tea from Joe’s blog post:
Labrador tea at concentration levels that of a cup a mild tasting tea improves insulin sensitivity by reducing blood glucose levels by 13%, reduced the response to oral glucose tolerance test by 18.2% and reduced plasma insulin by 65%. Also induces a 42% reduction in hepatic triglyceride levels, Stimulates glucose metabolism (akt pathway) by 55% and increases GLUT4 (skeletal muscle glucose transporter) expression by 54%. All while improving renal function and lowering adipogenesis.
I for one will be heading out to the bush pronto to find what I need to make this tea. I already have an idea of who will take me and show me what I need. I will share back with you all on how that goes.
If you are at all concerned, (and you should be) about heavy metals and would like to learn more about the best way to test for the presence of heavy metals in the body as well as nutrient deficiencies which are often caused by the evidence of heavy metals in the body (heavy metals can displace minerals), here is a link to what I use with my clients:
The term heavy metals refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), thallium (Tl), and lead (Pb).
Here is a link to a Pubmed article that shares a really in-depth explanation of heavy metals, their role, and where they come from in our environment.
Heavy metals in the body and brain are a real concern. How does one find out if they have the presence of heavy metals in their body? We cannot see inside our bodies, and so just like our family physician needs to run blood work to assess cholesterol, sugar levels, triglycerides and the like, we can use a form of testing to check for this. A Hair Mineral Analysis test can help us to see our unique mineral foundation and possible toxic exposure and toxic load that may be comprised of excesses heavy metals in combination with nutrient deficiencies.
Hair Mineral Analysis screens the levels of up to 60 essential minerals and toxic metals. With correct testing and interpretation, one can construct a comprehensive metabolic profile of the human body.
Hair is an excellent biopsy material. It is easy to sample, easily preserved and transported, represents a soft tissue of the body, and is a storage and eliminative tissue. As hair grows it forms a permanent record of the body’s nutritional deficiencies or excesses.
This information, along with dietary and nutritional evaluations, will provide the basis for a nutritional balancing program to establish and maintain optimal levels of wellness. By correcting tissue mineral levels and ratios with proper diet, supplementary nutrients and lifestyle modifications, many physical and behavioral health conditions can be prevented or reversed.
Minerals screened include electrolytes – calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus and trace minerals – copper, manganese, chromium, selenium, iron, molybdenum, lithium, cobalt,and zinc.
It is important to note that heavy metals in the body can displace minerals creating nutrient deficiencies or excesses. Nutrition is a lot more complicated than people realize and the idea of just ‘eating right’ no longer fits the paradigm of the world we live in. We are exposed to toxins, pollution, pathogens, and more. The game of health has entirely changed and we need to be an active proponent in the game of detection.
If you are at all concerned about the presence of heavy metals and the possibility of nutrient deficiencies in your own body, and are interested in learning more about Hair Mineral Analysis testing, here is link to the information:
Minerals in the body are involved in almost all enzyme reactions, metabolic activity, and detoxification cycles. They are vital for the effective absorption and proper functioning of nutrients and vitamins.
Our bodies cannot utilize vitamins, and other nutrients, without a correct balance of minerals, even in trace amounts. Proper mineral balance is essential to avoid chronic fatigue, weight gain/loss, headaches, depression, and osteoporosis.
Mineral imbalances are also linked to oxidative stress that can lead to some cancers!!!
Today’s North American diet has become devoid of adequate quantities of essential minerals. When mineral deficiencies occur, toxic metals often replace these vital minerals in the body. Because of today’s highly industrialized society, we are exposed to toxic metals every day.
The presence of toxic metals in the body has been implicated in the onset of chronic ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, autism and Parkinson’s disease as well as infertility and miscarriage. The addition of essential minerals can expel toxic metals.
Various mineral imbalances, as revelead by hair analysis, frequently lead to metabolic dysfunctions before any physical symptoms manifest.
An affordable, non-invasive Hair Mineral Analysis can help establish a nutritional profile to be used by you and your health practitioner to guide in the development of effective wellness and nutritional balancing regimen.
Hair Mineral Analysis
Hair Mineral Analysis is a screening test to measure the levels of up to 60 essential minerals and toxic metals. With correct testing and interpretation, one can construct a complete metabolic profile of the human body.
Hair is an excellent biopsy material. It is easy to sample, easily preserved and transported, represents a soft tissue of the body and is a storage and eliminative tissue. As hair grows it forms a permanent record of the body’s nutritional deficiencies or excesses.
Minerals screened include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosporus, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, iron and cobalt.
Elevated readings can have different meanings depending upon:
The Elevated Mineral in Question
Whether a specific treatment, regimen or diet is being followed
Relationship to other elemental readings
Toxic metals screening includes lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, and aluminum.
A very high reading may represent a toxic amount of the mineral in the hair, and in the body tissues in general. In the case of a toxic metal, any deposition or accumulation in the hair indicates some degree of toxicity.
High levels of toxic metals inhibit the body’s ability to process and assimilte specific nutritional elements that are essential to good health and have a proven link to many types of diseases.
The information along with dietary and nutritional evaluations will provide the data needed for a nutritional balancing program to establish and maintain optimal levels of wellness. By correcting tissue mineral levels and ratios with proper diet, supplementary nutrients, and lifestyle modifications, many physical and behavioral health conditions can be prevented or reversed.
Health Problems that may be associated with mineral imbalances or toxic metal excesses:
Anxiety & Depression
Blood Sugar Imbalances
Headaches including migraines
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Inability to lose weight
Infertility and Miscarriage
Lethargy or weakness
Osteoporosis (brittle bones)
A hair mineral analysis professional lab test provides results in the measurement of 15 toxic elements and 25 nutritional elements and is documented in an easy to read report, tabulated against similar control groups based on age/gender similarities.
These reports are one of my best go-to tools to use to better serve my clients in regards to fast tracking and finding the clues to better health. I highly recommend these reports that come from an accredited lab using state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and today’s most modern testing practices for precision results. Take charge or your health today!
Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner, Certified Life Coach, Certified Infinite Possibilities Trainer & Coach Speaker, Blogger, and Lover of Life who is here to answer any questions you may have about nutritional deficiencies, heavy metals, hair mineral analysis testing, or any other questions that you might have.
The primary functions of the liver are: Bile production and excretion. Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, drugs and metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. The liver is also the master filter used to disarm and detain harmful materials, screen and filter the blood, store glycogen for use as glucose in the body, and much much more!
However, today I want to touch on the role the liver plays in protein and fat synthesis. People tend to eat a lot of protein and most of that protein is also high in fat! Even nuts and seeds have fat content along with the protein. Although these protein sources might be healthier to some degree than animal protein for example, they, along with animal protein are high in fats.
When you combine large amounts of fats and proteins, in conjunction with the myriad of other issues our livers deal with everyday like pathogens, viruses, pesticides, herbicides, perfumes, scented candles, toxic cleaning products, stress, and the biggie heavy metals, our livers are overburdened and cannot keep up. This is why it is estimated that about 90% of the population in North America has a fatty liver or at least a sluggish liver.
This brings me to the point of my blog post today. I have found something that I love for helping with protein synthesis to help support the liver and overall health and well being. I am sure we have all heard of the enzyme bromelain? If you have not heard of that term, I am sure you know what a pineapple is? 🙂
Here is the best part about bromelain when it comes to the liver: Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme derived from the pineapple plant that has a centuries-long history of being used to treat medical ailments, primarily throughout Central and South America. It is currently categorized as a dietary supplement, and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA
Enzymes like bromelain are so important and also help the body function properly, trigger the production of hormones and muscles and support a healthy metabolism (think weight management here).
When the liver is able to assimilate and break down the macro nutrients like proteins, carbs and fats, it functions better and burns fuel better. What this means is that we become healthier in every cell of our body, we can uptake the micro-nutrients likes vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and we burn fuel properly!
I truly believe that one of the keys to health, and perhaps the biggest key, is to support our liver and to help it function optimally. Anthony Williams, The Medical Medium has dedicated an entire book to liver health and it’s called “Liver Rescue”.
Here is a paragraph from one of Anthony’s blog posts on liver health:
“Your liver is an amazing, powerful and hardworking organ. When it’s not doing well—when you have sluggish liver or fatty liver or its bogged down by toxins or too much protein or fat in the diet—that’s a big part of the root of just about every condition and symptom under the sun, including: acne, adrenal problems, autoimmune disorders, brain fog, chemical food sensitivities, diabetes, constipation, dark circles under the eyes, emotional issues, fatigue, gallstones, gout, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, hormone problems, IBS, inflammation, body pain, jaundice, aging, liver cancer, eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, insomnia, cysts, methylation problems, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), SIBO, sinus infections, urinary tract infections, varicose veins and weight gain.”
There are many things one can do to support the liver and bromelain is one of my favorite go-to’s because of it being a Proteolytic enzyme, also called protease, proteinase, or peptidase, any of a group of enzymes that break the long chainlike molecules of proteins into shorter fragments (peptides) and eventually into their components, amino acids.
Other added benefits of the Bromelain Plus product I am referring to and use with my clients is:
Supports the body’s normal healing process
Promotes optimal cell health
Supports the body’s normal inflammatory response
Supports the body’s normal tissue and recovery repair process
Supports a healthy immune system
Supports healthy joint function
Promotes healthy blood circulation
May help support normal blood viscosity and blood platelet aggregation
Another reason I love this product is the delivery system. You actually get to drink this product! Yum. Yum! In fact I am drinking my morning dose right now. I usually shoot for twice a day with this supplement.
Isotonix – the World’s Most Advanced Nutraceuticals Isotonic, which means “same pressure,” bears the same chemical resemblance of the body’s blood, plasma and tears. All fluids in the body have a certain concentration, referred to as osmotic pressure. The body’s common osmotic pressure, which is isotonic, allows a consistent maintenance of body tissues. In order for a substance to be absorbed and used in the body’s metabolism, it must be transported in an isotonic state.
Isotonix dietary supplements are delivered in an isotonic solution. This means that the body has less work to do in obtaining maximum absorption. The isotonic state of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.With Isotonix products, little nutritive value is lost, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results.
And as it gets even better. There is also white willow bark in the supplement. Willow bark comes from the willow tree (Salix species). The bark contains salicin, a compound chemically similar to aspirin. Salicin is metabolized in the body to salicylic acid, which is a precursor to aspirin. The herbal extract became popular as a remedy to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. More bonuses here!!! 🙂
Here is a link to the product for more information and to see the science behind it.
I highly recommend supporting your liver with things like lemon water, fruit intake to provide the liver with the natural sugars it needs to produce glycogen, lowering your use of toxic chemicals that the liver has to filter, juicing celery, movement and exercise, de-stressing, and using supportive supplements like Bromelain Plus.
As a side note, if you would like more information on assessing your toxic load and the presence of potential heavy metals in your body, as well as determining nutritional deficiencies, here is a link to information on Hair Mineral Analysis that I am pleased to be able to offer my clients, using an accredited lab here in Canada.
You can just click on the picture or any of the pictures in this post to get to the correlated site and then if you wish, to return to this blog post, you can hit the back button or back arrow, to get back. Easy Peasy. 🙂
If you would like to follow my Facebook page for supporting a healthy and happy liver you can do so by clicking on the Happy Liver.ca picture below.
Contact Maggie if you have any questions about anything discussed in this blog post or if you would like to inquire about life or nutrition or life coaching. Maggie also has a monthly newsletter that goes out on the 3rd of the month, if you would like to be added to that list.
Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Certified Life Coach and good standing member of the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners.
When you find a hack you love, sometimes you just have to share it!
Most people are deficient in the mineral magnesium. Magnesium is important for so many things. They call magnesium, “the calming mineral”. I feel much calmer since discovering my hack that I share in this post.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and supports more than 300 enzyme systems. It supports normal energy release, regulation of the body temperature, nerve function, adaptation to stress, metabolism and much more. One of the main mechanisms of magnesium in the body is its support of normal protein synthesis. Normal protein synthesis relies on optimal magnesium concentrations, as magnesium supports the normal delivery to the building blocks of life – our DNA – of signals that triggering the expression of amino acids. In other words, this process supports the body’s normal ability to “make” proteins.
The recommended daily value for adults is 400 mg of magnesium. However, average daily intakes are much less. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that most U.S. adults – especially those over the age of 30 – were receiving, on average, approximately 290 mg of magnesium daily. That study also showed that dietary intake is particularly low among women. Unfortunately, inadequate levels of magnesium have been linked to poorer concentration, memory and cognitive function and muscle discomfort. Sleep quality is associated with higher levels of magnesium and when these levels are low, sleep quality may suffer.
Here are 10 Key Roles of Magnesium in a Nutshell:
1) Magnesium helps to maintain normal muscle function.
2) Magnesium helps to maintain normal nerve function.
3) Magnesium helps to keep heart rhythm steady.
4) Magnesium supports a healthy immune system.
5) Magnesium helps to keep bones strong.
6) Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar levels.
7) Magnesium helps to promote normal blood pressure.
8) Magnesium is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
9) Magnesium serves as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis.
10) Magnesium is a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin.
It is estimated that 80% of the North American population is deficient in Magnesium.
So with that said, I personally have taken a hair mineral analysis to find out that I too, am magnesium deficient even though I take supplementation! There are many factors that can affect mineral absorption and uptake in the body and heavy metals can play a key role in mineral deficiency.
Heavy metals are very toxic and they can interrupt the absorption, metabolism, and use of essential minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. This leads to a deficiency of some minerals, which can cause health issues. There are several ways metals and minerals interact with one another that impact your susceptibility to toxic metals and increase your risk of experiencing negative health effects, including serious health issues and deficiencies like magnesium deficiency. For more info on hair mineral analysis which checks for the presence of heavy metals in the body and mineral deficiencies go to www.SuperiorHairAnalysis.com.
So onto my hack. I have found something that I have been using which is an easy way to add in more magnesium. I find that both for myself and my clients, nothing works unless you use it and that is why I love this product, I find I am very good at adding it into my daily routine so it is helping me increase my magnesium levels on a daily basis and it is enjoyable to use!
It is a magnesium lotion with great ingredients like organic coconut oil, shea butter and has no scent! I love it. It is my new go-to hand lotion and I smile everytime I use it because I love it on my hands and I know it has added benefits that have a huge impact on my health.
This lotion contains 185 mg of elemental magnesium per teaspoon so I use it a few times a day to add in the extra magnesium I need. And as an added bonus it even has the added benefit of containing Lactobacillus ferment, a potent probiotic, which I love.
The product description
Formulated for even the most sensitive individuals, Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion is designed to deliver magnesium through the skin, direct to the cells.
Ideal for children and sensitive individuals
Highly therapeutic for psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions
Significant for massage applications
Effective at encouraging healthy skin tissue
Here is the link for Canada only for more info.
Let me know if you have any questions about this product or anything else.
Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist and Certified Life Coach who has been assisting individuals with enhancing their health through diet and supplementation for over 20 years and has a vast knowledge of supplements, supplemental delivery systems, and also specializes in the role of heavy metal toxicity in regard to wellness protocols.
I wanted to share this feedback I got from my friend Helen. Helen recently had a hair mineral analysis test done through me and the accredited lab that I use for this.
This is what Helen had to say:
I am compelled to write you this note of gratitude for suggesting and walking me through the hair analysis. It has helped me tremendously in weeding through what I need to do moving forward, to assist my health. As we all know there are so many companies out there promising health, but what do I really need? I have seen through hair analysis that I need specific minerals, and my liver needs help. I am starting my journey in the right direction. Thank you so much again.
For those that don’t know Helen Liba, Helen is a Certified Raw Foods Chef and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to healing foods and nutrition, so I did not take this review lightly. 🙂 I was very honoured that I could help Helen take her health to the next level by uncovering some clues to help enhance her daily protocols for better health and wellness.
Hair Mineral Analysis is a screening test to measure the levels of up to 60 essential minerals and toxic metals. With correct testing and interpretation, one can construct a complete metabolic profile of the human body.
I can be reached directly by phone or text at 807-627-1831 or email MaggieHolbik@gmail.com Feel free to ask any questions that may come up around hair analysis, heavy metals, or whatever comes up for you as a good question. I am all ears.
MaggieHolbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist and a Certified Life Coach who uses hair mineral analysis as one of the tools to ascertain individual nutritional deficiencies and the presence of heavy metals in the body and brain. Heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, toxins, petroleum products and plastics are all disruptors to the human body and mind. By understanding your toxic load, you are better able to address many health issues.
Selenium is a trace mineral and although your body only needs small amounts, these are critical to your health and vitality. Selenium deficiency is quite common in this part of the world. For example, large areas of North America are deficient in soil selenium levels. For those of us living in Ontario, Canada, this includes large parts of Ontario. Soil deficiency usually translates into human deficiency.
Low Selenium Levels Common
As a Health Coach who utilizes Hair Mineral Analysis testing, I almost always see low levels of selenium in my client’s lab results. It is the very reason that has prompted me to write this blog post!
Selenium acts also as a very powerful antioxidant helping to combat free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to chronic diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer, as well as premature aging and the risk of stroke.
Selenium is an essential component of glutathione peroxidase, which protects the body from a vast array of toxins including free radicals and heavy metals, particularly Mercury. Selenium and glutathione peroxidase levels are often low in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis and may be low in most inflammatory conditions.
Selenium also helps to maintain normal liver function and protein synthesis. The liver is critical to ‘life’ and it is probably the most important area of the body to support overall health and wellbeing.
Selenium in necessary for the health of the heart and other muscles. It has been reported to improve the function of the mitochondria (the energy producing units of cells) by protecting them from lack of oxygen. This may account for the fact that selenium supplementation has been found to be effective in the treatment of chest pains associated with heart disease (angina pectoris). Selenium is also required for the production of a specific type of hormone-like substance called prostaglandin, which, among other things, helps regulate blood pressure.
Selenium is important for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. In fact, thyroid tissue contains a higher amount of selenium than any other organ in the human body.
This powerful mineral helps protect the thyroid against oxidative damage and also plays an essential role in the production of thyroid hormones.
Selenium may also protect the body against contaminants such as mercury, cadmium, and silver.
Source: 1. Yoon SO, Kim MM, Chung AS. Inhibitory effect of selenite on invasion of ht1080 tumor cells. J Biol Chem. 2001;276:20085-20092.
In populations at higher risk for prostate cancer, selenium supplements decreased risk and growth rate of tumors.
Source: 3. Costello AJ. A randomized, controlled chemoprevention trial of selenium in familial prostate cancer
Selenium supplements may also be able to halt the growth of polyps in the colon and reduce the risk of lung and liver cancers.
Source: 4. Chigbrow M, Nelson M. Inhibition of mitotic cyclin B and cdc2 kinase activity by selenomethionine in synchronized colon cancer cells. Anticancer Drugs. 2001;12:43-50.
There are many studies that have shown that the lower the intake of selenium, the higher the incidence of cancer of the colon, breast, pancreas, ovary, bladder, prostate, rectum, skin and lungs. In a recent study (Environ Health Prev Med, 14,261,2009) Selenium has an inverse correlation with cancer (higher levels of selenium – lower levels of cancer). Other conditions that have been reported to respond to supplementation with selenium include AIDS, allergies, arteriosclerosis, cataracts, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
I have really only skimmed the surface here on the importance of selenium, but I encourage each and everyone of you to explore the role of selenium in your daily life. I just stopped typing to go and take my selenium supplements right now!
If you need help with a good quality supplement choice, please reach out to me and I can help you with that. You may also desire to have a Hair Mineral Analysis test done. This test checks for the presence of heavy metals and mineral deficiencies like selenium. For more info here is a link to my website for that Hair Mineral Analysis Info
One of the best food sources for selenium are brazil nuts. Try adding at least 3 a day into your diet.
Some other food sources grains, some vegetables, lentils, meats, dairy products, canned tuna. Unfortunately foods like canned tuna can add to the heavy metal load in the body and brain. Also, meats and dairy products can feed pathogens in the body like Ebstein-Barr Virus which is now being linked to many diseases such as MS, Fibro, RA, and more, so choose your foods carefully for various reasons. I highly recommend supplementing with selenium to ensure adequate levels.
Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist and Certified Life Coach who works with clients all over the world. She is an avid researcher and studies consistently on the latest research and information available on both heavy metals and nutrition as well as the implications of nutritional deficiencies when it comes to the body and brain.