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Selenium (+vitamin E) And Host Defense Towards Viruses

  1. Been reading on this topic, see below papers, links.

    Is Selenium Deficiency Behind Ebola, AIDS and Other Deadly Infections?
    by Jack Challem

    Is Selenium Deficiency Behind Ebola, AIDS and Other Deadly Infections?

    Selenium and Viral Mutations
    So far, there are three pieces to the selenium-virus puzzle.

    The first comes from the recent dramatic discovery that a selenium deficiency in a person or animal triggers a mutation in the coxsackievirus. The common form of this virus is generally benign, causing symptoms no more serious than a common cold or sore throat. The coxsackievirus mutation, however, attacks heart tissue, causing Keshan disease (a type of cardiomyopathy) and heart failure.

    In China, Keshan disease is known to be associated with selenium deficiency. But because of the seasonal nature of Keshan disease, researchers suspected that an infectious microorganism was also involved. That's when they turned up the coxsackievirus, which also infects an estimated 20 million Americans annually.

    The plot twisted last year when Melinda Beck, Ph.D., a virologist at the University of North Carolina, and Orville Levander, Ph.D., a nutritional chemist at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, described how a run-of-the-mill coxsackievirus mutated into the deadly, rapidly reproducing strain when an infected person or animal was deficient in selenium or vitamin E. The coxsackievirus in animals eating a selenium-rich diet did not mutate. However, the mutated virus could infect and be deadly to a person or animal eating adequate selenium. (Journal of Medical Virology, 1994;43:66-70 and Journal of Nutrition, 1994;124:345-58.)


    Review: Micronutrient Selenium Deficiency Influences Evolution of Some Viral Infectious Diseases
    Review: Micronutrient Selenium Deficiency Influences Evolution of Some Viral Infectious Diseases

    Recently emerged viral infectious diseases (VIDs) include HIV/AIDS, influenzas H5N1 and 2009 H1N1, SARS, and Ebola hemorrhagic fevers. Earlier research determined metabolic oxidative stress in hosts deficient in antioxidant selenium (Se) (<1 μMol Se/L of blood) induces both impaired human host immunocompetence and rapidly mutated benign variants of RNA viruses to virulence. These viral mutations are consistent, rather than stochastic, and long-lived. When Se-deficient virus-infected hosts were supplemented with dietary Se, viral mutation rates diminished and immunocompetence improved. Herein is described the role of micronutrient Se deficiency on the evolution of some contemporary RNA viruses and their subsequent VIDs. Distinguishing cellular and biomolecular evidence for several VIDs suggests that environmental conditions conducive to chronic dietary Se deprivation could be monitored for bioindicators of incipient viral virulence and subsequent pathogenesis.



    Selenium and host defense towards viruses



    Selenium, Selenoproteins and Viral Infection

    Abstract:Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are frequently produced during viral infections. Generation ofthese ROS can be both beneficial and detrimental for many cellular functions. When overwhelmingthe antioxidant defense system, the excess of ROS induces oxidative stress. Viral infections lead todiseases characterized by a broad spectrum of clinical symptoms, with oxidative stress beingone of their hallmarks.In many cases, ROS can, in turn, enhance viral replication leadingto an amplification loop. Another important parameter for viral replication and pathogenicityis the nutritional status of the host. Viral infection simultaneously increases the demand formicronutrients and causes their loss, which leads to a deficiency that can be compensated bymicronutrient supplementation. Among the nutrients implicated in viral infection, selenium (Se) hasan important role in antioxidant defense, redox signaling and redox homeostasis. Most of biologicalactivities of selenium is performed through its incorporation as a rare amino acid selenocysteinein the essential family of selenoproteins. Selenium deficiency, which is the main regulator ofselenoprotein expression, has been associated with the pathogenicity of several viruses. In addition,several selenoprotein members, including glutathione peroxidases (GPX), thioredoxin reductases(TXNRD) seemed important in different models of viral replication. Finally, the formal identificationof viral selenoproteins in the genome of molluscum contagiosum and fowlpox viruses demonstratedthe importance of selenoproteins in viral cycle.


    Dietary Selenium in Adjuvant Therapy of Viral and Bacterial Infections
    Dietary Selenium in Adjuvant Therapy of Viral and Bacterial Infections

    Viral and bacterial infections are often associated with deficiencies in macronutrients and micronutrients, including the essential trace element selenium. In selenium deficiency, benign strains of Coxsackie and influenza viruses can mutate to highly pathogenic strains. Dietary supplementation to provide adequate or supranutritional selenium supply has been proposed to confer health benefits for patients suffering from some viral diseases, most notably with respect to HIV and influenza A virus (IAV) infections. In addition, selenium-containing multimicronutrient supplements improved several clinical and lifestyle variables in patients coinfected with HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Selenium status may affect the function of cells of both adaptive and innate immunity. Supranutritional selenium promotes proliferation and favors differentiation of naive CD4-positive T lymphocytes toward T helper 1 cells, thus supporting the acute cellular immune response, whereas excessive activation of the immune system and ensuing host tissue damage are counteracted through directing macrophages toward the M2 phenotype. This review provides an up-to-date overview on selenium in infectious diseases caused by viruses (e.g., HIV, IAV, hepatitis C virus, poliovirus, West Nile virus) and bacteria (e.g., M. tuberculosis, Helicobacter pylori). Data from epidemiologic studies and intervention trials, with selenium alone or in combination with other micronutrients, and animal experiments are discussed against the background of dietary selenium requirements to alter immune functions.

  2. Hoffer said Selenium an excellent anti viral...took 200mcg 3 x day....E 400 iu x 2
  3. That seems like a lot of selenium and vitamin e.
  4. Very interesting, thank you for posting this.
  5. You're welcome.

    It's interesting to think about viruses. There's probably already a lot written about their role in evolution, more so retroviruses... but if an energy weakened organism is allowing viruses to mutate their RNA, and mutate into a form which non weakened organisms are also susceptible too, this makes me wonder about how retroviruses could be used to implant foreign genetic material into an species at a time when part of the population is weak. Could it be a mechanism of horizontal gene transfer at a time when new genetic material could be helpful to the survival of the species?
  6. I've recently learnt that a transcription factor (NFAT5) that tipically increases immune system response in the body, is associated with the replication of HIV:
    NFAT5 Regulates HIV-1 in Primary Monocytes via a Highly Conserved Long Terminal Repeat Site
    "we show that the replication of three major HIV-1 viral subtypes (B, C, and E) is dependent upon NFAT5 in human primary differentiated macrophages."
    While the view about NFAT5 in the literature is mixed, it's the least we can cay, there is research that shows it seems very important:

    Immunodeficiency and Autoimmune Enterocolopathy Linked to NFAT5 Haploinsufficiency

    "Functional defects observed within different types of immune cells in the proband support the contention that NFAT5 deficiency may indeed confer a state of immunodeficiency. First, CD8+ T lymphocytes from the patient exhibited reduced degranulation and production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα, consistent with prior evidence that TNFα is a downstream target of NFAT5 (9, 14). Second, NK cells, innate immune cells with important roles in anti-viral and anti-tumor immunity, were reduced in the proband and in NFAT-deficient mice. These results raise the possibility that NFAT5 may influence development and/or survival of NK cells, though the precise mechanisms will require additional investigation and other factors are likely to be contributory. Taken together, these findings suggest a role for NFAT5 in innate and adaptive immune responses against microbial pathogens."
    Sorry for derailing your thread. It was my "what the ****" moment of the day. (I am aware about the HIV-AIDS controversy, this could be another element to think that HIV is not causal in AIDS?).

    Otherwise, to be a bit more on topic, I think iodine/iodide could also be important:

    Could Iodine Be Effective in the Treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS-associated Opportunistic Infections?
    "A number of studies haved demonstrated that iodine, and in particular the lipophylic form, possesses potent antiviral and microbiocidal properties in vitro. The triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, including chylomicrons and very low-density lipoproteins, serve as an energy substrate for inflammatory cells. It is our contention that the lipophylic form of iodine, when ingested orally, may be particularly effective as a microbiocidal/antiviral agent, because it would be incorporated into chylomicrons, transported via the lymphatic system and be delivered to the cells of the reticulo-endothelial system."​
  7. Lets say the virus mutated in a malnourished host, and then it moved to well eating (a lot of selenium or vit E) individuals, but still those who don't get it, why they don't get sick?
  8. What is the lipophilic form of iodine?
  9. I wonder if they are talking about the fact that iodine (or is it iodide) can saturate unsaturated fatty acids.

    Try to put a Lugol's drop into milk. There is no iodine taste anymore. If you do that in water, there is a taste (not really good by the way) even if iodine is diluted as much as with milk. Maybe the milk taste is masking the iodine taste, I don't know. Or the iodine forms some complex with the milk.

    There was a user on this forum (a dancing coconut ^^) that used to take high dose iodine through this method of unsatured fatty acid saturation. He heated an unsaturated oil at high temperature with iodine IIRC.

    I think his hypothesis was that intaking iodine in this form is a slow release method and reach cells that oxidizes these iodine saturated fatty acids.

    Edit: you can also try to put a Lugols' drop into olive oil. At one moment, the red color will totally disapear.

    Iodine value - Wikipedia
  10. Thanks @LLight, I know that too, participated in those threads. I thought there might have described some unknown to me form of iodine.

    I‘m a pro-iodista like you, and in the Corona-Context ponder constantly in which stage to use it.
    Prevention, treatment of slight symptoms, treatment of severe cases. That’s what get messed up in all the Corona-Threads also.
    It’s a big difference to fight a latent or mild viral infection with the help of substances and their specific MoAs, or to try to alleviate serious SARS / ARDS with autoimmunity unchecked
  11. Ha sorry I don't remember who was participating :):
    That being said, I'm not sure that the lipophilic form they refer to is what we are talking about, even if it is seems consistent.

    In my humble opinion, and from what I've read from alternative hypothesis about autoimmunity, it is not what is usually considered.
    Autoimmunity is associated to a lowered immunity, not a "too strong immunity".

    I wonder if the cytokine storm is not just the byproduct of an infection in the lungs that the immune system is not able to clear. Maybe if you are able to suppress this "storm", the patient dies nonetheless.
  12. In a Ray Peat / bio-energetic context, "those who don't get it" would be those with higher metabolisms. Perhaps they have a potent innate immune system response initially, then their secondary/adaptive immune response has enough energy to create antibodies to the particular strain of virus they received and they swiftly eradicate the virus?
  13. I wonder if high iodine consumption could have a thing to do with the relative low impact of covid in some asian countries (Japan being the first on the list).

    I don't know about their selenium consumption.
  14. Yeah, these things are always multifactorial, I think iodine definitely plays a part in Japan's response.

    There are areas of Japan where selenium is low, and due to their high iodine consumption those low Se areas tend to see more thyroid problems. Mario Renato Iwakura’s part 1 and 2 on Perfect Health diet is a great read regarding this Iodine and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Part I - Perfect Health Diet | Perfect Health Diet
  15. - Coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, selenium, and methionine in the treatment of chronic recurrent viral mucocutaneous infections