Friday, November 28, 2008

Selenium - eat your liver and eggs

A couple of things to think about in terms of making sure your diet has sufficient selenium - especially if it is a low carb / ketogenic diet.

Sudden cardiac death in association with the ketogenic diet.

Selenium May Slow March Of AIDS

These things actually reminded me of something I read on Barry Groves' site years ago:

A Cheap Way to Prevent AIDS and Bird Flu


Selenium is present in a wide variety of foods and it can also be obtained in supplements. The best source of natural selenium is liver and other organ meats, particularly from grass-fed animals, although it does depend on how much selenium is in the soil. Next come fish and shellfish, followed by muscle meats. The soil most likely to have a high selenium content is one that is rich in organic matter, and no pesticides. Organic meats are most likely to be the best.

Tuna and eggs are also very good suppliers of selenium and they also contain sulphur, which helps the absorption and utilisation of selenium.

Selenium is also available in plants, but in much smaller quantities and it is much less available than that from animal sources. However, depending again on the levels of selenium in the soil where plants are grown, grains, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, onions and tomatoes do contain some selenium.

If selenium is taken in supplements, you should avoid taking more than 200 mcg per day as this mineral can be toxic in overdose.

Amino acids

The best source of the three amino acids mentioned has to be meat, although grains may help to boost tryptophan levels.

The reason cysteine is included may be because it contains sulphur which, as was mentioned above, increases the effectiveness of the selenium. The reason for other two is unclear.

Anti-viral fatty acids

Lastly, short-chain fatty acids having four to six carbon atoms are also antiviral. These fats are always saturated. Four-carbon butyric acid is found mostly in butterfat from cows, and six-carbon capric acid is found mostly in butterfat from goats. Butter, cream and full-fat cheeses are the best sources.

Liver, meat, eggs, butter....sounds good


Peter said...

Thanks for the selenium link Chris. Eggs and liver certainly rank high on my list of foods. Some of the approaches to a ketogenic diet sound quite scary. I remember some of the Parkinsons patients in Vanitallie's study went in to deep ketosis using omega 6 PUFA to keep their cholesterol levels in cardiological Nirvana. Presumably they did egg avoidance too. Scary. Now we have actual death by egg avoidance. Modern cardiology has a lot to answer for.


Chris said...

hi Peter.

I love eggs too. Unfortunately I don' think I can fit any chickens in my flat...

the keto diets prescribed for epilepsy do look pretty dodgy by and large.

Chris said...

by the way, great breakfast today - duck eggs, haggis (I overlook the oatmeal), black pudding, good quality bacon and grilled kidneys! Liver tomorrow

Peter said...

Oooooohhhh! Haggis is oatmeal. Hmm, hmmmmmm, hmmmmm... I thought it was barley. I just might do oatmeal once or twice a year for the Haggis. Mmmm. Now there's a though! Haggis again.


Marc said...

Hi Chris,

What's black pudding?

Chris said...

It is a British "blood sausage" I suppose. Onions, pork fat, pigs blood, oatmeal and suet., traditionally cooked with a casing of pigs intestine! There are some photos on wikipedia,

Not really health food, but it was a cold and frosty morning and it hit the spot!

Marc said...

Sounds pretty good ;-)
Tastes are just matters of perception....

I had blood sausage in Argentina once and it was heavenly.

Thanks Chris.

Chris said...

Peter :

from Wikipedia:

Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish.

There are many recipes, most of which have in common the following ingredients: sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours.