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Are You Getting Real Selenium or a Toxic Synthetic?

Back to selenium: Unfortunately, inorganic forms of selenium are not the only problem with mass-market vitamins that price-conscious consumers pick over true quality products. Take the multivitamin Centrum, for example, whose manufacturer Wyeth is one of the most powerful pharmaceutical companies in the world. Aren’t they OK? This popular vitamin contains, according to, the infamous ingredient in question here, sodium selenate and their label states it contains 55 mcg/ 50 mcg, among other compounds deemed not to be from natural sources. Check this link to view the complete product analysis of Centrum Silver’s ingredients and see if you want to put it in your body rather than a whole food type supplement from a respected manufacturer who specializes in this concept.

If sodium selenite and these other chemical compounds are toxic, how can they be marketed as beneficial to our health?

Today, there is no law that forbids the use of these substances in food products or dietary supplements, despite sound research demonstrating their toxicity.  This is because we have in the U.S. a chemical and drug industry-friendly “weight of evidence” standard for toxicological risk assessment. Rather than using the “precautionary principle,” which dictates that a substance suspected of being harmful should be duly regulated to minimize the public’s exposure, the “weight of evidence” paradigm requires a panel of government appointed experts to evaluate all the data, and they must also come up with a consensus that the evidence unequivocally demonstrates the substance in question poses a serious health risk. Until such an assessment can be made, a number of substances with obvious toxicity are “innocent until proven guilty” and can be portrayed by irresponsible and/or uneducated manufacturers as being beneficial to human health.

It is unconscionable right now to see that this time in history, smaller dietary supplement manufacturers are being accused of being “unregulated” and of having poor quality standards (even when they are incurring great costs by using vastly superior ingredients), while massive pharmaceutical companies who have every resource at their disposal, are allowed to market toxic chemicals to consumers under the banner of USP (United States Pharmacopeia) or “pharmaceutical grade” quality. There is no such thing as a pharmaceutical grade supplement ingredient because supplements are not supposed to contain drugs. Therefore how can there be pharmceutical grades?

We the people therefore need to realize that sometimes companies will intentionally mislead us, with the help of folks like the FDA. To think there are masses of people who actually still trust them and can’t see the colusion between the insurance companies and the FDA. These very same companies will advertise products that have no health benefits; or worse, may actually be harmful to our health.

The rub becomes the billions of dollars in health care costs (and the suffering these costs represent) that could be saved every year if Americans took the simple step of taking a quality multivitamin (such as Waiora’s EDN which is a liquid concentrate and is made from whole food sources, not isolates) and an organic, cold extracted Omega-3 marine lipid supplement (such as Moxxor) every day. It is always advisable to look for product manufacturers that use high quality, natural, organic ingredients, including those made from whole foods, as they are so much easier for our bodies to utilize and therefore contribute significantly to filling the void in our diets, which has occurred through non-organic farming methods that just strip our soil of its trace mineral matrix. These minerals which are now conspicuous by their absence include some 72 trace minerals, including selenium.

The bottom line is simply check the labels on the foods you buy and your vitamin and mineral supplements and look to see if they contain the real selenium, which is the laboratory chelated form like selenomethionine or you might see it listed as selenium chelate, otherwise eat some Brazil nuts every day!

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Blogs, Celestial Musings, Conscious Consumer, Diet & Nutrition, Everyday Pet Care, General Health, Health, Healthy Aging, Men's Health, Natural Remedies, Pet Health, Women's Health, , ,

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Celeste Yarnall

Celeste Yarnall, PhD shares musings on myriad of topics at her Celestial Musings Blog. She is the author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care with Jean Hofve, DVM and Paleo Dog. Celeste is an actress/producer/activist/writer and keynote speaker. She and her husband Nazim Artist created the Art of Wellness Collection and are the producers of Femme: Women Healing the World. They live in Los Angeles, California with their beloved Tonkinese cats. Join Celeste at her website or on Facebook.


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8:38AM PST on Dec 6, 2012

Thank you Celeste, for Sharing this!

12:35PM PST on Dec 3, 2012

After reading this article, I read through a substantial amount of dry cat foods on the market, including some very expensive, "healthier" brands. The majority have "sodium selenite" as an ingredient. If a pet is eating the same food every day, they are getting a lot of it in their system over a period of time, even if it's only a minor ingredient. The Iams cat food I checked did not have it. Needless to say, I have been buying Iams ever since (no, I am not employed by them).

7:08AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

thanks for sharing

11:52PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Just checked my vitamin bottle: it contains the yeast-free, organically bound ''selenomethionine'' form of selenium. So thank god, the company I essentially trust my body to, hasn't let me down on this one.

9:02AM PST on Feb 18, 2012


11:30AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Thanks for the informative article...

8:56PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

the last sentance is excellent advice...bottom line think "holistic", check everything...and DO NOT GIVE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY TO THE THE BIG-PHARMA COMPANYS,...that are just using everyone for a " guinea pig" ANYWAY!! ...( WHAT WAS SAFE, MAY NOT BESO ANYMORE! just beware and meake your choices very carefully!...BE WELL!!...bottom line!

5:41PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Shocking facts, stick to Brazil Nuts!

11:40AM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Thank you !

9:44AM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Checked my vitamin bottle. Swiss brand Total One Multivitamins and Antioxidants contains selenium from hydrolized vegetable protein (i.e. the non-toxic source). In vitamins and supplements we generally get what we pay for.

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