Selenium Deficiency Could Potentially Play an Important Role in Ebola Lethality according to Dr. Mercola.
Here’s yet another factor that could play an important role in the Ebola outbreak: selenium deficiency. The documented relationship between low selenium status and impaired immunity in relation to Ebola goes back to 1995. Intriguing evidence suggests that the lethal hemorrhaging associated with the Ebola virus may be influenced by a lack of selenium…
According to Dr. Gary Gordan, adults need at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of selenium per day, but if the virus is making seleno-proteins—which Ebola is thought to do—you may need several times that amount. The documentation I’m referring to was published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine in 1995,15 and reads in part:
“The expression of this hypothetical protein could impose an unprecedented selenium demand upon the host, potentially leading to severe lipid peroxidation and cell membrane destruction. This could also contribute to the characteristic hemorrhaging caused by intravascular blood clotting, due to the thrombotic effect of selenium (Se) deficiency. The possibility that this gene might contribute to the extreme pathogenicity of the Zaire strain of Ebola virus by this mechanism is also consistent with the observation that this potential selenoprotein gene is not present in the Ebola Reston strain, which was not pathogenic in humans…
It is very well documented that selenium plays a significant role in the regulation of blood clotting via its effects on the thromboxane/prostacyclin ratio. Selenium has an anti-clotting effect, whereas selenium deficiency has a pro-clotting or thrombotic effect. Selenium deficiency has been associated with thrombosis and even hemorrhaging, which has been documented in a number of animals with severe selenium deficiency… but is almost never seen in humans, probably because such an extreme selenium deficiency is rarely attained due to the diversity of human diets.
Thus, the possibility that a rapid depletion of selenium due to the formation of viral selenoproteins could be a factor contributing to the severity of the hemorrhagic symptoms is mechanistically very feasible. Our analysis suggests that severe Ebola infections could produce an artificial and extreme Se depletion, resulting in extensive cellular damage due to lipid peroxidation, combined with enhanced thrombosis.
This could also contribute to the associated immune deficiency that has been observed in Ebola infections.
To our knowledge, indicators of Se status and lipid peroxidation have never been examined in Ebola patients. However, selenium has apparently been used with great success by the Chinese in the palliative treatment of an infectious hemorrhagic fever. Although this did not involve Ebola virus, there are a number of different hemorrhagic fever viruses, and they may share common mechanisms. This example provides yet another reason to expect that pharmacological doses of selenium may also have some benefit in Ebola infections.” [Emphasis mine] http://www.mercola.com/
Editor: This is why we stress the importance of taking a full spectrum mineral supplement that includes selenium. http://bit.ly/10hOBzi