Here is a suggestion from Owen (a poster from a long time ago). I used to take 3 Brasil nuts a day.
Selenium levels vary greatly in Barzil nuts depending on where they are grown.
I just received bloodwork back on my vitamin and mineral levels. My selenuim is at 1675 when the normal range is 120-300. My zinc level was 7 with a normal range of 9-14.7, despite taking 50 mg. a day for 1 year. A few months ago my copper was high and potassium was low. They suspect I have some sort of mineral metabolism inbalance.
Something is very odd here. If they had done another mineral test a few months ago were the selenium, and zinc that far off at that time? If you have been supplementing both of these for that long there is no reason that you should have a sudden spike in selenium and a sudden drop in zinc.
Secondly, are you showing symptoms of either? Selenium toxicity can cause garlicky breath so you will have to drop the garlic a while to find out. Other symptoms include hair loss, nausea/vomiting, lack of energy, transverse lines in the fingernails or nail loss, irritability and peripheral neuropathy at lower toxicity levels. If your levels are really that high then you should have these symptoms and possibly even more severe symptoms of selenium toxicity such as pulmonary edema and liver damage. Liver damage would have shown up as elevated liver enzymes on your lab tests.
As for zinc deficiency the primary symptoms would be a loss of smell and taste and poor healing.
If you are not showing symptoms then I would really question the lab testing, especially with such sudden large changes in levels. Also was this actually part of a blood test and done by a regular hospital?
I have been taking 200 mcg of selenuim 3x day for about a year. I eat brown rice (a lot), garlic powder and rose hips which are said to be higher in selenium. I can't imagine that just those factors would cause my levels to be so high. It seems it is staying in my blood and not being used.
Rice bran is also high in phytates, which bind metals like selenium and help remove them from the body.
What can cause such high levels? What can be done to bring them down? I stopped taking the selenium, should I stay away from the above foods for now as well? What other herbs are high in selenium? Could a combination of something I'm taking with the selenium cause that?
I am still not certain that the test was even accurate since you did not mention an abnormality in the test a few months earlier. Since you were doing all the same things prior to that for a while there is no reason for such a sudden major spike in selenium levels.
In the meantime though it would be a good idea to stop the supplementation with selenium. Normal supplementation is usually no more than 400mcg daily anyway. Some cancer patients will take up to twice that level, but for normal supplementation it should be kept lower.
Most of the herbs that can pick up excessive levels of selenium are plants from the low and high deserts, but are often not common on the market such as grindelia and daturas. So you are unlikely to get excessive levels from herbs commonly sold on the market. Brazil nuts are considered the highest dietary source, but levels vary greatly depending on where they are grown. Shellfish can also provide a a lot of selenium.
This may be unrelated, but there is a strong selenium smell in our basement. The basement was dug after the house was built so half of it is earth/dirt. Could that be related somehow?
Depends on the region where you are living. Again deserts tend to have much higher selenium levels, especially around salt pans. If you are on well water in such a region this could also be part of it if the test was accurate. You can check with your local agricultural extension to see if they have soil analysis for the area for selenium content of the soil.
Most importantly though I would highly recommend having the test redone by a different independent lab to see if the findings match. Especially if you are not showing selenium toxicity symptoms. Again it does not make sense to have such as drastic jump in selenium levels and drop in zinc levels in a few months. And make sure it is a blood test by a company not selling supplements or chelation therapy.
Also, I wanted to thank you. I followed your protocal for the c.pneumonia (Thyme mix and Eucalyptus) and now it is completely gone. I really appreciate your time and advice that you freely give on here as well as your herb products.
I had the test redone by Quest diagnostics, and it's still coming in at 1350. I had never had selenium tested prior to the 1675 results, so I have nothing else to compare it to.
I do have the following symptoms: irritability and lack of energy, but I attribute that to my adrenals.
My liver enzymes were normal.
I stopped taking the selenium and then went in for testing, so I'm assuming that's why it went down some. Is there anything I can do to decrease this?
Chromium, zinc, sulfur and magnesium are all selenium antagonists.
My Dr. is only saying that being off of the supplement should do it, but I can't imagine the supplement would cause that high of numbers unless there was some sort of issue with my body utilizing it.
Also, my zinc levels always show low on my labs, despite supplementing 50 mg. a day for over a year.
One possibility is that you are not absorbing the zinc from a lack of stomach acid. Another possibility is that you are getting too much copper from somewhere, which displaces zinc. For example, if your water is leaching copper from copper plumbing.
We do have copper plumbing and my bloodwork showed high levels of copper. We just installed an RO system, would this take out the copper from the water?
Yes an R/O system will take copper out of the water.