(NaturalNews) A recent study published in the journal Neurotoxicology says that the essential element selenium effectively scours the body of toxic mercury buildup and mitigates its neurotoxic effects. Selenium also visibly helps to improve mobility and athletic ability as the body ages, according to the research.
Conducted by a team of scientists from Auburn University (AU), the study adds to the growing body of evidence proving the severe toxic effects of mercury in the body, which include sensory and motor deficits and neurological damage. It also highlights some new findings about its health-promoting benefits.
The team included 0.06 or 0.6 ppm of selenium as part of the test mice's diets, and after 100 days, researchers introduced varying levels of methylmercury (MeHg), ranging from 0.0 to 15 ppm, into their drinking water for 16 months. At the end of the study period, researchers tested the mice for somatosensory sensitivity, grip strength, hindlimb cross (clasping reflex), flexion, and voluntary wheel-running, and observed in every category a clear dose- and time-dependent impairment caused by the mercury exposure and buildup.
"Selenium (Se), an essential nutrient, both increases deposition of mercury (Hg) in neurons and mitigates some of MeHg's neurotoxicity ... (and) significantly delayed or blunted MeHg's effects," wrote researchers in their paper. "Selenium also increased running in unexposed animals as they aged, a novel finding that may have important clinical implications."
"Together, these results quantify the neurotoxicity of long-term MeHg exposure, support the safety and efficacy of Se in ameliorating MeHg's neurotoxicity, and demonstrate the potential benefits of Se during aging."
Foods naturally rich in selenium include brazil nuts -- which contain up to 90 micrograms (mcg) of selenium per nut, and one of the highest known sources -- as well as salmon, sardines, turkey, calf's liver, and tuna. There are also whole-food supplements high in natural selenium, including MegaFood Selenium (http://www.naturalnews.com/031397_MegaFood_z...).