Selenium Poisoning Remedies

| Modified on Mar 16, 2023
Selenium is a mineral that's essential to the body in both pets and people in very small amounts but it can be toxic and even fatal in large dosages. Exceeding 400 micrograms of selenium per day can lead to selenosis, that is poisoning due to excessive intake of selenium.

Selenium is found in varying quantities within agricultural soils throughout the world. So your food will have more or less selenium depending on where it was grown. Regardless, Brazil nuts, fish, and poultry are among the foods richest in selenium. As to dietary requirements and safe limites, the highest tolerable level of selenium is 400mcg daily intake. Consuming 800mcg of selenium can potentially cause toxicity.

Symptoms of Selenium Poisoning: These can include muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, joint pain, fatigue, loss of fingernails, blistering skin, and neurological damage.

Chronic Diarrhea

1 User Review

Posted by Sandy (England) on 03/22/2022

Brazil Nut / Selenium overdose - Cancer

Hi, I started eating Brazil nuts and now have chronic diarrhea.

Assuming the two are related, can I simply discontinue the nuts and wait out the diahrhhea or do I need other nutrition?

I also have breast cancer and read that NAC/Gluthione actually encourages metastasis so I am worried about this. I am aware that NAC is good for removing toxic substances and it is used in paracetemol overdose, but it also makes things 'more runny'... so is it really a great idea to use it in this case?

How are Brazil nuts best used as an antiproliferative substance? Should it be eaten along with specific other foods?


Replied by Betty

Source of info? I would like to read it.

NAC promotes glutathione, a powerhouse for mitochondria. It is known by many studies to be a good addition.

It really only takes two brazil nuts per day to get selenium.

The selenium and vitamin E need to be in balance along with magnesium.

Replied by Gary
(Kitchener On)

Hi Sandy,

This will help for diarrhea, 1/2 spoon of ginger powder in glass of water morning and night.

Also, apply Frankensence Oil on any area you think is a tumor. Kills cancer, apply morning and night on area.

I would stop Brazil nuts, If you choose to clean the body of cancer/toxins buy a bag of Food Grade Calcium Bentonite Clay, take 1/2 spoon in water or juice, once daily. Do all of the above and you will be great in a few weeks..


What about the high lead and other heavy metal levels in clays?

Constipation, Burning in Stomach

1 User Review

Posted by Jan G (US) on 03/18/2021

I read that Brazil Nuts are good for hypertension. For days so I ate more than a handful of it. I started to feel a burning in my tummy and I wanted to poop but I can't. Then I read about this Selenium toxicity. I got relief after taking enzyme supplement alpha-galactosidase. In 30 minutes I got relieved TyL./

Replied by sara
(the beaches)

Three brazil nuts a day is maximum amount for the health benefits.

Dose Makes Poison Or A Cure

Posted by Tim (Minnesota) on 02/12/2021 8 posts

500 years ago German physician Paracelsus, the "Father of Toxicology, " identified these principles: dose, host, timing and combinations make a poison or a cure.

Recent research seems to confirm that mercury and selenium are antagonists on a roughly one to one by weight basis. People consuming fish high in mercury do not suffer mercury toxicity when the fish and/or other foods contain comparable selenium amounts.

In fact, the toxicity of mercury is the result of depleting the necessary essential selenium stores.

A new perspective on mercury toxicity:

(500 mcg Se is not a hazardous dose for moderately long term, 5 months in the case cited. Unless added to high dietary content.)

>In recent years, there has been an important shift in theunderstanding of the mechanisms of toxicity of mercury(Hg) both at the cellular and organism level. The shift in a large part has occurred from a long-held focus on the covalent binding of mercury to sulfur in the body's ubiquitous sulfhydryl groups. There is convincing evidence that the pathophysiological target of mercury is not the in vivobinding of sulfur, but rather selenium (Se). Recent evidence suggests that the mechanism of toxicity of mercury is the selenium-based proteins thioredoxin reductase and glutathione peroxidase [1,2]. We report a case of severe mercury poisoning unchanged by chelation who later achieved significant improvement related to selenium and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) supplementation.


A healthy 15-year-old male spilled elemental mercury contaminating his garage and bedroom. The patient developed new onset hypertension, significant weight loss, pain (muscular, testicular, and abdominal), insomnia, delusions, hallucinations, tachycardia, palmar desquamation, diaphoresis, tremor, and ataxia leading to two consecutive hospitalizations. Blood and urine mercury were 23 and 330 mg/L, respectively. He received 21 days of chelation with 2,3-Dimercaptosuccinic acid during his second hospital stay. He continued to deteriorate. Three weeks post-chelation, he was transferred to our facility and his exam was unchanged. He could not stand or feed himself unassisted. He was started on selenium 500 mcg/day and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) 50 mg/kg/day. By day 3 of Se and NAC, he showed noticeable improvement, and by day 11, delusions, delirium, tachycardia, and abdominal pain resolved. Muscle strength, weight gain, speech, unassisted ambulation, and emotional liability improved. After five months with Se and NAC (1) he had regained 45 pounds, (2) restored to premorbid emotional, academic, and athletic performance, and (3) tachycardia, hypertension, rash, palmar skin changes, tremor, and insomnia had resolved. Features of this case include (1) improvement after selenium and NAC supplementation (2) contrasted with continued deterioration after DMSA chelation.

Selenium Toxicity From Tree Nuts

1 User Review

Posted by Gooseberry (Barnstead, Nh, Usa) on 01/18/2013

I was wonderging if you knew of an effective way to rid the body of selenium. I have read on your posts how selenium binds with mercury and other metals in the body. I have multiglandular problems, one of which causes intense water and salt wasting for which I have to consume a lot of water and celtic sea salt. I eat no grains or legumes. In an effort to find protein sources, I began eating a lot of tree nuts, many of which were brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Not realizing it (they were really good), over the period of a couple of weeks became selenium toxic.

In the process of eating and increasing my consumption of the tree nuts, my water/salt problem had amazingly started going away, so I stayed with the tree nuts. After about 3 or 4 days of not having intense craving for salt and water, I began realizing that something was very wrong. I had been having what I call sparks in my brain, then my nerves had problems then my heart. When I fell into a door and almost past out I began researching and found my culprit, selenium. I obviously stopped anything that has selenium in it.

Now, my question, if selenium binds to metals, how do I get this out of my system?

Thanks from Renee

Replied by Timh
(Louisville, Ky, Usa)
2063 posts

Gooseberry: Do you have a strong garlic-like odor coming from your body? This is one of the classic symptoms of Se toxicity.

Avoidance and time should resolve the excess, but it is possible you aren't utilizing Se properly which in turn could cause a Glutathione deficiency. Try this regimen to correct any utilization problems. Take 1 or 2 grms NAC daily and Vit-E (mixed Tocopherols & Tocotreinols) 400 IU 2x daily. Before retiring take 3mg Melatonin. This will force the Selenium to be used as Selenium Peroxidase and Glutathione Peroxidase, coenzymes critical in defense and antioxidant. CoQ10 would also be beneficial, especially energy production. This might provide some healing to your seemingly stressed glandular system.


Tim H--

I want to thank you. I had a selenium toxicity develop this spring after taking 200 mcg. for a few months. I stopped in May and the level was still 225 by mid July.

I followed your advice and it's now at 160. I had my hair cut short and it's definitely fully growing back in. I found nothing at all about what to do about this problem except your post. Thank you.

(CA - California)

Hi Marie - How high were your levels and how long did you follow TimH's protocol to drop you down to 160? I recently got Selenium toxicity myself. Does not look like many options out there. Thank you. Tim


Hi TimH, thank you sharing the selenium protocol to bring down levels. Looks like others have had some success! How long do you think I should take for? I recently got Se toxicity from brazil nuts and have been trying to find something that works to bring down levels. Thank you Tim

Replied by Anon

Hi, as soon as you stop eating them your selenium stores will decrease as we use this up every day - generally taking nuts like any supplement should not be every day- say 5 days on 2 days off (weekend) to give body a rest. A hair mineral analysis would give you your selenium status but anyway after stopping taking nuts for a while you should notice your symptoms get better.

Replied by Gooseberry
(Barnstead, Nh, Usa)

Thank you Timh and Anon for your feedback. Timh, I take all the supplements you mentioned daily except the melatonin. Thank you for your feedback.

This only happend over a few weeks, so hopefully, it will resolve itself, as you said. Some of the symptoms are really painful especially the brain sparks. I was just wondering if there was someway, if the selenium attaches to some of the heavy metals in the brain, to pull the attached molecules out. I tried a nano form of detox yesterday and got really tired and nauseated. I am assuming that began the process of pulling this stuff out. If I go ahead and take support for liver and kidneys for the detox, I assume that will be enough. Would I be correct?

Thank you

Replied by Bmax
(Philadelphia, Pa)

Thank you for posting your article.

I love Brazil nuts and also read that they might help during the luteal phase when trying to conceive... So have been eating 6-10 brazil nuts every other day (to every day) for the last 4-5 weeks. Just now reading about their selenium content. Wish a warning label came with them!

My question is.. I'm now about 4 weeks pregnant (1 week since positive tests started), shall I just stop eating Brazil nust altogther so that selenium flushes from my system? or is there anything else I can do? I'm assuming that selenium has built up in my tissues, but in toxic quantities? I haven't noticed brittle hair or nausea or nail issues or other symptoms related to selenium toxicity so am hopeful. Also hope my uturus and the rapidly dividing cells have not been harmfully affected. I drink over 2 liters of water a day, which I'm hoping helps wash out some of the selenium..(?)

Thanks in advance with your help with these questions.

Replied by Anon

Hi, Don't worry, it's really the tablets that are toxic not the nuts. I'm sure you would be sick before they are toxic. I have been eating lots of brazil nuts a day since last autumn when I found out I was deficient in selenium and it's only recently that I have had enough of them. I think our body tells us what we need to eat. Whole foods like nuts are very nutritious.

Replied by Michelle
(Davie, Fl)

Hi! I heard cilantro gets rid of all toxins like that.

Replied by Bonnie
1 posts

I had been taking 200 mug of selenium for a year all the while not realizing it was the culprit for strange symptoms I was experiencing. Dr had no clue. Changed docs new Doc did extensive blood tests found Se levels were twice the level of high normal. I stopped taking it. B6 was also way high. Four months later it is still out of range high. Symptoms seem worse. Blood tests showed I could use copper and zinc so started those. Feel worse. I use papaya mints for gerd a lot during the day, seems they are high in selenium.

Could I use these recommendations to help rid myself of this selenium. Of course I am stopping my supplements as I seem to just feel worse on anything I take. I have also started having low blood sugar issues, wonder if it is connected? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Replied by Lauren

I believe I have selenium toxicity as my hair is coming out and my skin is dry and nails breaking! I took it because I was misdiagnosed with Hashimotos-I never had it!! What else besides coq10 is there anything else to take?thanks for any help!!!

(Lithia florida)

Does coq10 help remove the excess?

Replied by Mark

Brazil nuts can definitely be toxic! Ever notice a can of mixed nuts has fewer Brazil nuts? perhaps not just because they are expensive.

For that pain in shoulder, elbow, wrist, lower back, knees, that doctors can't figure out and will even do surgery to 'clean out' a joint to see if it helps, start eating a couple (2) Brazil nuts a day. The selenium is needed to convert thyroid hormone. I can do the same thing by taking a little active thyroid hormone (cytomel)

Replied by Marilyn
(Hallandale, Fl)

I developed skin rash from overdose of Brazil Nuts. Best way to stop itching and rash?

Replied by Mama To Many

These are what I would try:

1. benadryl or 4 charcoal capsules with a cup of water.

2. baking soda bath (1 cup in bath)

Replied by Cecile

I took about 200mg per day and some days 400mg. My symptoms are hair loss, pins and needles, muscle spasm, itchy crawling sensation on the skin. Dry mouth metallic taste in mouth, dry eyes. Unstable emotions. What can I do to reverse this? Cecile


Hey guys. I took colloidal silver for 3 days and I've been taking selenium for a couple months now. The colloidal silver is interacting with the selenium because now I have a horrible dry metallic taste in my mouth. Is there any way I can detox colloidal silver and selenium out of my body? Please help. & I didn't know selenium would affect colloidal silver.. I should've researched, I know.

Replied by Anon

You might try upping your levels of nutrients that work with selenium to speed your body's utilization of the selenium.

Replied by Anon

Andrew Weil, M.D.'s website suggests you wait it out, that it should resolve on its own. Drinking water and eating a healthy diet are suggested. Another website says there is no way to detox it. Let us know how it goes.

Replied by Don

I ate too many brazil nuts too. I read an old study - their selenium content varies much more than you may think - 100 g may have 1 mg - 6 mg.

Sel methionine has a long half-life, so this will take 3 - 6 months but the less you ate the faster. It's excreted through methylation and protein is generally protective. It may disrupt methionine and cysteine functioning, and will likely disrupt thyroid conversion and thus, lower total t3 (in the studies it did by about half).

Eat 200 g protein a day and anything that supports methylation or raises glutathione; tmg (likely most helpful), choline, b vitamins, creatine and glycine for methylation; and NAC or whey protein, vitamin E and C for glutathione.

good luck

Replied by David
(Sunyani, Ghana)

I am also trying to find out how to get rid of selenium toxic.

Replied by Cecile

Please, I am selenium toxic from supplements. I need to know how to get rid of it. I am from RSA but currently in USA.

Replied by Ember

Hope this might help me. I was eating so many brazil nuts!! As they are a sustainable food source. eco friendly etc. After many blood tests to find out what the heck was wrong with me ( I had tissue analysis too which found high levels of cadmium etc) My blood levels of selenium was in toxicity. I've not been the same these past three years. Obviously stopped the nuts, but still symptoms. I seem to have started aging more quickly, piled on weight, anxiety and stress increase, joint and general pain, thinner hair. I was also anaemic. Feel better after blood infusion of Iron but not right still. Just bought some folinic acid, and easy absorbtion vit b 12 and 6. I also take MSM for skin, collagen, Vitamin d. I need glutathione? Not sure what else I'm needing. It's expensive.

Replied by Charity
(faithville, Us)

I think that iodine balances selenium. You mention vitamin d and you use vitamin K-2 with that.

The body uses Alpha lipoic acid to make glutathione. MSM use with c as your body is doing tissue repairs and making collagen .I use a lot of things and add mineral supplements like full spectrum minerals and it is not complete but has a lot. Unsoaked or unsprouted grains, nuts, beans and legumes have phytic acid on them. The seeds use this to grow in soil but in the body they suck up your nutrients and rob your body....too much to learn ...

Blessings, charity