Selenium May Ward Off Cancer

Is there a link between the mineral selenium and cancer prevention? It seems this naturally occurring substance may be an effective weapon in the war against cancer. Multiple studies have shown that selenium may be helpful in warding off breast, stomach, prostate, liver, bladder and esophageal cancers. Since many Americans do not get the recommended dose (200 mcg) of selenium each day, a selenium supplement may be worth thinking about.

Research shows that selenium, especially when taken with vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, works to block the chemical reactions in the body that create free radicals. (Free radicals damage our DNA and cause degenerative changes in the cells, which can lead to cancer). By preventing damaged DNA cells from reproducing, selenium can then prevent cancerous tumors from growing.

According to Dr. James Howenstine, author of A Physician’s Guide to Natural Health Products That Work, selenium “contributes towards the death of cancerous and pre-cancer cells. Their death appears to occur before they replicate, thus helping stop cancer before it gets started.”

Not only has selenium been shown to help prevent cancer, it can also help slow the progression of cancer in people already diagnosed with it. Beating Cancer with Nutrition reports that selenium helps “enhance the effectiveness of chemo, radiation and hyperthermia while minimizing damage to the patient’s normal cells; thus making therapy more of a selective toxin.”

Still not convinced of the link between selenium and cancer? Dr. Larry Clark from the University of Arizona conducted a long-term study of 1,300 people. The cancer occurrence in those taking 200 mcg of selenium a day was reduced by 42 percent compared to those in the study who received placebo. Further, cancer deaths for those taking selenium were cut almost in half. (Via Journal of the American Medical Association.)

Interested in learning more about the wonders of selenium? Ask a Pharmaca practitioner about selenium today.