Trace mineral selenium helps prevent cancer

Friday, October 02, 2009
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)
Tags: selenium, cancer, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) The CSPI is reportedly suing Bayer over the company's claims that the selenium in its "One-A-Day" multivitamin formula helps prevent prostate cancer ( It's rare to see NaturalNews actually siding with Bayer on anything, but in this case, I think it's worth pointing out that selenium is, indeed, a very helpful nutrient for preventing cancer (see below).

While I personally don't consume or recommend anything from Bayer (and certainly not their multivitamin formula), I think it's important to bring you these quotes about the anti-cancer properties of selenium, a trace mineral lacking in the diets of many. (By the way, one of the top sources for organic selenium is Brazil Nuts.)

Selenium helps prevent cancer

Selenium inhibits cancer growth in animals. Low soil levels of selenium (probably associated with low dietary intake), have been associated with increased cancer incidence in humans. Blood levels of selenium have been reported to be low in patients with many cancers, including lung cancer. In preliminary reports, people with the lowest blood levels of selenium had between 3.8 and 5.8 times the risk of dying from cancer compared with those who had the highest selenium levels.
- The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions by Alan R. Gaby, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, RPh., N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, Pharm.D., N.D.

Larry Clark presented evidence that supplemental selenium could reduce cancer death rates by as much as 50%. 1,312 patients were given 200 mcg. of selenium daily. The patients receiving selenium had a rise of 67% in their blood selenium level. The patients receiving selenium had a 67% decrease in cancer of the prostate, a 58 percent decrease in colon or rectal cancer and a 45% decrease in lung cancer. This suggests that possibly up to 100,000 lives a year might be saved in the USA by the simple addition of selenium to the diet. Why Does This Happen?
- A Physician's Guide To Natural Health Products That Work by James A. Howenstine, MD

Selenium is needed by important immune system cells known as T cells. Selenium helps the T cells produce cytokines, which are used as messengers between and inside the cells. Adequate selenium may be needed to increase resistance to HIV infection. Selenium is also needed by white blood cells to fight microorganisms. Low dietary intakes of selenium may make people more vulnerable to Keshan disease. Keshan disease can cause heart problems. Excesses of selenium create methylated selenium in the body.
- Vitamins and Minerals Demystified by Dr. Steve Blake

Taking 200 micrograms of selenium daily for about seven years reduced the occurrence of all cancers in a group of 1,300 older people by 42 percent and cancer deaths by nearly 50 percent compared with those on a sugar pill or placebo. Selenium had the greatest impact on prostate cancer, slashing occurrence by 69 percent. Selenium also decreased rates of colorectal cancer 64 percent and lung cancer 39 percent.
- Miracle Cures: Dramatic New Scientific Discoveries Revealing the Healing Powers of Herbs, Vitamins, and Other Natural Remedies by Jean Carper

Recent large scale studies in Linxian, China found reduced risk of cancer when selenium supplements were given to those living in selenium-deficient areas. Other studies have shown that selenium supplements protect against some types of cancer such as rectal, ovarian, colon, lung and cervical cancers. However, there are also studies, including the Harvard Nurses Health Study which do not show a protective role for selenium against cancers at any major site. Laboratory studies have shown that selenium can slow tumor cell growth.
- The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs by Nicola Reavley

People with AIDS tend to have low levels of selenium. That shortage puts a stress on the immune system, because selenium is needed to avoid oxidative stress. Selenium should be taken with other major antioxidants to optimize immune function. Several studies have shown that low levels of selenium are associated with an increased risk of cancer. This is especially true for stomach, esophageal, colon, rectal, and prostate cancers. Interestingly, garlic, onions, broccoli, and whole grains are recommended to prevent cancer, and all of them are good sources of selenium.
- The Natural Physician's Healing Therapies by Mark Stengler, N.D.

Selenium has been studied to determine its role in both the causation and the prevention of cancer. The epidemiological evidence is derived from a few geographical correlation studies, which have shown that the risk of cancer is inversely related to estimates of per capita selenium intake, selenium levels in blood specimens, or selenium concentrations in water supplies. It is not clear whether this relationship applies to all types of cancer or only to cancer at specific sites such as the gastrointestinal tract.
- Diet, Nutrition and Cancer by Committee on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer, Assembly of Life Sciences National Research Council

Patients with malignant neoplasms had low selenium levels, whereas healthy controls and those with precancerous lesions both had higher selenium levels. These results suggest the need for longer treatment periods with selenium. Steady supplementation with selenium-enriched yeast may have allowed for a more rapid increase in maintenance of higher selenium levels. I conclude that these are encouraging results demonstrating the effect of selenium therapy in the treatment of precancerous dysplastic lesions of the oral cavity.
- Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer: A Comprehensive Program for Prevention and Treatment by Donald R. Yance, Jr., C.N., M.H., A.H.G., with Arlene Valentine

Although most people get enough selenium from their diet, the soils in some areas of the country are low in this mineral. Evidence suggests that selenium supplements may protect against some forms of cancer. What is the Scientific Evidence for Selenium? Selenium in supplement form has been associated with a lower risk of cancers of the prostate, colorectal, and lung, as well as a substantial reduction in cancer deaths. Dietary sources of selenium are associated with a lower risk for cancers of the esophagus and stomach.
- The Natural Pharmacist: Your Complete Guide to Reducing Cancer Risk by Richard Harkness

In areas of China with high rates of hepatitis B and primary liver cancer, epidemiological surveys demonstrated that high levels of dietary selenium reduce liver cancer incidence and hepatitis B infection. Animal studies showed that selenium supplementation reduced hepatitis B infection by 77.2% and precancerous liver lesions by 75.8% (Yu et al. 1997). In an 8-year follow-up trial in 130,471 Chinese, those who were given a selenium-spiked table salt showed a 35.1% reduction in primary liver cancer, compared with the group given salt without the added selenium.
- Disease Prevention and Treatment by The Life Extension Editorial Staff

We know that when animals are given foods with selenium compounds added to them and then given a chemical that causes colon cancer, there are fewer polyps and pre-cancerous cells in the selenium-fed animals. Adults with low blood plasma selenium levels are 3-4 times more likely to develop one or more adenomatous polyps. Vitamin C appears to work synergistically with selenium in this regard.
- You Don't Have to be Afraid of Cancer Anymore by Bill Sardi

Selenium, an essential trace mineral and vital antioxidant, works synergistically with vitamin E. One study concludes that supplemental beta-carotene and selenium enhanced immune function in a healthy elderly group. Dozens of animal and in vitro studies point to selenium in the prevention and treatment of cancer. A review article cites many epidemiological studies showing a significant inverse relationship between selenium intake and human cancer risk. Most recently, research has proven a role for selenium in the prevention of colon cancer.
- Gary Null's Power Aging by Gary Null

Several studies have shown that selenium possesses definite anticancer characteristics. Some suspect that among other things, selenium helps out by slowing down cancer at its very earliest stages, permitting cells to heal themselves before they are taken over by the cancer process. In any event, several highly respected researchers have repeatedly shown that when laboratory animals are injected with cancer cells, supplementing their diet with a little extra selenium substantially lowers the subsequent tumor rate.
- The Practical Encyclopedia of Natural Healing by Mark Bricklin

Epidemiological studies suggest that the risk of cancer is reduced in areas where the soil is high in selenium. Blood samples taken from large groups of people also show that they are more likely to develop cancer if they have low blood levels of selenium and the antioxidant selenium-containing enzyme, glutathione peroxidase. Low serum, dietary and soil selenium levels are particularly associated with lung, gastrointestinal tract and prostate cancers. Selenium may be most effective when combined with vitamin E.
- The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs by Nicola Reavley

Cancer rates drop as selenium is added to the diet. Selenium stops all phases of the cancer cascade. Selenium stops initiation by increasing adaptability at the cellular and humoral levels, protecting the DNA from disruption by chemical carcinogens, and by stopping viral oncogenesis. Selenium disrupts cancer promotion by working as an antioxidant, an enzyme nourisher, and an immune system strengthener. In addition, selenium has been shown to depress the growth rate of established tumors. Organically grown foods have much more selenium than foods raised with chemical fertilizers.
- Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way by Susun S. Weed

Selenium has also induced "apoptosis" (programmed cell death) in cancer cells. A recent double-blind study following over 1,300 people found that those given 200 mcg of yeast-based selenium per day for 7 years had a 50% drop in the cancer death rate compared with the placebo group. Another recent trial found that men exposed to the most dietary selenium (as indirectly measured by toenail selenium levels) developed 65% less advanced prostate cancer than did men with the lowest levels of selenium. Selenium is also essential for healthy immune functioning.
- The Natural Pharmacy: Complete Home Reference to Natural Medicine by Schuyler W. Lininger, Jr. DC

To lower the risk of developing liver cancer, take 150 micrograms of selenium (any form except selenomethionine) daily on an ongoing basis. A clinical trial in China involving over 100,000 people found that taking supplemental selenium reduced the rate of liver cancer by 35 percent over an eight-year period. When the selenium supplement was discontinued, liver cancer rates began to rise again. Selenium is especially helpful for people infected with hepatitis B. Smoking, drinking, and inadequate vitamin A intake increase the risk of liver cancer in people infected with hepatitis B.
- Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

About the author: Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

In 2013, Adams created the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a research lab that analyzes common foods and supplements, reporting the results to the public. He is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.