Use selenium to protect against cancer

Thursday, May 10, 2012 by: PF Louis
Tags: selenium, cancer, minerals

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(NaturalNews) In a recent radio interview, Doctor Peter Glidden, N.D. (naturopathic doctor) disclosed that a daily intake of 200 mcg of selenium produces an effective protection against cancer. He wondered aloud why this information is not part of public knowledge in the "War against Cancer."

He pointed out that several standard randomized double-blind placebo trials over several years have shown that breast cancer risk is reduced by 82% with a daily intake of just 200 mcg of selenium. The same dosage reduced colon and rectal cancer by 69%, prostate cancer risks were reduced by 54%, and even lung cancer risks were reduced by 39% for the trial that included smokers.

Selenium disrupts the carcinogenic process early and helps prevent tumors from forming. It inhibits DNA mutations and functions as an antioxidant.

Though recognized only recently (1957) as an essential trace mineral, it has also been discovered to promote thyroid functioning by converting stored thyroid T4 hormones into active T3 hormones, something a properly functioning endocrine system requires.

Endocrine balance is also part of cancer prevention, especially for breast and prostate cancers. So it's obvious why selenium has shown the greatest promise as a preventative for both types.

Best selenium sources and amounts

Plant sources are safer than the several seafood sources of selenium. But most topsoil is mineral deficient because of the prevailing poor monoculture large scale farming practices. This has been known since the 1930s.

Processed Big Ag foods will have lower selenium contents, among other nutritional deficiencies. Smaller scale organic farming does treat topsoil well enough to foster higher mineral contents, another reason to go with unprocessed organics.

Many consider Brazil nuts an excellent source of accessible food based selenium. Brazil nuts also contain healthy fats and sufficient vitamin E to assist the selenium's optimum functioning. In addition, Brazil nuts are high in magnesium, another extremely vital mineral lacking in our topsoil. Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic processes, qualifying it to be considered the master mineral.

The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for selenium is 50 mcg. Just one Brazil nut will provide more than that.

But the RDA isn't enough, as usual, especially for functioning as a cancer preventative. The trials mentioned above used 200 mcg of selenomethionine as a supplement daily for several years. Considering a high average of 100 mcg of selenium from the subjects food sources, this brought the total to 300 mcg of selenium intake daily.

This 300 mcg amount is also the very conservative recommended upper limit of daily selenium intake, above which is considered a risk for toxicity. Some upper limit panel members considered 800 mcg the break point for toxicity. But a conservative mean was agreed upon at 300 mcg.

Two or three Brazil nuts a day with a mostly organic diet should serve one well.

Other good organic plant sources include wheat germ, oats, sunflower seeds and mushrooms. Eggs and poultry are also good selenium sources. Tuna, salmon, shrimp, and halibut are good sources of seafood selenium.

But when it comes to seafood, let the buyer beware. Mercury and PCB levels can be high depending on the water source. Fukushima makes the Pacific scary; The Gulf of Mexico is contaminated, and farm-raised fish tend to be contaminated from crowded conditions and by what they're fed.

While you maintain adequate selenium levels, make sure you keep up your zinc levels up too. Zinc and selenium combined offer many benefits, including higher cancer protection.

For a more detailed comprehensive coverage of selenium, go here (

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