The mineral selenium has been shown in multiple studies to be an effective tool in warding off various types of cancer. Selenium was first used in conventional medicine as a treatment for dandruff, but our understanding of the mineral has come a long way since then.
A 1996 study by Dr. Larry Clark of the University of Arizona showed just how effective selenium can be in protecting against cancer. In the study of 1,300 older people, the occurrence of cancer among those who took 200 micrograms of selenium daily for about seven years was reduced by 42% compared to those given a placebo. Cancer deaths for those taking the selenium were cut almost in half, according to the study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. While the study concluded the mineral helped protect against all types of cancer, it had particularly powerful impacts on prostate, colorectal, and lung cancers.
Today, research shows selenium, especially when used in conjunction with vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, works to block chemical reactions that create free radicals in the body (which can damage DNA and cause degenerative change in cells, leading to cancer).
In addition to preventing the onset of the disease, selenium has also been shown to aid in slowing cancer's progression in patients that already have it. According to the Life Extension Foundation, the use of selenium during chemotherapy in combination with vitamin A and vitamin E can reduce the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs. The mineral also 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,'" says Patrick Quillin in Beating Cancer with Nutrition.
According to Dr. Elson M. Hass, certain metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and silver block the action of selenium. . . . Recent laboratory experiments have shown that high doses of zinc block the action of selenium. Therefore, one has to be careful about taking excessive amounts of zinc (over 20 milligrams per day from diet and supplements) while taking selenium says Dr. Hass.
American Cancer Society
According to the American Cancer Society, Selenium supplements can be toxic to the human body if they raise selenium levels beyond what the body can tolerate. Massive overdoses taken all at once can result in kidney failure, breathing problems, and death. Too much selenium taken over a period of weeks or months can cause more gradual toxic effects. Early signs of selenium poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, irritability, garlicky smelling breath, and numbness and loss of control in the arms and legs. Long-term effects can include hair loss, discolored nails, skin rash, and loss of nails.
This blog is the opinion of the author and in no way implies medical advice. Information taken from naturalnews.com; cancer.org.