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A good natural remedy for cancer prevention may be selenium

Harold Mandel's picture
Selenium rich shellfish

Researchers have shown that high blood selenium levels are associated with a lower risk of getting liver cancer. There has been a search for nutritional answers for prevention of cancer. Selenium may offer a good natural remedy for prevention of cancer.


High blood selenium levels are associated with a decreased risk of getting liver cancer

Selenium is a nutritional trace element which makes up a vital part of our diet. Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin working with the International Agency for Research on Cancer have been able to show that
high blood selenium levels have an association with a lower risk of getting liver cancer. Selenium levels may also have an influence on the development of other types of cancer.

Selenium is a trace element which is found naturally in plants and soil. This element enters the bodies of people via the food which they eat. Some good food sources of selenium are milk and eggs, meat, shellfish, fish, and some South American nuts, such as Brazil nuts. In comparison with other parts of the world there are relatively low levels of selenium in European soil. Deficiencies of selenium of various degrees and severity are common which is why selenium supplements are given to German livestock in their feed.

There have not been adverse effects from selenium-rich diets and supplementation

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There have not been adverse effects associated with selenium-rich diets or adequate selenium supplementation in Europe. Professor Dr. Lutz Schomburg of the Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, says they have been able to show that selenium deficiency is a significant risk factor for liver cancer. According to their data among the third of the population which has the lowest selenium status there is a five- to ten-fold increased risk of for the development of liver cancer.

A balanced diet is important for cancer prevention

A direct protective effect against liver cancer from selenium supplementation has not been demonstrated. However the vital importance of a balanced diet has been confirmed by this research. In previous research a similar relationship has been suggested between a person's selenium status and their risk for the development of colon cancer and their risk for developing autoimmune thyroid disease.

This study has been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It appears that selenium may play a role in the prevention of cancer. This may be because of the effects of selenium on various body mechanisms including DNA repair, the endocrine and immune systems, and apoptosis.

The National Institutes of Health reports on a healthy eating pattern as described by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, and oils are recommended. There is a good supply of selenium in many whole grains and dairy products, including milk and yogurt. There is selenium in some vegetables and fruits and some ready-to-eat breakfast cereals have been fortified with selenium.

It is also recommended that a variety of protein foods including lean meats and poultry, seafood, legumes, eggs, seeds, soy products, and nuts be part of your diet. There are high amounts of selenium in beef, pork, chicken, turkey, eggs, shellfish, and fish. It is also advisable to limit your consumption of saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars. It's also advisable to stay within your daily caloric needs. Adherence to these dietary guidelines with a consideration of the importance of selenium in the diet may offer protection from liver cancer and other types of cancer.