Selenium has been shown in recent studies to cut aging persons’ risk of all cancers in half by as much as 50 percent. Consuming adequate amounts of selenium, on a daily basis, has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate and colorectal cancers as well as liver, lung, stomach, thyroid, esophagus and bladder.
If you keep up on cancer prevention research, you may already know that the trace mineral selenium is a top anti-cancer superstar. Highlighted in recent research to reduce atypical cellular division involved in cancer formation, selenium achieves this by helping repair damaged DNA, recycling the “master antioxidant” glutathione and reducing cytotoxic cellular activity. To take advantage of these benefits, it’s the form of selenium that matters most.
What is the best form of selenium for cancer prevention?
Sodium selenite: 50 mcg is an ideal dosage. This form of selenium helps repair damaged DNA and modulates immune system activity to decrease the likelihood of atypical cellular division (cancer cell formation).
L-selenomethionine: 50 mcg is an ideal dosage. Supplementing with this form allows the body to fight all forms of cancer and possibly slow cell death. You may recognize this form because it has the attention of the anti-cancer spotlight in nutraceutical research.
Se-Methyl L-Selenocysteine: 100 mcg is an ideal dosage. This especially important form of selenium helps to reduce disruption in circadian rhythms associated with certain cancers such as breast cancer. Hormones that regulate endocrine, immune and reproductive activity such as melatonin and estrogen have been shown to respond favorably to supplementation with Se-Methyl L-Selenocysteine. Se-Methyl L-Selenocysteine also prevents new blood vessels from forming in tumors thereby slowing its ability to increase in size.
Unless otherwise directed, when choosing a selenium supplement first look for one that is prepared as a complex that contains the three forms above.
The next step: Are you taking an optimized dose?
Typically, 200 mcg is an ideal daily maintenance dose with high risk persons considering 500 mcg daily. Selenium is easy to evaluate to gain a baseline before supplementing.
Your healthcare provider can order this test for you. As with any nutrient supplementation, it’s essential to reassess your values every six months to a year to be sure you’re ingesting optimal amounts.
Be sure to include these selenium-rich organic foods in your diet:
1. Wild-caught fish: salmon and sardines
2. Organic nuts and seeds: brazil nuts and sunflower seeds
3. Organic mushrooms: Shitake and crimini
4. Cage-free, naturally-produced eggs
5. Grass-fed meats: Non-GMO without hormones or antibiotics
Naturally, don’t forget the health benefits of raw garlic and onions.
Selenium shows promising benefits for rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid health, depression, pancreatic inflammation and many more health concerns – as well as its powerful anti-cancer properties. So, get started today, and be sure to eat enough selenium for optimal health.
About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, epigenetics, food therapy and sustainable living.