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Selenium and cancer

A person brings selenium into his or her system through plants. Because of that, it is good for a person who needs lots of selenium to be living someplace where there is a high selenium content or to consume big portions of foods from such areas. Studies have confirmed that selenium does have some antioxidant properties in the body. A person should know that antioxidants are important in the process of destroying of free radicals. Antioxidants are of high importance when a person is fighting against cancer. When cells start to mutate and grow out of control, that is when cancer starts to develop. Free radicals can cause damage to the cells and that is one of the reasons why cells begin to mutate and grow uncontrollably.

A person who lives in a place where selenium content is high in the soil has a smaller chance of ending up with some cancer type. The reason for this is because a person consumes a lot of crops or meat grown in an area rich with selenium.


There was a study conducted where people have been taking selenium supplements for ten years. These people had a 41% less cancer less than people who were on a placebo. This research included 1312 patients all with a history of skin cancer and none of them lived in an area that had selenium rich soil. The study started in the year of 1983. These people were divided into two groups. One was on 200 mcg of selenium and the other took a placebo. Both selenium and placebo were given to them every day. A person should know that a normal dosage of selenium is 60 mcg. The goal of this study was to determine whether selenium can reduce the recurrence of skin cancer. However, the study did not succeed in that but it did show that selenium lessened the risk of cancer overall. 69 patients that were on selenium developed some cancer. On the other hand, 116 patients on placebo developed it. 28 selenium taking patients died while 58 patients who were on a placebo died. The percentage of mortality in the selenium taking patients is 18% lower. Some of the cancer types that were reduced by the intake of selenium include prostate cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer and lung cancer. For instance, prostate cancer was reduced by 71% and lung cancer was reduced by 42%.

However, people living in the United States should not fear that they intake low amounts of selenium since even those with low selenium intake consume around 70 mcg of it every day.

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