Selenium Insufficiency and Cancer

Ask most allopathic doctors and they will tell you that dietary supplements are not necessary because we get all the nutrients we need in our food. Unfortunately, many people believe this propaganda, and as a result develop ill health from vitamin and mineral insufficiencies. Many of the minor maladies and aches experienced as people age are actually these insufficiencies. However, most are usually completely unaware they are being affected.


Selenium is a trace mineral found in the soil as ground up rock. When plants are grown on the soil, selenium enter the plants by the roots where it is stored in the cells. When humans eat the plants they absorb the selenium and it became part of their own tissue. If the plants are fed to animals, and the animals fed to humans, the selenium is still passed from one organism to the other each time being incorporated into the consumers own structure.

Selenium And Health

Selenium is incorporated into a number of proteins called selenoproteins. One of these selenoproteins is an important antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase. Glutathione peroxidase is a water soluble antioxidant that protects the interior of cells from free radical damage. Cellular concentrations of glutathione peroxidase are related to the amount of selenium in the diet. As selenium intakes go up, antioxidant defences are boosted through glutathione peroxidase.

Poor Quality Soils

The problem is that the selenium that is meant to be in the soil is not there. This can be because some soils are naturally selenium deficient, or because the soils are over farmed. In the latter case, each yearly crop removes some of the selenium, and unless it is replaced the soil becomes depleted of minerals. Crops grown on such soils are deficient in minerals and the humans who eat those crops are also mineral deficient.

Cancer And Free Radicals

Free radicals are able to damage cells and their components. This includes the DNA that resides in the nucleus of the cells. Free radical damage to the DNA can change the programming of cells and cause them to become cancerous. This free radical theory of cancer was first conceptualised in the 1950’s by a man called Denham Harman. Since that time, scientific research has confirmed repeatedly the role of free radicals in the initiation of cancer.

Selenium And Cancer

The role of selenium as a structural component of the glutathione peroxidase enzyme suggest that it may play an important role at preventing cancer. In fact, research shows that consuming 200 micrograms of selenium per day is able to reduce the risk of cancer mortality by 50 %. This finding suggests that high numbers of people are selenium deficient, and are at significantly higher risk of developing cancer. Selenium supplements reverse this deficiency and lower the risk accordingly.


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