good quality studies done in the past suggested that taking enough of
this essential mineral helps to
prevent prostate cancer (and perhaps others as well). It's also needed
to keep the body's immune system in top shape to help it fight off
infection from virus.
Those suffering from HIV/AIDS may consider taking this
in this mineral could affect male fertility but it doesn't seem to
improve sperm quality and quantity if you are no deficient in this
It seems from all the research that there are health
benefits from taking this mineral only
if you are low. If you have
enough of this mineral in your system, taking more may not benefit you.
Bottom line, most people should
probably take 200
mcg of selenium daily but no more.
Many population studies have shown clear benefits of how getting enough
of this essential mineral can protect against prostate cancer.
is continuing in this fight against prostate cancer. The SELECT trial
will answer the question "does selenium and vitamin E prevent prostate
cancer?" when it is finally finished in 2013.
Many lab and animal studies report that selenium is able to stop cancer cell growth.
Population studies looking at selenium blood levels showed that the lower the selenium level, the higher the risk of developing all types of cancer.
In one double-blinded trial with 1,312 subjects, taking 200 mcg of this mineral for a period of 4.5 years resulted in the reduction of lung cancer deaths by 53%.
||Cancer Prevention and Treatment
(Throat, Stomach, Skin and Colon)
Extensive studies done in animals
suggest that this mineral has to power to reduce the risk of cancer.
population studies in various parts of the world seem to show
reduced risk of various forms of cancer with a higher intake
of this mineral.
study showed that low levels of this mineral seems to increase the risk
of developing throat and stomach cancer.
Sperm Count / Male Infertility
This trace mineral is required for proper sperm production in man. In
animal studies, this
mineral is also shown to protect the sperm from free radical damage.
recent well-designed clinical study (Safarinejad, Feb 2009)
that supplementation with this mineral improved the quantity and the
mobility of the sperm. The researchers "advocate their use for male
However, if you are non deficient in this mineral, taking additional
amount does not further improve sperm quality and quantity.
|Type 2 Diabetes|
is evidence from clinical studies that higher levels of selenium is linked to a decreased risk
of developing type 2 diabetes in older men (and not in women).
Several studies show that low levels of this mineral is linked to a
higher risk of asthma problems. One study showed that taking 100 mcg of
this mineral improved asthma symptoms and lung functions. The results
were seen in 14 weeks of treatment.
However, other studies showed a relationship between low selenium
intake and a higher risk of developing asthma.
studies show promising benefits in stopping the virus from multiplying.
a well-design study done in 450 subjects, this supplement suppressed
progression of the HIV and improved blood cell counts. Those
subjects were also taking convention therapy as well and the
researchers concluded that this mineral should a good
additional to conventional treatment.
mineral shows potent anti-oxidant property and may be helpful in
preventing damage to blood vessels leading to hardening of the arteries
and heart disease.
Disease / Heart
Results from many population studies
suggest a link between low selenium intake and a higher risk of getting
However, there are studies that show
that this mineral doesn't help with preventing heart disease. We'll need to do
more research to get to the truth.
Until then, there are better nature
cures for heart disease such as garlic
and fish oil.
||Anti-inflammatory Benefits (Arthritis)
shows potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions and experts
suggest that it may be helpful in treating some forms of arthritis and
other conditions involving inflammation.
and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Selenium is a
trace mineral that the body requires for metabolism and
immune system function.
How does selenium work in our body?
mineral is involved in many essential processes in our body such as in
the making of the thyroid hormone and testosterone, removing free
radicals (that damages our healthy cells) and regulating sperm
also acts to detoxify the body of heavy metals by binding to them.
Heavy metals are known to cause cancer. Experts believe that this may
be part of the reason on how this mineral might reduce the risk of
What foods are rich in selenium?
amounts of selenium include Brazil nuts, fish, crab, shellfish,
brewer's yeast, wheat germ, raisins, liver, and beef.
the amount of selenium found in food sources varies, it is much more
to get the amount you need in a pill form.
What about the large SELECT study on selenium and
Outcome of Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) is
one of the largest human cancer prevention trial ever undertaken by any
research group. It involved 35,533 men from 427 research centers around
the world and it started in 2001.
Five years into the study
(scheduled to be completely done in 2013), it showed that there were no
benefits of reducing prostate cancer in this group of healthy
volunteers by taking either selenium or vitamin E alone or in
Don't write this mineral off yet for preventing
prostate and other forms of cancer. There may be many reasons for this.
One expert suggested that the volunteers have high selenium levels to
What about using selenium in patients with
has been research done to see how this critical mineral can slow down
and even stop
the spread of viral infections such as HIV in humans. In lab studies,
selenium seems to stop the HIV from reproducing and infecting cells.
The benefits were also seen in clinical studies and subjects infected
with HIV showed that taking this supplement reduces the
virus burden and improved the blood cells count. Further research is
continuing in this area. Many of the researchers in the clinical
studies recommend this mineral supplement for those suffering from
We can confidently say that by not
getting enough of it, your body's immune system will not be operating
at maximum efficiency to fight off the virus.
Benefits and Traditional Uses
Side effects are uncommon when the dose is below 400 mcg daily. Above
this dose, reported side effects include stomach pain, nausea,
vomiting and mood changes.
What side effects can occur if I overdose on it?
symptoms can include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach
breath, weakness, fatigue, mood disturbances and hair loss.
dosage of 600 mcg has been used in clinical studies without many
reported serious side effects. Dosage of at least 1000 mcg daily was
required before any significant side effects were reported.
to Take It
What dose should I take?
Research studies suggest a dose of 200 mcg daily
of this mineral. This dosage, which is very safe and below the toxic
dose, is more than enough to provide the benefits of prostate cancer
or improving sperm count and motility in infertile
I take more for added benefits?
you probably do not need to do that. The research studies already showed its
benefits at a dose of only 200 mcg. More is not always better.
Related Articles and Resources
Prostate Cancer - Can You Prevent It?
Antioxidant Facts - What Are The Health Benefits?
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