More Secrets of Selenium Revealed

In a Harvard School of Public Health study, men with the greatest selenium intake had a two-thirds lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer over the next decade than those with the lowest selenium intake.

“Family Practice News, November 13, 1998”

A government-sponsored trial, one of the largest ever conducted, will begin late this year to test whether commonly used antioxidants vitamin E and selenium can prevent prostate cancer, as reported by Reuters. The 12-year “SELECT” study, to involve 32,400 men at about 300 research centers in the United States and Canada, will be the biggest prevention trial ever undertaken using a drug or nutrient, said Dr. Scott Lippman, chairman of clinical cancer prevention at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Dr. Lippman said a large 10-year placebo-controlled U.S. trial began in 1983 to test whether a daily dose of 200 micrograms of selenium could prevent skin cancer. Although the supplementation did not have significant effects on the incidence of skin cancers, the incidence of prostate cancer, colorectal and lung cancers was significantly reduced in subjects taking the supplement as compared to those receiving the placebo. The role of selenium in cancer prevention might be due to its incorporation into one of the body’s most potent antioxidants, the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, as reported in several earlier studies.

A new study on elderly subjects shows that micronutrient levels influence the number and function of natural killer (NK) cells – immune cells that defend the body against some tumors. To explore the connection between micronutrients and NK cells, the researchers studied 62 northern Italian men and women who lived independently and who ranged in age from 90 to 106 years. All were in good health, had normal blood test values, and were not taking nutritional supplements or medications that affect the immune system, such as anti-inflammatory drugs or hormones. All were apparently well nourished.

However, the investigators found that many of these individuals had micronutrient deficiencies. The most common deficiency, found in about 50% of both men and women, was in selenium, an essential mineral and antioxidant that protects the heart. Fifty-two percent of the men and 41% of the women were deficient in zinc, which plays a role in wound healing, proper growth, and immune system functioning. Deficiencies were also noted in vitamins A, E, B6, and folate (a type of vitamin B complex), as well as in ubiquinone-10, which is associated with cell functioning.

It was found that higher serum levels of selenium in women corresponded to greater NK-cell activity. In women only, the defensive activity of the NK cells was greater when blood levels of vitamin E and ubiquinone-10 were higher. No other significant associations of micronutrients with NK cells were noted.

“American Journal Clinical Nutrition 2000;71:590-598”

Researchers from the University of Miami found that selenium therapy (in the form of the yeast supplement Selenomax) has a strong potential for improving the mental state and well-being of HIV-1 seropositive drug abusers. The one-month pilot study of selenium supplementation in such subjects revealed that Selenomax administration was associated with a decreased risk in the developmeant of depressed-dejected mood state.1

Over 95% of the selenium in selenium yeast supplements such as Selenomax is present in the form of L-(+)-Selenomethionine

  1. Health Supplement Retailer, February 2000, page 16.
  2. Proc. 6th Int. Symp. On Uses of Selenium and Tellurium. Uses of Selenium and Tellerium. (1998) Y. Palmieri, ed. Scottsdale, AZ, May 10-12, pages 77-79

L-(+)-Selenomethionine from Sabinsa Corporation is a selenium supplement with superior bioavailability. Selenium in selenium yeast occurs in the form of L-(+)-Selenomethionine.