The major benefits of selenium : It Combats Cancer and Premature Aging

The benefits of selenium were supported by the results of the ten year double blind study on selenium and its correlation with cancer, conducted by Dr. Larry Clark and other researchers at the University of Arizona and throughout the United States. The results of the study were published on December 25, 1996 by the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. Clark's study (involving 1312 participants over a ten year period) found that 200 mcg (micrograms) of selenium a day reduced cancer mortality by 50 percent. In addition, the people who had taken selenium had 63 percent fewer prostate cancers, 58 percent fewer colorectal cancers, 46 percent fewer lung cancers and overall 37% fewer cancers. Selenium was found to reduce the risk of lung cancer to a greater degree than stopping smoking.

Although many other nutrients are now known to be anticarcinogenic, none have proven to match the benefits of selenium in a tiny dose. Recent research suggests, however, that the antioxidant function of selenium may not be the prime attribute of its anticarcinogenic properties. Further studies have presented evidence that a metabolite of selenium, methylselenide, may be primarily responsible for selenium's anti-carcinogenic effect.

It was not until the AMA's publication of Dr. Larry Clark's double blind study on the benefits of selenium, initially sponsored by Nutrition 21 and then completed because of a timely grant from the American Institute of Cancer Research and funding from the American Cancer Society and National Institute of Health, that America became aware of the protective benefits of selenium supplementation. In fact the FDA had only two years earlier stated that selenium was toxic and should not be allowed to be sold freely and was attempting to remove it from store shelves. Thanks to the efforts of the Life Extension Foundation and the protest by the American public at large, Congress passed a bill in 1994 limiting the FDA's jurisdiction over the sale of natural dietary supplements.

Dr. Clark began his study on the benefits of with the aid and cooperation of dermatologists and dermatology clinics in the southern states along the Atlantic coast (where soil selenium levels are relatively low and skin cancers are high). The initial objective of the research was to determine a correlation between selenium supplementation and skin cancer.

Of the 1,312 patients in the study, 50 percent received 200 mcgs of selenium daily and 50 percent received sugar pills. Dr. Clark found that selenium supplements didn't have any effect on skin cancers, but halfway through the study the researchers decided to look at other forms of cancer and the number of deaths caused by cancer. The findings were so dramatic that the double blind study, which was scheduled to end in 1998, was stopped early for immediate publication.

Selenium Combats Cancer and Premature Aging

There are several reasons explaining the benefits of selenium. It activates an enzyme in the body known as glutathione peroxidase that protects against the formation of free radicals, loose molecules that can damage DNA and cause cancer through cell mutation. It likewise enhances the antioxidant properties of Vitamin E. Thus, selenium and Vitamin E are very powerful when taken together.

In other studies, selenium has shown to significantly reduce the risk of coronary disease at very low microgram doses. In addition to having remarkable anti-aging properties, selenium is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and has been used to successfully obtain beneficial clinical results in about 40-45% of rheumatoid arthritis patients.

As mentionned previously, the key in maximizing the benefits of selenium is in its critical combination with the right type of other nutrient extracts in appropriate proportions. The resulting combination is much more potent than the sum of the individual nutrients.

Our personal suggestion of a highly potent supplement combining the benefits of selenium with other ingredients


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