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Selenium Mechanisms Against Cancer
Selenium Mechanisms Against Cancer
From the office of Dr. Laurence Magne, author of www.cancer-free-for-life.com
Selenium activates an enzyme in the body that protects against the formation of free radicals—those loose molecular cannons that can damage DNA. Selenium may work interchangeably (and in synergy) with vitamin E. In test tube studies, selenium inhibited tumor growth and regulated the natural life span of cells, ensuring that they died when they were supposed to instead of turning "immortal" and hence malignant. Because of this particular action, the University of Arizona researchers say that selenium could be effective within a fairly short time frame.
The safest antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and beta-carotene. Together, they block the chemical reactions that create free radicals, which can damage DNA and promote a variety of degenerative changes in cells. Chemotherapy and radiation generate free radicals; that is how they kill dividing cells.
Selenium could well be involved in protecting against cancer induced by high intakes of fat, especially polyunsaturated fatty acids. The second function of selenium is to protect against acute and chronic toxicity of certain heavy metals. It is conceivable that carcinogenic effects of heavy metals could be counteracted by selenium in a manner similar to its protection against their general toxicity. To learn more about how cancer starts in the body, and why, read Cancer Free For Life.
Selenium's main function in the body is to convert hydrogen peroxide to water, which is important for cellular health. All of the body's tissues contain selenium, but it is most plentiful in the liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and testes. Selenium works synergistically with vitamin E to protect tissues and cell membranes, aid in the production of antibodies, and help maintain a healthy heart and liver
Selenium is a mineral with anticancer activity. But the anticancer effects of selenium are greatly reduced when there is an insufficient intake of vitamin E. One good food source is Brazil nuts, which happen also to contain at least one other anticancer substance, ellagic acid. One large nut can provide over 50 mcg of selenium.
Selenium—An essential trace mineral found in fruits and vegetables, selenium helps the body produce functional glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme essential for detoxification. Low dietary levels of selenium have been correlated with a higher incidence of cancer; accordingly, supplementation of this nutrient acts as a deterrent against cancer in general.
Red clover is also rich in calcium, manganese, and selenium, which is a key cancer-fighting antioxidant. I munch the flower heads, but not everyone likes them. Some people dry the flower heads, turn them into a powder, and add them to soups.
You can find selenium in grains, shellfish, poultry, garlic, and egg yolks, lima beans, soy beans, and other soy products, seem to have medicinal capabilities because of the presence of isoflavones and phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens. These substances actually curb the activity of the excess estrogen in the body's tissues. Phytoestrogens can also be found in other vegetables and in fruits, along with useful amounts of nonsoluble fiber, beta-carotene, and selenium.
Plentiful in poultry, selenium may help to protect against cancer, cataracts, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Dark-meat turkey is particularly high in this mineral (3 ounces of cooked turkey have 35mcg of selenium, or 50% of the Daily Value). To get more selenium in your diet, try tuna.
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About the Author: My name is Laurence Magne, Ph D(c). For the past 25 years, I have been involved in the field of health and health research, investigating the reasons why we get sick, and whether we can get well outside of the medical field, using alternative solutions. I have read over 3,000 books on the related topics, counseled many clients and conducted many lectures and trainings.