What is Selenium? Does it help against cancer?

Selenium is an element obtained in the diet from Brazil nuts, seafood, meats, cereals and grains. There is no clear evidence to support use of Selenium for cancer prevention. It is an essential part of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione-peroxidase, which protects DNA from damages.  For this reason, it has been studied for the prevention of cancer.   Some studies suggest it may actually increase the risk of aggressive and secondary cancers. Selenium is sold in supplemental form to boost immune function and for prevention of cancer. The importance of selenium in cancer prevention has been documented in epidemiological studies and clinical intervention trials. Data suggest its benefits in preventing gastrointestinal and lung cancers although findings from bladder cancer research are conflicting The large prevention study SELECT (Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial), based on previous data indicating that selenium and vitamin E reduced the incidence of prostate cancer, but also failed to find evidence of protective effects of selenium. Remember selenium can also be harmful. For example, if you consume very high doses you can actually dies. 

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