The CSPI is reportedly suing Bayer over the company's claims that the selenium in its "One-A-Day" multivitamin formula helps prevent prostate cancer (http://www.reuters.com/article/heal...). It's rare to see NaturalNews actually siding with Bayer on anything, but in this case, I think it's worth pointing out that selenium is, indeed, a very helpful nutrient for preventing cancer (see below).
While I personally don't consume or recommend anything from Bayer (and certainly not their multivitamin formula), I think it's important to bring you these quotes about the anti-cancer properties of selenium, a trace mineral lacking in the diets of many. (By the way, one of the top sources for organic selenium is Brazil Nuts.)
Selenium helps prevent cancer
Selenium inhibits cancer growth in animals. Low soil levels of selenium (probably associated with low dietary intake), have been associated with increased cancer incidence in humans. Blood levels of selenium have been reported to be low in patients with many cancers, including lung cancer. In preliminary reports, people with the lowest blood levels of selenium had between 3.8 and 5.8 times the risk of dying from cancer compared with those who had the highest selenium levels.
- The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions by Alan R. Gaby, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, RPh., N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, Pharm.D., N.D.
Larry Clark presented evidence that supplemental selenium could reduce cancer death rates by as much as 50%. 1,312 patients were given 200 mcg. of selenium daily. The patients receiving selenium had a rise of 67% in their blood selenium level. The patients receiving selenium had a 67% decrease in cancer of the prostate, a 58 percent decrease in colon or rectal cancer and a 45% decrease in lung cancer. This suggests that possibly up to 100,000 lives a year might be saved in the USA by the simple addition of selenium to the diet. Why Does This Happen? - A Physician's Guide To Natural Health Products That Work by James A. Howenstine, MD
Selenium is needed by important immune system cells known as T cells. Selenium helps the T cells produce cytokines, which are used as messengers between and inside the cells. Adequate selenium may be needed to increase resistance to HIV infection. Selenium is also needed by white blood cells to fight microorganisms. Low dietary intakes of selenium may make people more vulnerable to Keshan disease. Keshan disease can cause heart problems. Excesses of selenium create methylated selenium in the body. - Vitamins and Minerals Demystified by Dr. Steve Blake
Taking 200 micrograms of selenium daily for about seven years reduced the occurrence of all cancers in a group of 1,300 older people by 42 percent and cancer deaths by nearly 50 percent compared with those on a sugar pill or placebo. Selenium had the greatest impact on prostate cancer, slashing occurrence by 69 percent. Selenium also decreased rates of colorectal cancer 64 percent and lung cancer 39 percent.