Selenium may improve breast cancer survival

A breast cancer patient with a high daily selenium intake prior to being diagnosed with the disease has a better chance of surviving than someone with low selenium intake, Swedish researchers report.

Swedish scientists have found a link between selenium intake and the chance of surviving breast cancer. When looking at 3,146 Swedish breast cancer patients they found that the women with the highest selenium intakes prior to receiving their diagnosis had a 31 per cent higher chance of surviving, compared with those who had the lowest selenium intake. The researchers associated a higher selenium intake with both increased breast cancer-specific and overall survival. The study, which is published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment supports earlier studies that have found a protective effect of selenium on certain cancers.

Low selenium intake

All study participants were part of the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Prior to being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, the women had filled in food frequency questionnaires estimating their selenium intake. It was on behalf of this data material the researchers were able to make their conclusions about selenium and survival odds. The average selenium intake among the participants was less than 25 micrograms/day which is extremely low, considering that the RDA level for selenium is 50-70 micrograms daily, depending on the individual country.

Supports important proteins
Selenium, which is found in fish, nuts, wholegrain, and a variety of other foods, supports a multitude of vital selenium-dependent proteins (selenoproteins) in the body, some of which are important for the ability to fight cancer.

Some of the proteins are even important for heart health. Earlier this year, a group of Swedish cardiologists found a 54% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality among a large group of elderly people who had taken 200 micrograms of selenium (SelenoPrecise) daily together with supplements of coenzyme Q10 (Bio-Quinone Q10 GOLD) for a period of two years.

Ref.  1.Harris HR, et al. Selenium intake and breast cancer mortality in a cohort of Swedish women. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012;134:1269-77.   2.Alehagen U, et al. Cardiovascular mortality and N-terminal-proBNP reduced after combined selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation. Int J Cardiol. 2012. E-pub ahead of print.

Why supplement?
Selenium is a natural trace element which plants absorb from the soil. We humans get our selenium by eating these crops or meat from the animals that consume them. Europe is a low selenium area because of the limited amount of this vital trace element in agricultural soil. In large parts of Europe the average intake of selenium is less than half of what experts believe is an adequate intake.

More and more people take a daily selenium supplement to compensate for the lack of this nutrient. SelenoPrecise, which is a patented Danish selenium yeast with over 30 different organic selenium species, has excellent and unrivalled bio-availability. Nearly 90 per cent of the selenium content is absorbed in the body. SelenoPrecise is available from Pharma Nord through independent health food shops – like ours…. or our website