By: Victoria Northington
Christopher Newport University Senior | Biology Major
There are three forms of selenium that have shown the most potential in reducing cancer symptoms in aging patients. Sadly, there is still no cure for cancer, but we can try to start preventing it with natural remedies. Now that is something to celebrate!
Being that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it only seems fitting to discuss the positive effects that this amazing element can have on breast cancer. Many breast cancer patients carry the mutated form of the BRCA1 gene. This mutation causes chromosomal breaks and has been linked to the formation of breast cancer. Recently, it has been found that Selenium can protect against “oxidation and enhancing nucleotide excision repair” (Krsnjavi & Beker, 2012). To test this theory, researchers conducted a study where women with the BRCA1 gene mutation were given selenium for 3 months. Results showed that chromosomal breaks reduced back to normal! Thus, the risk of developing breast cancer was lowered significantly.
In many breast cancer patients, blood levels of selenium have been found to be extremely low. Lower than the level of normal healthy patients. What is interesting is that the selenium is not simply lacking in these patients, but it has been redirected! In cases where cancerous tissue was studied, it was found that nearly 85% of selenium concentration that was normally found in the blood, was now in the tissue. Scientist determined that this was a defense mechanism of the element. In response cancerous cells, Selenium moves towards the mutated area and activates antioxidants, such as glutathione, to fight against the carcinogenic process (Krsnjavi & Beker, 2012).
Here are 12 ways that these forms of selenium work together to fight cancer cells and inhibit them from turning into full-blown tumors.
*Citation (Stokel, 2017)
Collectively, these 12 mechanisms can effectively protect against cancer formation, and it doesn’t stop here! New discoveries are made regularly. Who knows that else we may find out about selenium in just a couple years.
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