Selenium Intakes and the Risk of Cancer: Two Meta-Analyses

Blue ribbon for prostate cancer
Despite the billions of dollars spent in the war on cancer, cancer in its various forms continues to be a leading cause of death worldwide. Treatment is expensive. The prognosis is often poor. Even so, the World Health Organization estimates that perhaps one third of all cancer cases could be prevented with changes in behavioral and dietary patterns. An inverse linear association has been found between increased selenium intake and reduced risk of all cancers. As the selenium intake increased, the overall risk of cancer incidence decreased [Kuria 2020].
A 2020 meta-analysis of population-based prospective studies shows that selenium supplementation is protective against cancer; however, the beneficial effects of the selenium supplementation vary with the different types of cancer. The differences in the effect of selenium intakes on the risk of various cancer forms has been attributed to differences in the pathophysiology of cancer [Kuria 2020].

Briefly, the data from the meta-analysis show that selenium decreases the risk of cancer at the highest daily intake levels of the included studies.

This outcome is consistent with the outcomes of a previous study showing a protective effect of selenium at high doses compared to low doses [Cai 2016]. A 2018 meta-analysis used different methods to assess selenium exposure and showed a null association between selenium at high doses compared to low doses [Vinceti 2018]. read more

Selenium to Raise Anti-Viral Resistance Against COVID-19

COVID-19 Virus Infection
COVID-19 virus infections are accompanied by excessive activation of the innate immune system, by progressive inflammation, and by cytokine storms. A review of the medical journal literature shows that an adequate supply of the micronutrients selenium, zinc, and vitamin D is necessary to strengthen immune function and to reduce inflammation.

Adequate intakes of selenium, zinc, and vitamin D are essential to ensure resistance to viral infections, to promote strong immune function, and to reduce levels of inflammation. A team of Norwegian, Swedish, and Russian researchers recommends the initiation of adequate supplementation with these micronutrients in high-risk areas and in cases of suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2 [Alexander 2020].

Selenium Supplementation to Protect Against the Hyper-Inflammation Associated with COVID-19

The team of researchers concluded from its review of the available medical literature that an adequate selenium intake/status can protect against the hyper-inflammation associated with corona viral infections.

Consequently, individuals at high risk who have a selenium status below 100 micrograms per liter should consider daily supplementation at a dose of 100–200 micrograms of selenium per day [Alexander 2020]. read more