Selenium-Enriched Yeast Supplementation Studies

The rationale for taking a selenium-enriched yeast preparation: one or more of the selenium compounds in the preparation other than selenomethionine may be the selenium species that has specific effects against cancer. This is an area for further research.

Glass of beer made using brewer's yeast
Selenium-enriched yeast preparations use Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly known as as brewer’s yeast. The yeast is grown in a selenium-enriched medium in which the yeast absorbs the selenium. The finished preparation is pasteurized, causing the yeast cells to die. Selenium-enriched yeast preparations contain many organic selenium compounds in addition to selenomethionine.

This week, we focus on studies conducted with a selenium-enriched yeast preparation containing at least 20 different species of selenium in addition to selenomethionine [Bendahl & Gammelgaard 2004].

Randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trials are the gold standard method for testing the safety, absorption, and efficacy of nutritional supplements and medical drugs. Below, we summarize some of the important clinical trials of nutritional interventions using selenium-enriched yeast. read more

What is a high selenium yeast supplement?

Baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast and high selenium yeast … all strains of the same species of yeast … Saccharomyces cerevisiae … High selenium yeast preparations are the most effective form of selenium supplements. The yeast in the tablets is dead and inactive. There is no risk of a yeast infection from a high selenium yeast preparation.

The trace element selenium is an essential component of the selenium-dependent enzymes called selenoproteins.  We need these selenoproteins for the optimal biological functioning of our cells.  Specifically, we need adequate daily intakes of selenium for the protection of cellular DNA, for successful reproduction, for proper thyroid gland function, for protection against infections, for anti-oxidative protection against the damage caused by free radicals, and for the prevention of cancer and heart disease.

What form of selenium is best?
Many of us cannot get enough selenium in our diets, especially if we do not regularly eat Brazil nuts (very high in selenium) or if we eat relatively little meat and fish.  However, there are various supplemental forms of selenium available to us as consumers. read more

Moderate selenium deficiency may increase risk of chronic disease

Pill, hand, disease
A supplement of 100 micrograms of elemental selenium a day is able to satisfy the needs of the most critical selenoproteins.

Moderate selenium deficiency is associated with increased risk of chronic disease: cancer, heart disease, thyroid disorder.  Conversely, a selenium supplement containing one hundred (100) micrograms of selenium  daily could reduce the risk of serious, age-related diseases in persons with moderate selenium deficiency, according to the known researcher Bruce Ames’ so-called triage theory.

Researchers Joyce McCann and Bruce Ames from Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) have analyzed the data from hundreds of scientific articles. They conclude that some selenium-dependent proteins that are regarded as essential for the body’s survival in the period until humans reach reproductive age are much more resistant to selenium deficiency than are other non-essential selenoproteins. read more

Selenium Compounds Fight Cancer

diabetes-picture, cancer
The body’s selenium level can be measured by using a blood sample

In a new scientific study, Danish researchers from Copenhagen University have demonstrated that methylated selenium compounds can regulate the body’s immune system enabling it to better fight certain cancers. These selenium compounds are found in certain foods such as garlic and broccoli but also in the selenium preparations containing selenium yeast.

Certain cancers such as skin cancer, prostate cancer, and some forms of leukemia weaken the body’s immune system by overstimulating it until it eventually breaks down, giving cancer cells a free rein in the body. What this new Danish research shows is that the intake of selenium compounds that can be metabolized into methylselenol improves the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. read more