Specific Form of Selenium Supplement can Help Prevent Cancer

by Sheela Philomena on  March 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM Cancer News
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The controversy behind whether selenium can fight cancer in humans might come down depending on which form of selenium people take. Researchers say that not all forms of selenium are same, but there is one type of selenium supplement that may produce a possible cancer-preventing substance more efficiently than another form of selenium in human cancer cells. Their study appears in the ACS' journal Biochemistry.
 Specific Form of Selenium Supplement can Help Prevent Cancer
Specific Form of Selenium Supplement can Help Prevent Cancer

Hugh Harris and colleagues note that although the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer clinical trial showed that selenium reduced the risk of cancer, a later study called the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial did not show a benefit. A major difference between the trials was the form of selenium that was used. To find out whether different types of selenium have different chemopreventive properties, the researchers studied how two forms SeMet and MeSeCys are processed in human lung cancer cells.

The researchers found that MeSeCys killed more lung cancer cells than SeMet did. Also, lung cancer cells treated with MeSeCys processed the selenium differently than than cells treated with SeMet. They say that these findings could explain why studies on the health benefits of selenium sometimes have conflicting results.

Source: Eurekalert

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One wonders when we will apply the knowledge that we already have. See: Feng Y, Finley JW, Davis CD, Becker WK, Fretland AJ, Hein DW. Dietary Selenium Reduces the Formation of Aberrant Crypts in Rats Administered 3,2'-Dimethyl-4-aminobiphenyl. Toxicology and Applied Pharma 157:36-42, 1999. Selenium is an essential trace element for human health and has received considerable attention for its possible role as an effective, naturally occurring, substance that has cancer preventive properties. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and fourth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Anatomical lesions leading to cancer have been detected in human colon resections and in experimental animals treated with chemicals that cause cancer. We observed that the frequency of these anatomical changes was significantly reduced in animals treated with a chemical causing cancer and supplemented with various selenium salts, selenate and selenite, but not when supplemented with selenomethionine, an amino acid containing selenium. These results suggest that selenite and selenate can be protective against chemically induced colon cancer. Clark et al, Effects of Selenium Supplementation for Cancer Prevention in Patients With Carcinoma of the Skin . JAMA, December 25, 1996-Vol 276, No. 24 Intervention agent was 200 mmg of selenuim supplied as a 0.5-g high-selenium brewers yeast tablet [Nutrition 21, LaJolla, Calif.]

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