One brazil nut contains 120 mcg of selenium and is recommended by both Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Oz as a great source of the recommended 200 mcg daily dose. Selenium blocks chemical reactions that create free radicals in the body, which prevents tumor development and the risk for cancer and other diseases. In a study of 1,300 people given 200 mcg of selenium daily for 7 years, cancer incidence was reduced by 42% compared to placebo. Selenium has also been shown to reduce the progression of cancer and to reduce the toxicity of chemotherapy.
Selenium helps the body produce functional glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme essential for detoxification. Glutathione peroxidase is the primary enzyme that converts hydrogen peroxide to water, preventing lipid peroxidation. Glutathione peroxidase destroys hydroperoxides and lipoperoxides, free radicals that are primarily caused by ingesting fat, making selenium particularly useful in reducing incidence of cancers that are associated with high-fat, low-fiber diets such as breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Selenium’s protective role in chemotherapy patients is related to its ability to fight free radicals, since chemotherapy and radiation generate free radicals in the body as their mechanism to kill dividing cells.
In addition to disease, selenium can help counteract free radical damage to the skin from the sun, seen as pigmentation and dark spots. While inhibiting lipid or bile acid oxidation is a preventative role, selenium also act as an immune stimulant because it promotes macrophage-mediated tumor destruction and tumor death in animals. The mineral has been shown to help stimulate antibody formation in response to vaccines, which is also enhanced by vitamin E.
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Cancer And Natural Medicine by John Boik (Kiremidjian-Schumacher et al., 1992; Hocman, 1988; Willett and Stampfer, 1986; Milner, 1985)
Ask Dr Weil by Andrew Weil MD
Diet Nutrition Cancer by National Research Council
Choices In Healing by Michael Lerner
Cancer Therapy by Ralph W Moss
Anti-Aging Prescriptions by James Duke PhD
National Academy of Sciences, 1971
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation
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