Does Selenium Influence Cancer Risk?

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A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that high blood selenium levels are associated with a decrease risk of developing liver cancer. Selenium in the natural form is found in fish, shellfish, meat, milk, eggs, and certain nuts such as Brazil nuts.

In the case-control study, the researchers investigated a cohort of 477,000 participants, and selected individuals who had developed liver cancer during a 10 year follow up. Blood samples were obtained and analyzed for selenium levels. They found that the third of the population with the lowest selenium level had a five to ten fold increase risk of developing liver cancer. They also found that selenium supplements do not have a direct protective effect against liver cancer. “However, it does conform the importance of a balanced diet, of which selenium forms an integral part.”

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