What is selenium?
Selenium is the constituent of glutathione peroxidase and is found out to have beneficial effects on the body, in order to maintain good health. It helps to prevent myocardial infarction and high blood pressure. Selenium is probably one of the most powerful anti-cancer nutrients, and is a good chemotherapeutic agent used by patients who undergo chemotherapy. Many studies have proved that selenium is necessary for human health.
Selenium plays a detoxifying role in the body’s immune system, it can protect cell membranes and tissues from the damage caused by free radicals and has anti-cancer effect. Selenium can also alter the metabolism of carcinogens. According to recent studies, the consumption of selenium reduces the number of cancer cells by inhibiting carcinogenic substances from developing into cancer. The anti-cancer effect is by inducing cell apoptosis in cancer cells, as well as increase the amount of p53 anti-cancer gene.
Selenium is found to have immunomodulatory effects on cancer patients, enhances the body’s antioxidant functions by removing excess free radicals. One of the risk factor of cancer is due to excess free radicals in the body, damaging cell DNA while leads to abnormal growth of cells, forming tumor. Through reacting with a series of enzymes, selenium is able to effectively remove the waste product of oxidation such as hydrogen peroxide which is harmful to the human body.
Selenium can also inhibit tumor angiogenesis (the formation of blood vessels). The growth and metastasis of tumor depends on its own established vascular system to obtain nutrients from the body, in order to sustain its rapid growth. By cutting off the nutrient supply, selenium is said to be able to control tumor growth.
A Japanese medical report noted that the antioxidant activity of selenium is 50-100 times more than that of vitamin E, and it is helpful in preventing atherosclerosis, heart disease, myocardial infarction. It can also slow down the oxidation of cells, thus significantly slow down the aging effect.
The Nutrition Society research institution recommend that we must continue to supplement our selenium dosage on daily basis in order to maintain a healthy body as it has beneficial effects such as antioxidant activity and anti-aging effect.