Reduces the Risk of Certain Cancers
Selenium is a mineral that offers many health benefits, one of which is reducing the risk of certain cancers. As mentioned, selenium produces glutathione, an important antioxidant that helps protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Selenium also helps repair damaged cells and reduces inflammation. Inflammation is a known risk factor for cancer. In addition, selenium has been shown to reduce the growth of tumors. In fact, studies reveal that higher selenium levels were associated with a lower risk of death from cancer. In another study of individuals with non-melanoma cancer, those who took selenium supplements had a lower risk of developing new skin cancers over the next four years.
Studies point to selenium supplementation being instrumental in preventing lung cancer in people at high risk for the disease due to their smoking history. Finally, selenium inhibits angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels. Tumors need a blood supply to grow, so by inhibiting angiogenesis, selenium reduces the growth of tumors. While these findings suggest that selenium supplementation may help prevent certain types of cancer, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.