Are you concerned about getting cancer or any other life-threatening disease in your lifetime? Do you have a serious health challenge you’re dealing with but don’t know what to do naturally to help?
Like millions, you probably take a handful of pills or capsules every day hoping to better your chances for survival and live longer. While there are many excellent products and essential nutrients to choose from
that can definitely do great things for your health, none holds more promise for prevention and protec- tion than the trace mineral selenium. According to Barr, “…hands down selenium is unequivocally the most protective of all nutrients.”
In our last issue of CRUSADOR (Issue 36 May/June), we ran one of the best interviews we’ve ever published with Christopher Barr on the trace mineral chromium in a food grown state. In that interview, Barr stated that “the trace mineral chromium is the single most important nutrient discovered to date.” Everyone needs chromium because it is the most important nutrient required for blood sugar metabolism and al- most everyone is deficient in it.
In this very educational interview about selenium, you will be just as enlightened and encouraged as you discover what selenium can do for preventing disease and protecting your health.
Crusador: Tell us about the trace mineral selenium and why it has such an important role in the body?
The element selenium is referred to as trace because the amount needed per day is such a tiny amount measured in micrograms – that is a matter of parts per million. However, that tiny amount does so much more than much larger amounts of other nutrients for so many body functions.
The primary important role of selenium is protective in nature. That is also the reason that makes it so dif- ficult to get people to take it. Much of what selenium does you can’t feel while it is doing it, but if you don’t have it, then you will feel it later and you won’t like the feeling at all – especially if the feeling of dying is not a turn-on to you.
One area that some do feel is regarding mental health. Some with depression respond to selenium supplementation by not feeling so depressed – or de- pressed at all. Some really do just feel mentally bet- ter when taking selenium supplements. There may be some aspect of “peace of mind” tied to this due to knowledge of the protective nature of selenium.
As to the protective nature of selenium, it is unequiv- ocally the most protective of all nutrients. The big- gest reason for this is that it is 50 times as potent an antioxidant as vitamin E. There are some other anti- oxidant nutrients as potent as selenium, but none of them function in as many areas as selenium, nor are they as easily available in the food supply or as inex- pensive to obtain as a supplement. That is why I say that hands down selenium is unequivocally the most protective of all nutrients.
There is more to selenium than protection though – much more.
Crusador: What are some symptoms that could be related to selenium deficiency?
Well, for starters, we could start right where life starts and where so many like for their life to continue as well. That would be fertility and sexual health. Sele- nium is concentrated in, and an important health fac- tor for those organs related to beginning and main- taining life, such as a man’s prostate and a woman’s breasts.
More and more farmers are learning that if they don’t supplement their animal feed with selenium then they have problems with animals getting pregnant and bearing live, healthy offspring. It is very common when I speak on the subject of selenium in rural areas that some farmer will come up to me after to tell me of the importance of selenium to animal reproduc- tion of which they have personal knowledge. To de- velop this thoroughly would take a whole interview all by itself.
Moving on we could just mention the areas that the U.S. government admits to about the importance of this mineral on their National Institutes of Health (NIH) web site on selenium that prints out to 11 pages.
This includes for the thyroid where selenium may be more important than the mineral iodine that most usually think of when the subject of the thyroid is brought up. I’ve personally known many who have ceased to need thyroid medications they have taken for many years after establishing a hearty selenium supplementation routine for several months.
“The results for cancer prevention with 100 % Whole Food source selenium far exceeded any ever achieved with any other substance before or since whether drug, radiation, surgery, herb or nutrient.” – Christopher Barr
Heart disease is also prominently noted by NIH as an area of selenium importance, especially as related to low density lipoproteins (LDL) that are commonly called the bad cholesterol.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another condition noted by NIH as an area of selenium importance.
I would insert here that another major study on sele- nium recently noted dramatic results regarding sele- nium and osteoarthritis – specifically as it relates to the knees. This was a long term, 15 year study with al- most a thousand subjects involving major American academia and government institutions that noted “… severity of their arthritis was related to how low their selenium levels were.”
This was researched by the University of North Caro- lina in conjunction with UCLA, the University of Mis- souri-Columbia, the University of Maryland and the Centers for Disease Control. The study was presented at the annual American College of Rheumatology, reported at their web site and submitted to the media by press releases. Somehow not one of the major, mainstream (polluted stream) media sources covered it. I learned of it initially from the only media source I found that gave it any coverage at all — Crusador Enterprises weekly eALERTS of 11/20/05 – then dug up further substantiating data through research sites.
“There is a difference and your body knows the difference between nutrients in the form The Almighty made them versus the form that man makes them.” – Chris Barr
AIDS is another condition prominently noted by NIH as an area of selenium importance including addi- tional prominence and importance as it relates to children with AIDS.
The NIH web site on selenium also noted its impor- tance regarding “severe gastrointestinal problems, such as Crohn’s disease” as well as those “with surgi- cal removal of part of the stomach” and additionally “other gastrointestinal disorders”.
How’s that just for starters? Last year Dr. Gerhard Schrauzer noted the connection of selenium defi- ciency to Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Schrauzer has been a foremost expert on selenium for almost half a cen- tury.
I haven’t even mentioned the most notable, documented, thoroughly researched selenium area which is the Big C – cancer. I’ll touch on that later although the dramatic successes of selenium with regard to cancer – both preventatively and as treatment — could take up a whole issue of your newspaper all by itself.
Crusador: Have any studies been done that validate the effectiveness of selenium?
Greg, you could fill up an entire one of your newspa- pers just listing the titles of the published studies that validate the effectiveness of selenium. The earliest information dates back almost a century ago to 1911.
By the way, Greg, this year is the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of selenium as a nutrient essential for life by Dr. Klaus Schwarz at the NIH. Hopefully your readers will begin to appreciate on this golden anniversary of selenium for nutrition its value for your health worth more than gold!
Almost 30 years ago an article titled ‘Can Selenium Modify Cancer Risk’ in the science journal ‘Nutri- tion Reviews’ listed more than 100 scientific citations in support of the positive assertions by the doctors who authored that paper clear back then. There have been countless studies since then.
Crusador: What role does selenium play in heart disease?
There are several roles for selenium relative to heart disease. First, it is a selenium dependent enzyme that produces ubiquinone that is more commonly known as CoEnzymeQ10 (CoQ10). Taking selenium is a far more efficient way to get CoQ10 much more inexpen- sively than the very expensive CoQ10 – unless you are taking statin drugs.
The mechanism by which statin drugs artificially re- duce cholesterol also prevents the selenium depen- dent enzyme from producing CoQ10. So if you are taking statin drugs then you better be taking CoQ10.
But why take expensive, toxic, statin drugs and ex- pensive CoQ10 when you could take much less ex- pensive, safe, nourishing 100 per cent whole food GTF Chromium since chromium manages cholesterol naturally, and the much less expensive 100 per cent whole food selenium? You get the benefits of statins without the risks and at a much reduced cost – not to mention then not needing the very expensive CoQ10.
Another plus is that selenium is involved in what is called lipid transport. In other words, it is involved in moving around fats – such as cholesterol. Selenium makes chromium’s cholesterol management even more efficient.
Selenium also prevents free radical damage caused by peroxidation of fatty acids that results in damage to blood vessel walls.
Crusador: Is it true that a lack of selenium in the body makes a person more susceptible to viral infections and viral infections can become much more serious?
Selenium is a potent immune stimulator – likely the most potent immune stimulator of all.
Early this year that point was made yet again in a study conducted to the south of you at the University of Miami (UofM). Those with severely compromised immune systems due to AIDS had dramatically better immune system response with selenium supplementation that was noted to increase blood selenium lev- els. This is consistent with the information presented by the NIH on their selenium web site.
Crusador: Tell us about the different forms of seleni- um on the market and why is one source far superior to all others?
Interesting that you should ask about that now since the UofM study above noted specifically the impor- tance of getting better forms of selenium because of the difference in absorption and bioavailability in the various forms of selenium.
The UofM study utilized selenomethionine which has 3 times the bioavailability of the sodium selenite form that is less expensive and more commonly used.
Yet the 100 per cent Whole Food selenium that I have used and recommended for decades from Innate Re- sponse has more than 100 times the bioavailability of selenomethionine. Yes, the price tag it carries is a little more but the actual cost due to increased effi- ciency is so very, very much less.
Crusador: What role does selenium play with cancer?
The earliest roles for selenium with cancer were as a treatment as early as 1911. Very promising results were achieved with breast cancer treatment in the 1920s. Somehow modern mediSin ceased using this very inexpensive option after the 1920s.
Selenium research picked up again in the 1960s though primarily regarding cancer prevention. The results noted in this regard have been nothing short of astounding though these results rarely receive much fanfare and even less attention from main- stream medical and media sources.
One double blind, clinical study (what modern mediSin advocates as the “gold standard” for studies) on selenium supplementation of more than 10 years duration with more than 1,300 subjects reported 63 per cent less prostate cancer, 57 per cent less colon cancer, and 48 per cent less lung cancer. Those are among the most common of all cancers. Total cancer incidence was more than 50 per cent less among sele- nium supplement users than non-supplement users. The form of selenium used was a 100 per cent Whole Food source.
The results for cancer prevention with 100 per cent whole food source selenium far exceeded any ever achieved with any other substance before or since whether drug, radiation, surgery, herb or nutrient.
“I often refer to the unholy trinity of big government, big pharma and big media as they all act together as one in their own vested interests though decidedly against the very best interests of you and of yours.” – Chris Barr
The response from modern mediSin was decisively underwhelming. One criticism for not using less expensive — and much less effective – USP selenium such as selenate instead of the 100 per cent Whole Food variety of selenium was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
A few other “for instances” related to selenium and cancer …
There is a strong correlation to selenium blood levels and cancer incidence. The higher the blood levels of selenium the lower the cancer incidence. The lower the blood levels of selenium the higher the cancer incidence. You can graph it out on a nation by nation basis. The order of nation’s average blood selenium levels is almost identical to the order of nations’ can- cer incidence with Japan the highest selenium blood levels and lowest cancer incidence, and the U.S. al- most the lowest selenium blood levels and almost the highest cancer incidence.
U.S. medical and cancer society officials often crow about cancer occurring more due to increased aver- age life spans. Yet the U.S. is only around 30th world- wide in average life span while most of the nations ahead of the U.S. in life span have lower cancer rates – and higher average selenium blood levels.
Research gives similar indications for those with most almost all forms of cancer. Those with cancer who have the longest survival time and the least metastases (spreading of cancer) are those with higher blood selenium levels – though still having lower selenium levels than those who do not have cancer. Those with cancer who have the shortest survival time and the most metastases are those with the lowest blood selenium levels.
The response to this by U.S. medical and cancer researchers is to concentrate on toenail selenium levels rather than blood selenium levels which do not show much correlation to cancer incidence. This would be very funny if it were not so very tragic.
‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is an old saying. A daily selenium supplement of 200 micrograms would take 40 years to reach just an ounce of prevention. It is not much. It is probably not even enough. It would be a good start and a refreshing change for women and men alike. – Chris Barr
This brings to mind a news story from just last week on a new cancer study.
There was a BIG build-up by the polluted main- stream media of Associated Press for this story about this drug study and its results before they even an- nounced what the drug was or results were.
The bold headline declared “cancer breakthrough found.”
The opening line stated, “For the first time, doctors … have found a pill that improves survival for people with liver cancer.”
I have to interject here before going any further with this news/propaganda AP story that selenium has been noted for many decades to improve survival time as noted above. Also as another “by the way,” selenium was specifically established as an essential nutrient for life by doctors at NIH for the liver in liver studies!
Returning to the recent AP puff piece results were reported “impressive and likely will change the way patients are treated.”
Finally the drug is named and results given of just a little more than 2 months extra survival. That is their major “breakthrough” that is “impressive and likely will change the way patients are treated”?!?!?!?
The AP “once upon a time” story then goes on to quote doctors about these scant results “has never happened,” “a quite impressive gain” and “delaying the progression of the disease significantly and strikingly.”
This single study of a toxic drug was conducted for less than two years with barely 600 subjects for the scant results achieved. It is then noted that the con- trol group, half not receiving the drug, was given the drug at the end of the trial.
A much more extensive study of the nutritional, es- sential trace element mineral selenium in a 100 per cent whole food, grown variety was conducted for more than 10 years with greater than twice as many subjects (more than 1,300) resulting in the most dra- matic cancer prevention results ever achieved in any cancer study with any substance whether nutrient, herb or drug. The control group, half not receiving the nutrient selenium, was not given the nutrient at the end of the trial but merely was told about it. Furthermore, it was noted that the essential mineral nutrient selenium could not be recommended until more studies (PLURAL) were conducted. Talk about your double standard.
In another study prior to that with 100 per cent whole food selenium, it showed the vast majority of 140 terminal cancer patients still alive after four years!
It was also reported about the current drug study that “tumors didn’t shrink or disappear.” The selenium study just noted above reported that all of the 140 terminal cancer patients had tumor regression!
It was noted about this recent drug study way down toward the end of the article that the lead author was consulted for the maker of the drug. Can you say “conflict of interest?” That is quite a bit of con thank you very much.
Oh, and that drug maker in this current study is Bay- er “Sieg Heil” Pharmaceuticals. The reason that I call them that is they are from the IG Farben pharmaceutical company that provided the financial backbone that brought and kept Hitler in power, and was involved with the human medical experimentations at concentration camps. The photos of the 1945 bomb- ings of Berlin show that city was leveled except for the nearly 1 mile square tract of IG Farben headquarters which was untouched in those bombing raids. They continue to get “hands-off” special treatment to this day as evidenced by this new drug study and propa- ganda news report.
Selenium is so much more thoroughly researched re- garding cancer with so much better results for so very much longer than any cancer drug used today.
Crusador: Like the chromium issue that we discussed, is there a history of government cover-up and lies surrounding selenium and if so, can you elaborate a little about that?
Oh, yes, absolutely.
The study previously mentioned with terminal cancer patients using selenium – in often very large amounts I would add – was at the Veterans Administration hos- pital in St. Louis, Missouri and reported at an annual VA meeting, but never published or promoted.
The other study previously mentioned regarding can- cer prevention and selenium that ended about ten years ago was dismissed by Dr. Peter Greenwald, M.D., Dr. PH, Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (then and now) with his remarks, “It’s one study with provocative findings that have to be confirmed.”
Dr. Greenwald called for additional studies (as in more than one) with many more people before going forward with any selenium recommendations.
“We do not recommend supplements,” concluded Greenwald.
Seven years later a drug study with results significantly less than half as good in a trial of much shorter duration with far fewer subjects received rave review by Dr. Greenwald.
“This trial proves that prostate cancer, at least in part, is preventable. It is a huge step forward for cancer re- search,” Greenwald said of a drug treatment with a 25 per cent reduction of prostate cancer but with some very nasty side effects. The selenium trial that Greenwald panned had a 63 per cent reduction of prostate cancer with no side effects at all.
Dr. Greenwald remains in his position at NCI and is also currently a research staff member at The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. As the old saying goes, “With friends like that …”
This is why I often refer to the unholy trinity of big government, big pharma and big media as they act together as one in their own vested interests though decidedly against the very best interests of you and of yours.
Crusador: I had a concerned subscriber send me a package of information on selenium that says it’s tox- ic and was actually a pesticide and that it is causing serious problems in the population. Is there any truth to that?
That is an old canard from a very old deception more than 60 years ago.
A study on one pesticide revealed liver tumors formed in lab animals. One of the ingredients among the myriad chemicals in the pesticide was selenium. The researchers singled out selenium without any foun- dation at all so as to divert attention away from the pesticide itself as being a problem. That was almost 20 years before selenium was identified as an essen- tial nutrient. That pesticide study is the single source for all the “selenium may cause cancer” propaganda. The deception is even grander than that as the liver tumors were predominantly not cancerous.
Ironically, it was in liver studies that selenium was determined as essential for life almost 20 years later and specifically essential for liver function. Also, there is excellent research on selenium and liver cancer spe- cifically.
Crusador: Can you take too much selenium and how toxic to the body is it if you do?
Well, Greg, first of all, you can get too much oxygen and it will burn your lungs up. So should people stop breathing? Selenium in a worst case scenario is not even as dangerous as oxygen can be.
The Centers for Disease Control has on file the worst American case of human selenium toxicity from more than 20 years ago. It was due to a manufacturing er- ror with a non-food grown supplementary source of selenium that also used the most toxic (cheapest) form of all forms of selenium.
The label said 200 micrograms per tablet but it actually contained more than 27,000 micrograms per tablet. A woman took that every day for almost three months. After about two weeks she began to experience hair loss and after two months had lost almost all her hair. She didn’t feel very good with flu-like symptoms and sour breath. Later a discharge from under her fingernails started.
This woman on an outlandish amount of the worst form of selenium did not die. She was not even hospitalized. She just didn’t feel very good until she ceased taking the incredible quantity of selenium.
Crusador: Are people actually getting far too much selenium in their diet when you factor in all the forti- fied foods they’re eating?
Foods are not fortified with selenium except for livestock feed. Farmers want to keep their livestock fertile and healthy but humans don’t appear to warrant the same consideration.
Crusador: What is the best dosage of selenium that should be taken?
That is very subjective. Let me offer you very subjective guidelines that are also very objective.
Dr. Gerhard Schrauzer noted almost 30 years ago if every woman in America took 200 micrograms of supplementary selenium daily that breast cancer rates would rapidly decline in the space of a few short years. Dr. Schrauzer is professor emeritus from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and has chaired two world conferences on selenium and cancer.
Not so coincidentally, the previously mentioned selenium cancer prevention trial used 200 micrograms of selenium supplemented daily – and they didn’t use just any selenium supplement, but one that was a 100 per cent whole food grown variety.
There are other selenium studies with excellent results that have used this same amount.
Common American diets provide 200 micrograms or less of selenium daily and usually less – usually much, much less. Average is around 50 micrograms daily.
If you get the high end 200 micrograms of selenium in your diet – a very big IF – then 200 micrograms of selenium added by supplement would give you 400 micrograms daily.
The NIH web site on selenium says specifically that a 400 microgram daily intake of selenium “is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects in almost all individuals in the general population.”
As a further reference point it was reported almost 30 years ago that in Japan the average dietary intake of selenium exceeded 500 micrograms daily, and Japan has the lowest worldwide incidence of all the diseases associated with selenium deficiency – as well as one of the longest average life spans.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is an old saying. A daily selenium supplement of 200 micrograms would take 40 years to reach just an ounce of prevention. It is not much. It is probably not even enough. It would be a good start and a refreshing change for women and men alike.
Continuing further – objectively – for those who have moved beyond the prevention stage there is the treatment experience of Dr. Robert Donaldson that was mentioned earlier. He found that 400 micrograms daily was a minimum amount at which blood selenium levels were increased and that it was rare that amount made a difference. Dr. Donaldson wrote in 1979, “We are now able, with nearly 100 per- cent regularity, to increase the blood levels by several fold by giving 1,000 to 2,000 micrograms of selenium daily and then dropping back to a maintenance dose.” Donaldson cited one case that required even larger amounts than that.
Two years ago I received an e-mail from a reader who wrote that he had prostate cancer metastasized to the bone who put himself on 1,000 micrograms of selenium daily.
“My PSA went from over 100 to 2.89 so I think I am on the right track,” he concluded in his e-mail.
So how’s that for an introduction to selenium? There is so very, very much more to tell.
Crusador: Thank you for your hard work, time, and insights on this nutrient.