“We confirm that a low selenium level might contribute to worse survival rates for women with breast cancer.” – The conclusion of a 2021 study conducted by Pomeranian Medical University in Poland.
“In the present study, selenium enhanced the antitumor…Selenium inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells. Still, the same or higher concentrations used with cancer cells did not affect non-cancerous cells.” – From a 2021 study conducted at Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea.
“Oral selenium is a good candidate for chemoprevention in women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 gene.” From a 2005 study conducted by the Centre for Research in Women’s Health in Canada.
Selenium + Your Optimal Health
Sometimes the little things make huge differences on your healing road. Depending on the type of cancer and the needs of your unique body, optimizing your selenium levels could be the missing piece of your healthy breast puzzle.
However, too much is NOT a good thing. Only take what your medical team recommends. Taking too much can be harmful and negatively interact with other medicines. The Goldilocks’ “just the right amount” principle definitely applies here! Working with your Integrative doctor and a Breast Cancer Conqueror Private Coach can help you find just the right amount for you!
Selenium is essential for over two dozen biochemical reactions involving thyroid metabolism, reproduction, and protection from oxidative stress. It also has high anti-cancer properties, represented in the studies above.
Your body does not make selenium. It is an essential trace mineral in soil, water, and some foods. Here’s an extensive list (to the one graphic above)—however, it is not comprehensive:
- Brazil nuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds
- Fish with fins and shellfish
- Broccoli, spinach, and mushrooms
- Beef, turkey, and chicken
- Lentils and beans
- Brown rice
- Matcha tea
- Most multivitamins
- Selenium and mineral combo supplements
Inorganic forms of selenium are selenite and selenate, which can be found in many soil types. Plants then convert it into organic forms: selenomethionine and selenocysteine.
Selenomethionine (SeMet) is a natural form of selenium found in foods. Therefore, it is the best type to take when looking for stand-alone supplements or a multivitamin. SeMet is most known for its help with thyroid gland functioning, protecting your body from infections, and supporting healthy DNA production. But as you read in the studies above, it is making its way into the breast cancer world.
Before adding something new to your supplement routine, I always suggest knowing exactly how much your body needs. Are you super low? Should you just take a bit more to be at optimal levels? Remember, you are here to thrive—not just survive! There are several types of testing available. I always recommend Your Lab Work tests. Often these tests also include thyroid hormones and other helpful biomarkers to note. You can also ask your doctor to test for it at your next blood test. Recent intake is measured in blood and urine. Long-term intake is measured in hair and nails.
Selenium + Breast Cancer
Studies show that low tissue levels of selenium may be associated with the development of breast cancer. Similarly, studies also show a lack of selenium may increase the risk for the progression of breast cancer and metastasis. This is because it can inhibit various types of cancer cells, including estrogen-induced breast cancer cells. Read more about this study.
And the super benefits of selenium march on! This study found selenium helped to normalize the number of chromosome breaks (which lowers breast cancer risk) for women with the BRCA1 mutation. Another exciting study found that selenium also enhances Tamoxfien’s ability to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells implanted in mice.
In summary, poor breast cancer survival rates are associated with low selenium levels. Taking as little as 200 micrograms (mcg) a day can create anti-cancer effects in your body. Your DNA is not your destiny!
If your lab results show you need to optimize your selenium levels, working with a Breast Cancer Conqueror Coach may help you get on the road to vibrant health!
Hundreds of studies showcase positive healing results from taking selenium and Selenomethionine (SeMet). As always, I will stay abreast of all the latest research to help you enjoy happy and healthy breasts!
Note: While early-stage research on the benefits of selenium and selenomethionine is intriguing and promising, it is still a work-in-progress. Therefore, only try something new after talking with your medical team.
Another note: everything should always be a work in progress—including you! There is always more to learn and ways to improve!