December 8, 2023

Medical Trend

Medical News and Medical Resources

Is trace element selenium really the poison for cancer cells?

Is trace element selenium really the poison for cancer cells?


Is trace element selenium really the poison for cancer cells?

Massachusetts study: trace element selenium is cancer cell poison, is selenium really the “king of anti-cancer”?


There are many reports about selenium, and the hype is full of hype. There are also many products about selenium, such as selenium-enriched rice, selenium-enriched thermos cups, and selenium-enriched enzyme tablets. Is selenium really that powerful? Xiao Jiu will take you to explore.



University of Massachusetts: Trace element selenium is a poison for cancer cells, is it credible?

Regarding the anticancer effects of elemental selenium, American scientists published a study in Nature Metabolism in 2020.


The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the United States, confirmed that the metabolic enzyme selenium phosphate synthase 2 (SEPHS2) in the selenocysteine ​​biosynthesis pathway has selenium detoxification. For cancer cells, this detoxification effect of selenium is necessary for cancer cell survival.


Therefore, if SEPHS2 is inhibited and the detoxification effect of selenium is destroyed, selenium poisoning can occur in cancer cells and eventually die. Moreover, this study may mean that SEPHS2 can be used as an important tumor therapy target.


Is trace element selenium really the poison for cancer cells?


Although this study shows a certain link between selenium and cancer, the anti-cancer effect of selenium is not very certain for the current research.

In 2018, an article “Selenium and Cancer Prevention” was published in the Cochrane Library, a comprehensive database of the best medical research from around the world, recognized as the “gold standard” in evidence-based healthcare. The article analyzes a large amount of important clinical data and concludes that there is no evidence that selenium supplementation can prevent cancer .


Is trace element selenium really the poison for cancer cells?




Although selenium is not necessarily anti-cancer, it has many advantages.

Selenium is one of the essential trace elements for the human body. The most common harm of selenium deficiency is Dekeshan disease (endemic cardiomyopathy). In addition, selenium deficiency may also lead to male infertility, cause Kashin-Beck disease, and exacerbate iodine deficiency.


In addition, a variety of physiological activities in the human body require the participation of selenium. For example, it participates in the synthesis of DNA, regulates the metabolism of thyroid hormones, etc., and selenium has anti-oxidation and immune-enhancing functions.


Generally speaking, there is no shortage of selenium in the human body. There may be three types of people who are deficient in selenium: HIV carriers, patients who have undergone renal dialysis, and people who live in places where selenium is deficient for a long time. If you need to find out whether your body lacks selenium, you need to go to the hospital for a detailed test to determine.




Do not over-supplement selenium

Since the human body cannot synthesize selenium, we mainly supplement selenium through diet. However, although selenium has a lot of uses, you can’t be smart and make up too much.

Because the range between the beneficial amount and the toxic amount of selenium is the narrowest among all trace elements, if you add too much, it is easy to lead to selenium poisoning , which is manifested as nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, nails, irritability, etc. In severe cases, breathing difficulties, kidney failure and other symptoms may occur.


Under normal circumstances, the body’s daily intake of 50-200 micrograms of selenium is sufficient . So, how much more increases the risk of selenium poisoning? Selenium poisoning may occur when adults consume more than 400 micrograms of selenium or more than 800 micrograms per day for a week, and children who consume more than 180 or 360 micrograms of selenium.


Once selenium is excessive, the absorption of manganese in the human body will be affected, and manganese deficiency may bring some new effects. Don’t blindly supplement, just control it within a reasonable and scientific dose range .




Nutrition experts: 3 kinds of foods are big selenium-containing foods

Since selenium is supplemented through daily diet, which foods contain more selenium, and can people who need selenium supplement eat more? Nutritionist Peng Xinrui once said that there are three foods that contain more selenium.


1. Animal offal

Chicken liver, pig liver and other animal offal are rich in selenium, and those who need selenium can eat it properly. However, it should be noted that since animal viscera is a detoxification organ, be careful not to overdose when eating, eat 1-2 times a month, and each time does not exceed 100g.


2. Seafood

In addition to being rich in protein and unsaturated fatty acids, seafood such as fish, shrimp, and crabs are also the main source of selenium. You can eat 45-75g per day.


3. Red lean meat

Compared with fatty meat, lean meat such as pork, mutton, and beef are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and have sufficient nutrients such as selenium, iron, and protein. They can also be eaten properly, but should not exceed 75g a day.

All in all, selenium is an essential nutrient for the human body, and selenium deficiency can bring about a series of health problems. However, there is no need to deliberately supplement selenium, as long as a balanced diet can basically meet the body’s requirements for selenium.










[1] “Nature: Selenium, an essential trace element for the human body, is actually a poison for cancer cells, and American scientists discover the Achilles heel of cancer cells”. Biology World. 2020-07-15

[2] “Does this rumored “anti-cancer star” really have miraculous effects or is it to deceive an “IQ tax”?. Medical Endocrinology Channel. 2020-08-01

[3] “Selenium is known as an “anti-cancer element”, and 3 kinds of foods are rich in selenium, and you should eat one or two of them every day!

Is trace element selenium really the poison for cancer cells?

(source:internet, reference only)

Disclaimer of

Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.