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Low Selenium Levels May be Linked to Risk of High Grade Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer for men. A recent study suggests that low blood levels of selenium may be associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer.


Participants in the study included 27,179 men who took part in the “Diet, Cancer and Health” study conducted by the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in 2007. Of those men, 784 had prostate cancer.


Of that study group, 525 men (or two thirds of the total) had advanced prostate cancer at the time of diagnose and 170 of that two thirds had a higher-grade of cancer. During the follow-up period that ran through 2012, 305 men died; 212 from prostate cancer.


After examining the data and comparing to controls, the researchers found an association between higher levels of selenium and a lower risk of higher grade prostate cancer. They did not find an association between selenium levels and risk of total and advanced prostate cancer.


Researchers from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 14, 2016, in the British Journal of Nutrition.


Selenium is an essential mineral that works as an antioxidant. Selenium is also the only mineral the FDA has approved for a qualified health claim for general cancer reduction incidence. Previous studies have shown that maintaining sufficient levels of selenium is important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and immune dysfunction.


Some foods rich in selenium are Brazil nuts, broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, sunflower seeds, walnuts, raisins, pork and fish.

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