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Selenium May Provide Protection from Bladder Cancer

A large meta-analysis recently found that consuming more selenium may help reduce the risk of bladder cancer, especially among women.

The analysis was conducted by the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center. The findings were published in the August 2010 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Selenium is a trace mineral that is considered to be an antioxidant. It has been associated with a number of benefits including cancer prevention. This particular analysis looked into seven separate studies on selenium and bladder cancer risk.

The combined results of these seven studies showed a significant decrease in bladder cancer risk among study participants with higher levels of selenium. This protective effect was observed mainly among women.

The researchers say the findings probably result from gender-specific differences in selenium accumulation and secretion.

They noted that the accumulated data certainly suggests a protective effect but further studies are necessary to verify these preliminary findings.

Previous studies have also found a potential link between selenium and a slew of other health benefits including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, protection against mental decline due to age and metabolic syndrome.

Increasing consumption of foods rich in selenium such as cereals, legumes, animal products and nuts (particularly Brazil nuts) is a good way to boost selenium intake. Taking a high quality selenium supplement is also effective.

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