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The Relevance of Selenium to Immunity, Cancer, and Infectious/Inflammatory Diseases *

Selenium is an essential trace element involved in several key metabolic activities via selenoproteins, enzymes that are essential to protect against oxidative damage and to regulate immune function. Selenium also may have other health benefits unrelated to its enzymatic functions. It may provide important health benefits to people whose oxidative stress loads are high, such as those with inflammatory or infectious diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or who are at high risk for cancers, particularly prostate cancer. Some studies have generated compelling evidence that selenium is beneficial, either alone or in conjunction with other micronutrients. Additional data from large clinical trials that provide the highest level of evidence will be key to determining the benefits accrued at various selenium intake levels. When the strength of the evidence becomes sufficient, clinical health professionals will need to use dietary and clinical assessment methods to ensure that people at increased risk for cancer or inflammatory and infectious diseases can be appropriately advised about selenium intake.

Le sélénium est un oligoélément essentiel qui intervient dans plusieurs activités métaboliques clés par l'intermédiaire des sélénoprotéines, enzymes indispensables à la protection contre les lésions oxydatives et à la régulation de la fonction immunitaire. Le sélénium peut également apporter d'autres bienfaits pour la santé non liés à ses fonctions enzymatiques. Il peut être bénéfique pour les personnes dont le stress oxydatif est élevé, notamment celles qui souffrent de maladies inflammatoires ou infectieuses, telle l'arthrite rhumatoïde ou l'infection par le VIH, ou qui sont à risque élevé de cancer, entre autres de la prostate. Des études ont fourni des preuves concluantes que le sélénium est bénéfique, seul ou en combinaison avec d'autres micronutriments. Des données supplémentaires provenant de vastes essais cliniques qui fourniraient le niveau le plus élevé de preuves scientifiques seront essentielles pour déterminer les bienfaits correspondant à divers niveaux d'apport en sélénium. Lorsque les preuves seront suffisantes, les professionnels de la santé devront utiliser des méthodes d'évaluation diététique et clinique pour s'assurer que les personnes à risque élevé de cancer ou de maladies inflammatoires ou infectieuses reçoivent des conseils appropriés quant à l'apport en sélénium.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-11-2008
Authors: Milly Ryan-Harshman, PhD, RD1, Walid Aldoori, MB, BCh, MPA, ScD2