Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral being tested in exciting and groundbreaking studies around the world for its anticancer and heart disease prevention properties.

A study conducted by Dr. Larry Clark, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) created quite a stir when it showed that over 1300 people given 200 mcg of yeast-based selenium per day for 4.5 years had a 50% drop in the cancer death rate compared to the placebo rate. Another study compared men who consumed the most selenium to men with the lowest levels and found that those consumed the most had 65% fewer cases of advanced prostate cancer than the other men tested.

The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and covering the next ten to fifteen years, is currently investigating 32000 men to look at the role of vitamin E and selenium in the prevention of prostate cancer. It is anticipated that these extensive long-term tests will confirm what other studies have found: that selenium is associated with a significantly reduced risk of prostate cancer.

Selenium is also essential for healthy immune functioning. Supplements have also reduced cases of viral hepatitis in selenium-deficient populations. Even in a non-deficient population of elderly people, selenium supplementation has been found to stimulate the activity of white blood cells – the primary components of the immune system. Selenium also activates thyroid hormones. In a double-blind trial, selenium supplementation of infertile men improved the motility of sperm cells and increased the chance of conception.

Your body can best use selenium when it’s in an organically bound yeast-based form – this way, even in high doses, it’s not toxic.