Selenium & B-Vitamin Shown to Reduce Colon Cancer Risk. Hi, I am Dr. James Meschino. I want to tell you about a study here in 2009; that was very impressive. It showed that people that had higher intake levels of the mineral selenium and the B vitamin folic acid were associated with a fifty percent reduction in colon cancer incidence. Now the paper was entitled Selenium, folate and colon cancer. It was published in 2009 in the International Journal of Nutrition and Cancer. The authors were Connelly Frost and fellow researchers and were published through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
What is interesting about this is that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have published other very impressive research papers showing their preventative effects of selenium on colorectal cancer. So in this particular study, there was a very large population based case-control study as they call it; that included as part of a study almost seventeen hundred subjects that had already been diagnosed with colon cancer. Here’s what the results showed. That individual with blood selenium levels that were above 140 µgm/l and also had folic acid intakes each day about 354 µgm; these individuals showed a fifty percent reduction in risk of having colon cancer than people that had lower intake levels and lower blood levels are got accordingly. So to get your selenium levels above 140 µgm per day, that's what you want to do-140 µgm/l rather. You pretty much have to take a supplement that has about a 100 µgm a day of this selenium in it and then you're getting about another 50-70 µgm a day for food in most cases but that's how it actually gets done. The average individual gets folic acid only about 109 µ gm a day folic acid from food.
You need to get above 354 µ gm to get the protective effect that was shown in this study. So most of the individuals who are getting that much folic acid are also getting it from food and supplementation. No previous studies have shown that both selenium and folic acid have a preventative effect on colorectal cancer; this is not the first time we've seen results like this. So this is one of the reasons why I put a 100 µgm a selenium into the adeeva multiple vitamin and mineral and why I put the 400 µgm of folic acid into that same supplement because it's something I want to have in my own body every day. Now here's how we think it works; selenium when you put it in at least higher dosages, some of this selenium gets metabolize into these byproducts called methylated selenium by-products, that have been shown experimentally to directly kill certain cancer cells that are emerging or getting them to commit suicide, so they don't become a threat to the rest of the organism; and slow down the rate at which certain cancer cells can divide, so the immune cells can get there in any sort of knock them out.
Selenium also activates a very important antioxidant enzyme in the body known as glutathione peroxides; we think this may be an additional factor. Now folic acid, what it does the cells of dividing from one generation to the next, folic acid is needed for the cells to make the new template of DNA, in order to have the proper genetic material. If the folic acid levels are sub-optimal, and for a lot of people they are; people who are not supplementing its often low, then the DNA doesn't form very well. You have what called a hypomethylation; the DNA is very fragile and weak, it can break very easily or substitutions can occur and can lead to mutations and those mutations can lead to cancer. Now because colon cells are dividing so rapidly they don't live that long, so they're always replacing themselves.
Any folic acid deficiency can easily manifest in genetic mutations in the colon and increased risk of colorectal cancer. And that's important because colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada and the United States, after lung cancer which is the first leading cause. So the National Cancer Institute in other researches over the years have shown us that ninety percent of all colorectal cancer we think is directly related to the faulty dietary lifestyle practices and therefore it's preventable if you put the right strategies in place. We think selenium and folic acid supplementation, maybe, part of this very intelligent prudent strategy to be using.
So what I’d like you to do after this video is over, is to see the copy below for the overall lifestyle strategy you might want to be thinking about in terms of colon cancer prevention according to the body of evidence that we have so far. It really does appear that the protective intake levels of selenium and folic acid are part of the story, but other nutrients also have emerged as important factors in colon cancer prevention, that I’d like you to know about.