Dr. Richard Donaldson of the St. Louis Veterans’ Administration Hospital conducted a clinical trial with terminally ill cancer patients. He found that when he could raise the patients’ blood levels of selenium into the normal range, their pain and tumor sizes were often reduced. In a 140 patient study of cancer victims treated with selenium, Dr. Donaldson reported in 1983 that some patients deemed terminal with only weeks to live were completely free of all signs of cancer after four years; all the patients showed a reduction in tumor size and in pain.
A diet rich in selenium protects against cancers of the stomach, breast, esophagus, lung, prostate, colon, and rectum. According to Dr. Harold Foster death rates in the USA for cancer are lower when blood selenium levels are high. One important study found that high blood levels of selenium is associated with a four- to fivefold decrease in the risk of prostate cancer.
Selenium improves mitochondrial function even in the absence of oxidative stress. Selenium has beneficial effects of endogenous antioxidant activity via GPx, restoration of mitochondrial function and stimulation of biogenesis, and may also reduce oxidative stress driven inflammation. Selenium protects neurons against hypoxic/ischemic damage by reducing oxidative stress, restoring mitochondrial functional activities and stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis.
Selenium is essential for our immune system to function at optimal performance as it has a direct relationship to cells adaptive cellular capacity.