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Selenium has a variety of functions. It helps make special proteins, called antioxidant enzymes, which play a role in preventing cell damage.

Some medical information suggests that selenium may help prevent certain cancers, but better studies are needed. There have also been mixed results regarding selenium's impact on cardiovascular disease.

Selenium seems to stimulate antibodies after you receive a vaccination. It also may help protect the body from the poisonous effects of heavy metals and other harmful substances. Selenium may boost fertility, especially among men. The mineral has been shown to improve the production of sperm and sperm movement.

Researchers believe this mineral seeks out and destroys cancer-causing free radicals before they have a chance to attack prostate cells. In multiple studies, scientists have determined that taking 200 micrograms (mcg) of selenium every day lowers the risk of prostate cancer by 49 percent. Lung and colorectal cancers also were notably lower in people taking 200 mcg of selenium daily, studies from the late 1980s and early 1990s found. Latest news: a University of Wisconsin, Madison, study found taking selenium with vitamin E worked better than either supplement alone to prevent prostate cancer.


  • Prostate cancer


  • One 200 mcg tablet from selenium yeast daily
  • Natural sources: Brazil nuts, meat

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Stomach acid medicines may increase your need for selenium
  • Statins. May reduce effectiveness
  • Vitamin C. May decrease absorption



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