Wednesday, April 13, 2011 by: John Phillip
There are twelve selenoproteins of which five are considered essential and seven are known to be nonessential to human health. Interestingly, an analysis of the available studies concludes that it is the nonessential selenoprotein availability and concentration that may be the most important in determining optimal health or progression toward chronic illness. Dr. Ames found that “among all selenoproteins, dysfunction of those that are nonessential is likely to be the major contributor to increased disease risk due to selenium deficiency.”
Selenium in its various forms is required for the proper formation and folding of 50 to 100 different proteins that perform a wide variety of functions throughout the body. Extensive research confirms the critical nature of selenium in the prevention of cancer as it supports normal immune function to halt aberrant cell growth. Information published in the journal Biochemistry found that there are two types of selenium known as SeMet and MeSeCys that are processed differently to provide a chemo protective shield.
Researchers working to determine the ability of selenium to prevent breast cancer found that the MeSeCys form of selenium was significantly more effective in protecting against the insidious disease compared to the SeMet version of the mineral. The study found that breast cancer cells processed the two different forms of selenium differently leading to the protective nature of the MeSeCys form.
Recommended daily intake levels of selenium are 55 mcg, making many people deficient due to poor soil conditions and inadequate diet. Nutrition experts recommend 200 mcg for optimal disease protection but don`t specify between MeSeCys or SeMet forms. Health-minded individuals will want to ensure a natural and organic diet to maximize their selenium intake and may want to consider supplementing with a broad-range selenium supplement to help prevent cancer and heart disease.