Supplements and Herbs (XXXI)

On selenium and cancer

Incl. 10-year study showing selenium reduces cancer incidence and mortality

copyright © January 2009 & 2015 Healing Cancer Naturally

The following information "tidbits" on the nonmetallic trace element selenium have been compiled, excerpted and translated by Healing Cancer Naturally from various sources, including a German lecture held by Dietrich Klinghardt M.D., Ph.D.[4]. They are meant as a complement to the ample information already provided on selenium in a number of other websites.

While elements such as mercury, lead and aluminum apparently have no physiological function in the body (meaning that even small amounts have negative physiological effects), selenium is a trace element needed to perform certain functional roles as well as credited with various healing benefits. Used as a supplement, selenium (similar to some other metals) reputedly has a narrow physiological range which means that there is only a small step from a therapeutic dose to one that is toxic, i.e. an overdose (this in contrast to magnesium for instance which boasts a wide physiological range and hence is less easy to overdose). In fact, selenium just like the better known arsenic has been used to kill.

A private letter received by Healing Cancer Naturally reports the following selenium testimonials

“A farmer in Western Australia sent home to die with a prostate cancer metastasised to the bones cured himself with massive doses of selenium.
It was actually a drench for stock; it costs AUS$ 24 for 5 litres.
One of my neighbours in Babinda who had exactly the same case heard of the story and tried it. His PSA is now 0.2.
We tried the same dose for my wife’s colon cancer for nearly a year and it did nothing for her though she never showed any selenium toxicity.
This is what made me think that what is good for a prostate cancer may not be so for a colon cancer.
Dr Sartori[1] uses massive doses by IV and has cured cancer in 12 days. His patients who die actually die due to other causes than cancer, such as liver failure or heart failure or other things.”

On selenium & prostate cancer risk

The Journal of Urology (December 2001;166:2034-8) featured a study by Stanford University scientists measuring the blood levels of selenium in 52 men with prostate cancer and 96 men without the disease.

In addition to finding that "blood levels of selenium generally decreased with age", it was found that high selenium levels were "associated with a four- to fivefold decrease in the risk of prostate cancer" (compare JAMA study results below).

Epidemiologic evidence

The 1995 "Harvard Health Letter" article Green Revolution - Cancer-Fighting Foods writes: "Selenium is being actively studied by epidemiologists and basic scientists with mixed results. Interest was sparked by epidemiologic evidence that population groups with higher selenium intakes have less cancer than those who consume little of this trace mineral. ... further epidemiologic investigations have found little or no protective effect in humans. Some researchers believe that selenium may work best as an anti-cancer agent in concert with phytochemicals or antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin C.” 

10-year JAMA study: selenium reduces both cancer incidence and mortality

The December 25, 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association carried a landmark paper by Colditz GA. et al. titled "Selenium and cancer prevention. Promising results indicate further trials required". Over a ten-year period, the researchers had observed a dramatic reduction in both cancer rates and mortality in their 1,312 randomized test subjects (aged 18-80), corroborating previous selenium studies demonstrating tumor growth inhibition and apoptosis stimulation, as well as epidemiologic studies showing lowered cancer rates in populations with higher dietary selenium intake.

While the test group received a 200 mcg organic selenium compound, the placebo group was given a tablet which looked the same but contained no selenium. Result: fewer cancer diagnoses and cancer deaths over 10 years in the test group

The selenium-supplemented group showed in fact a 46% lower incidence of lung cancer[2], a 58% reduction in colorectal cancers and a whopping 63% drop in prostate cancer. There was a 37% reduction in all cancers combined.

The cancer mortality in the supplemented group dropped by half (50%).

The researchers were bold enough to conclude that their results "support the hypothesis that selenium supplementation inhibits late-stage promotion and progression of tumors."

Eminent holistic physician Dr. Klinghardt on selenium

(translated by Healing Cancer Naturally from a German lecture held in April 2003 at the ETH Zurich)

“Most people lack selenium and require it to successfully detoxify. If too much selenium is administered [during mercury detoxification etc.], mercury will be fixated in the brain and in the tissues. Selenium has a narrow therapeutical range, in other words one easily gets into the toxic range where the patient will suffer from selenium poisoning.

In the presence of selenium, viruses are unable to multiply. So I give selenium less for detoxification purposes than for stopping viral replication. And here is a tip for you: nearly every cancer can be stopped by giving large amounts of selenium. The crux is to find the narrow range between poisoning the patient with selenium and giving too little, where it won’t work. The best of course is to use kinesiological muscle testing to determine the needed amount.”

Dr. Emanuel Revici

According to his "biographer" Kelley Eidem (who wrote a book about Dr. Revici's successful work with cancer[3]), Dr. Revici also gave his patients a small amount of selenium methionine (aka selenomethionine, i.e. organic selenium bound to the amino acid methionine) and this regardless of their anabolic or catabolic imbalance (a central tenet in Revici's work) because he found that at the genetic level, the cancer activity was always anabolic. Eidem comments that this selenium supplementation is an important key to defeating cancer entirely with a tremendous effect at the genetic level. Since Dr Revici didn't specify the amounts to take and "too much is as bad as not enough", Kelley Eidem suggests taking 100 mcgs. daily in the late afternoon. He adds that "Higher doses might spill over into higher levels of biological organization which might not be helpful if the person were catabolic" (the meaning of the latter would become clear when reading his book on Dr. Revici's work).[3]

Selenium leading to brain poisoning in dental amalgam victims?

The following observations and/or statements have been gleaned from the autobiography of German toxicologist Dr Dr Max Daunderer and are added here as food for thought and discussion, not as "absolute truth".

According to Dr Daunderer, selenium must never be used by people carrying mercury amalgam fillings.

Selenium has a high affinity for mercury, methylating (binding) it and forming mercury selenide which is able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Mercury selenide irreversibly settles in the brain where it creates immediate symptoms of brain toxicity including extreme nervousness. Daunderer was able to study this intensely in the 1990s in dentists taking selenium as a "miracle drug" against their mercury toxicity. Their most important symptoms were tremors, as well as memory and fertility problems.

Mercury selenide in large amounts also settles in the jaw bones and fatty organ tissues where it leads to organ damage.

Once shifted to the brain, only minimal quantities of mercury selenide can be dislodged using very high doses of DMPS/DMSA (chelating agents), with applications spaced widely apart, but only after the poison has had ample time to wreak havoc in the brain.

The observed low selenium levels in the blood led to the fallacious idea ot linking low selenium levels to cancer risk. In truth it's the high mercury levels in the organs which promote cancer rather than the low selenium levels.

Low selenium levels are a protective measure taken by a body suffering from amalgam toxicity to defend the brain against being poisoned with selenium and the metal bound to it, i.e. an effort at minimising the toxic onslaught on the brain. In fact, low levels of selenium furnish the indirect proof of metal toxicity.

Selenium cannot prevent cancer, it's actually cancerogenic. Dr Daunderer saw four laboratory assistants working in the beer industry who used selenium to precipitate protein and who had developed nose cancer from breathing in minimal amounts under the extractor hood.

Administering selenium in any form promotes cancer in amalgam patients.

Low levels of selenium normalise simply by removing the offending metals and thus considerably lower cancer risk.

Additionally, other agents such as glutathione and vitamins will also accelerate the above type of organ damage. Daunderer writes that this can be easily proven by the fact that none of these therapies lead to increased elimination of toxins while organ damage as shown in MRI and PET scans rapidly increases.

Doctors have killed several patients with selenium injections.

Supplementing with selenium?

As the above examples show, supplementing with high selenium doses could be risky unless done under the supervision of a very knowledgeable person (in which scenario it could be highly therapeutic).

To increase selenium intake, personally I would not go for isolated supplements (or use them only for jump-starting purposes), both for reasons of bioavailability and the fact that minerals act synergistically and need to be ingested in balanced ratios to avoid them "cancelling" each other (not to mention the above-discussed potential toxicity of “overdosed” selenium). Natural food sources rich in minerals and trace elements are for instance seaweed (watch out for heavy metals pollution) as well as organically grown food. Brazil nuts are considered one of the richest natural sources of selenium.

Healing Cancer Naturally regards minerals and trace elements and the ubiquitous lack of them as a major player in cancer genesis and healing, see Minerals.


1 H. E. Sartori, M.D. is the author of the book entitled: "Cancer - Orwellian or Utopian". More on Dr. Sartori's use of cesium therapy (which includes the administration of selenium salts) in Cesium Chloride (High pH Therapy): A Cure for Cancer?

2 Selenium supplementation actually lowered lung cancer risk more than giving up smoking.

3 More on Eidem's Revici book under Kelley Eidem's recipe: habanero peppers, garlic, ginger plus emulsified cod liver oil or evening primrose oil to “balance your metabolism” (Dr. Emanuel Revici).

4 Dr. Klinghardt among other subjects specialises in effective holistic heavy metal detoxification, particularly mercury.

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