Selenium-Enriched Dairy Protein May Regulate Risk Of Cancer [New Study]

Selenium-Enriched Dairy Protein May Regulate The Risk Of Developing Cancer Suggests A New Study From Australia

According to the new data, selenium-enriched dairy proteins had an effect on selenium-dependent proteins (SeP, GPx-1, and GPx-2) raising the potential for selenium supplementation to directly influence the risk for colorectal disease.

“The present study indicates for the first time that gene expression is significantly regulated by dietary selenium supplementation…furthermore, regulation depends on the source/form of dietary selenium supplementation; dairy-selenium had a more sustained effect,” report the researchers.

Researchers report that selenium-enriched yeast did not have the same effect as the selenium-dairy on certain selenium-dependent proteins reported to have anti-cancer activity.

There are an estimated 945,000 new cases of colorectal every year, with about 492,000 deaths from the cancer each year.

Selenium and Cancer

Selenium is a trace element that occurs naturally in the soil and is absorbed by plants and crops, from where it enters the human food chain—either directly or through consumption of meat and other products from grazing animals.

The mineral is included in between 50 and 100 different proteins in the body, with multifarious roles including building heart muscles and healthy sperm. However, cancer prevention remains one of the major benefits of selenium, and it is the only mineral that qualifies for a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved qualified health claim for general cancer reduction incidence.

Europe Levels Lower Than America

The study is of added importance in Europe where selenium levels have been falling since the EU imposed levies on wheat imports from the US, where soil selenium levels are high.

As a result, average intake of selenium in the UK has fallen from 60 to 34 micrograms per day, leading to calls from some to enrich soil and fertilizers with selenium to boost public consumption. Selenium-enriched fertilizers are used in Finland.

The European recommended daily intake (RDI) is 65 micrograms. The recommended EC Tolerable Upper Intake Level for selenium is 300 micrograms per day.

In an email to, Dr Graeme McIntosh from Flinders University of South Australia and co-author of the study, said: “A highlight of this study…builds a case for why higher than RDA levels may have cancer preventing potential in an Australian population,” added Dr McIntosh.

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