Higher blood levels of selenium may reduce the incidence of skin cancer by about 60%

May 13, 2009

Dutch and Australian researchers from Queensland Institute of Medical Research, the University of Queensland, and Maastricht University report that the mineral Selenium was associated with big reductions in the risk of both basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Dr. Jolieke van der Pols and her co-workers examined 485 adults randomly sampled and the researchers noted an association between selenium levels and protection from both forms of cancer. The highest average selenium levels of between 1.3 and 2.8 micromoles per litre were associated with a 57% reduction in the incidence of BCC, and a 64% reduction in the incidence of SCC, compared to the lowest average selenium levels of between 0.4 and 1.0 micromoles per litre. “Relatively high serum selenium concentrations are associated with an approximately 60 per cent decrease in subsequent tumour incidence of both BCC and SCC,” wrote the researchers. The study is published in the April 2009 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.