Selenium shows protective effect for bladder cancer prevention especially in women

September 03, 2010

A high intake of Selenium could have a beneficial effect on bladder cancer risk, according new research. A meta-analysis of seven previously published studies found that Selenium’s potential protective effect was seen mainly among women, which suggests gender-specific differences in selenium accumulation and excretion. “Results suggest a beneficial effect of high selenium intake for bladder cancer risk,” wrote the researchers, led by Dr Núria Malats, from the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center. "The lower the levels of selenium, the higher the risk of developing bladder cancer," said Dr. Malats.

     Selenium is an essential mineral that is an antioxidant. High levels of selenium have been associated with decreasing the risk of developing several cancers, including skin cancers, and cancers of the bladder, prostate and thyroid. The analysis found overall risk of bladder cancer was inversely associated with levels of selenium. A significant protective effect for selenium was seen mainly among women. The researchers suggest this may result from gender-specific differences in selenium accumulation and excretion.

“This meta-analysis supports an inverse association between selenium concentration and bladder cancer risk,” wrote the researchers.
Prof. Elizabeth A. Platz fromJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and editorial board member for Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention said: "These findings provide a valuable lead for what to do next to understand if there is a role for selenium supplementation in bladder cancer prevention." The study is published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.