2007, Volume 13 No. 1

ARTICLE 10

Selenium: More Than Just a Micronutrient Mineral

Nasar Alwahaibi and Jamaludin Mohamed
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ABSTRACT
Selenium is a micronutrient mineral found mainly in soils. Studies on selenium have increased rapidly worldwide especially after it has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in humans and animals. The exact mechanism of action on how selenium inhibits diseases, in particular cancer, is still unknown. To date, the use of selenium in preventing or treating diseases is limited. However, many aspects about the biochemistry of selenium have been identified. This article reviews a number of key clinical, experimental and epidemiological studies on selenium as an anti-carcinogenic agent for some types of cancers. Some nutritional information on selenium and its recommended intake are also included. More clinical and experimental studies are needed to confirm previous findings on the role of selenium as an anticarcinogenic agent.


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