Selenium Yeast: A Potent Yet Inexpensive Ally for Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy

Views 2675

Conventional chemotherapy treatments are notoriously toxic, and may even accelerate the demise of the patient due to untold side effects whose side effects can be lethal. Could pennies a day of this basic mineral of which 1 in 7 people on the planet are deficient ameliorate the adverse effects while improving outcomes?

A new study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences has demonstrated the ability of an exceedingly small dose of the essential mineral selenium (1/5th a milligram) in the form of selenium yeast to substantially reduce adverse effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients, while improving quality of life and pain levels. Selenium is an essential dietary mineral, but up to a billion people worldwide may be deficient.1 Common dietary sources are brazil nuts. As an integral component of antioxidants and immune function, ensuring adequate selenium intake supports the body's defenses against the impact of both cancer and conventional treatments like chemotherapy.2

The featured study assessed whether supplementing cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy with selenium yeast could mitigate common side effects. 86 patients were either provided 200 micrograms (mcg) of selenium yeast per day or no supplement. Selenium yeast significantly reduced overall adverse reactions by 23.26%. This included better protection of the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow, which bear the brunt of chemotherapy toxicity. Patients also maintained their appetite better, had less pain and improved quality of life compared to the unsupplemented group.3

The implications are clear: for just pennies a day, selenium yeast could help reinforce patients against collateral damage from necessary conventional treatments. Chemotherapy aims to destroy cancer cells, but also damages healthy tissue leading to immediate suffering and long-term consequences.4 Multiple nutrients like selenium help strengthen normal tissue resilience.5 While some chemotherapy side effects are almost inevitable, tailored nutrient support can profoundly shape one's experience of treatment.6

The study also highlights how nutrients play complex roles in cancer initiation and development. Selenium is required for antioxidant activity which counters oxidative damage that can trigger malignancy.7 However, in established cancer its actions become more nuanced; higher selenium levels diminish tumor cell proliferation yet cancer tissue retains selenium more avidly than healthy tissue.8 This exemplifies how details matter when assessing nutritional supplementation for cancer patients. Selenium status, dosage and forms interact with individual genetics and lifestyle factors, making personalized fine-tuning essential rather than overtly suppressing or stimulating selenium levels.9 Here, a moderate dose of 200mcg selenium yeast offered advantages without evidence of toxicity.

In totality, this addition of selenium yeast to patients' protocols enhanced effectiveness of chemotherapy while reducing adverse events. Coupled with diet and lifestyle optimizations, evidence-based targeted supplementation promises to ease the cancer journey for patients who choose conventional treatments. Nutrients cannot replace necessary medical therapies, but can make their toll more tolerable by supporting the foundation of health– the innate resilience encoded in our cells.

NOTE: This article is intended to effectuate change in the way that conventional oncologists practice their standard of care, given that few are aware or have been educated to the fact that there are a wide range of integrative or complementary approaches that will mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, and improve outcomes for those electing to use these approaches. That said, the founder of Sayer Ji's work, as extensively documented on his website, along with his international best-selling book REGENERATE: Unlocking Your Body's Radical Resilience Through The New Biology, focuses mostly on the subject of prevention and alternative treatment of cancer, through the lens of the critical role that cancer stem cells play in both carcinogenesis and the failure of conventional approaches to produce satisfactory outcomes. For alternative, natural approaches to cancer treatment, consult's largest database on the subject -- CANCERS: ALL -- which presently contains over 13,000 studies across over 1,000 natural substances.


1. Steinbrenner, Holger. "Selenium and Selenoproteins in Health and Disease-A Review." Antioxidants 10.10 (2021): 1521.

2. Kieliszek, Marek, and Stanisław Błażejak. "Current knowledge on the importance of selenium in food for living organisms: a review." Molecules 22.5 (2017): 609.

3. Chen, Mo, et al. "The effect of selenium yeast in the prevention of adverse reactions related to platinum-based combination therapy in patients with malignant tumors." European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 27 (2023): 10499-10506.

4. Stankovic, Jelena S. Kostic, et al. "Antioxidant supplementation in the treatment of neurotoxicity induced by platinum-based chemotherapeutics--a review." International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21.19 (2020): 7753.

5. Cominetti, Cristiane. "Nutritional strategies to modulate intracellular pathways in cancer prevention and treatment." Nutrition 62 (2020): 110786.

6. Gialeli, Christina, Achilleas D. Theocharis, and Nikos K. Karamanos. "Roles of matrix metalloproteinases in cancer progression and their pharmacological targeting." The FEBS journal 278.1 (2011): 16-27.

7. Meplan, Catherine. "Trace elements and cancer: a review of human studies and the use of selenium enrichment." Nutrients 12.3 (2020): 747.

8. Vinceti, Marco, et al. "Selenium for preventing cancer." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 3 (2018).

9. Fairweather-Tait, Susan J., et al. "Selenium in human health and disease." Antioxidants & redox signaling 14.7 (2011): 1337-1383.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Key Research Topics

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2024, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.