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 Brazil Nuts & Prostate Cancer
  from :  http://www.cancerdecisions.com/121001.html

Free News Letter
For December 10, 2001


Selenium, Brazil Nuts and Prostate Cancer

In a new finding, high blood levels of the mineral selenium were associated with a four- to fivefold decrease in the risk of prostate cancer. Scientists at Stanford University suggest taking selenium supplements to ward off this most common form of cancer in men.

The California researchers studied 52 men who had prostate cancer and compared them to 96 men who didn't. Blood plasma levels of selenium were measured for years before any diagnosis of prostate cancer, according to a report in the December issue of The Journal of Urology {2001;166:2034-8}. One surprising finding was that blood levels of selenium generally decreased with age. As is well known, the risk of prostate cancer increases dramatically as one ages.

"This study showed that there was a direct connection between selenium and prostate cancer," said Dr. James Brooks, lead author of the study, in a university news release. "Older men with higher levels of selenium were at lower risk, while, conversely, "individuals with the lowest range of plasma selenium represent a population at risk for the development of prostate cancer."

"These results support the hypothesis that supplemental selenium may reduce the risk of prostate cancer," said Brooks. Other studies have shown that selenium is associated with a reduction in the risk of other cancers as well, including those in women.

The latest findings are dramatic. Selenium is easy to get and take, while prostate cancer can be devastating. But notice something else: in the past, important findings in the field of prevention were almost always followed by weasel-worded statements, such as "scientists do not recommend that people actually take food supplements."

This ringing endorsement of a dietary supplement, from a major university, certainly represents a welcome change. As author of Antioxidants Against Cancer (which has a chapter on selenium), I am hardly one to argue against taking supplements. However, I myself gag on the sulfurous odor of many selenium supplements. Instead, I eat Brazil nuts. Brazil Nuts (pictured above)

Adding Brazil nuts to your diet will help you reach the desired level of 200 micrograms (mcg) per day. Here is an important tip: one unshelled Brazil nut (the kind you must crack yourself) averages 100 mcg of selenium, according to Cornell Professor Donald J. Lisk. On the other hand, an already shelled Brazil nut averages 12 to 25 mcg. So, while you can reach your daily requirement with two freshly hulled Brazil nuts, it would take between 8 and 16 already-shelled nuts to reach that level.

There are other reasons to favor unshelled nuts. They are less likely to be contaminated by chemicals, odors or molds. Inspect the nuts carefully. Fresh Brazil nuts should be ivory white. If they have turned yellow, don't eat them. If you're not sure, take a nibble, and focus on the after-taste. It should be sweet, never bitter or rancid.

Keep all nuts in the refrigerator before using them. They can go rancid. One logistical problem is that Brazil nuts tend to cling tenaciously to their shells. There are various fixes for this. If you freeze the nuts, the meat comes away from the shell more easily. Crack them while frozen and then let them defrost before eating. A good nutcracker (with a roughened surface) and a metal nut pick are essential tools. Some sources recommended baking them at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes. I would avoid heating them, however, for fear of losing valuable nutrients.

Selenium can be toxic in relatively high doses. According to Dr. Lisk, the toxic dose is around 2,500 mcg per day. Also, people are occasionally allergic to Brazil nuts. Or the nuts may have become contaminated with peanuts in processing. If you have never eaten them before, start with a small bite and then proceed with caution. I myself have never had a problem with them. They are delicious.

After Brazil nuts, another good source of selenium is garlic. Everyone should try to average two cloves of fresh garlic per day. Other foods high in selenium are whole grains, sunflower seeds, other nuts, meat and seafood, especially swordfish, tuna and oysters. However you do it, try to make sure that you get your daily dose of 200 mcg of selenium. It could make a big difference.

Creation date: Oct 10, 2006 2:04 pm     Last modified date: Oct 10, 2006 2:04 pm   Last visit date: Sep 27, 2016 3:01 am     link & embed ?...
1 / 1000 comments
Oct 11, 2006  ( 1 comment )  
4:22 pm
Tom Carr (penpaint)
As some of you know, I credit my recovery from prostate cancer to selenium and green tea. Within 3 months of my starting this regimin, my PSA went from 10.5 down to zero, and it has stayed there for the past 10 years. Thanks be to God! Please feel free to contact me at penpaint@cox.net if you have any questions or would like to see a copy of my urologists report.  Tom Carr
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