Selenium in the Prevention of Malignant Tumors
DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2019.0291-0293german translation / full article
QuestionIn family practice we are repeatedly confronted with patients who read “healing prophecies“ such as “Selenium prevents cancer“ in magazines and health advertisements. What is the truth behind these messages? Are there reliable clinical studies that investigated the effectiveness of selenium in the prevention of malignant disease?AnswerRegular food supplements with selenium should not be recommended. In spite of a possible epidemiological relationship between selenium levels and the incidence of cancer, a positive effect of selenium supplementation could not be shown in high quality clinical trials. Selenium supplementation neither prevents cancer nor cancer death. A negative effect regarding an increased risk to develop diabetes mellitus type 2 cannot be ruled out with certainty.