More Evidence of Harm From Selenium in Prostate Cancer

A lot more Evidence of Harm From Selenium in Prostate Cancer
&quotBased on these findings, prostate cancer sufferers need to stay away from selenium dietary supplements,&quot she explained, &quotalthough even more investigation evaluating substantial-dose selenium intake is necessary to confirm our outcomes and inform clinical guidelines for prostate cancer …
Go through much more on Medscape

FDA, the Courts and Capitol Hill: Welcome to Supplement Law Weblog
Welcome to the Supplement Law Blog, a venue for the exploration of legal and regulatory problems affecting the business. In 1994, I was a skinny sophomore at Arizona State University who knew practically absolutely nothing about “natural merchandise&quot or dietary supplements.
Go through much more on Normal Products INSIDER

Feds warn towards quick excess weight reduction dietary supplements Slow, regular bodyweight reduction
DENVER — The Foods and Drug Administration is warning about fast excess weight loss dietary supplements just as millions of people consider on their new 12 months&#39s resolution to drop a handful of lbs. Authorities say a lot of “miracle” weight loss dietary supplements both don&#39t function or&nbsp…
Study a lot more on FOX31 Denver

Examine out bodyweight reduction supplements prior to purchasing
This time of 12 months means I&#39m producing resolutions. Like a lot of of you, I want to travel much more, work less and get back in shape. Many of us will flip to the health club, whilst other folks modify their diet programs. Many ads for dietary supplements involve phony &quotbefore and following&quot photos …
Read more on Victoria Advocate

Antioxidants Studies

As everyone knows, eating and drinking are necessary for life. Less well known, however, is the fact that the body generates what are called free radicals in the process of turning food into energy. Free radicals are chemicals that are capable of damaging cells and genetic material. But eating is not the only way free radicals spring into being. The food we eat and the sunlight we feel also generate free radicals.

To be sure, free radicals come in many shapes, sizes, and chemical configurations. The characteristic feature of this chemical is that it soaks up electrons from bodily substances that yield them, which can leave the “loser’s” structure or function radically altered. Free radical damage can change the instructions coded in a strand of DNA; it can also make a circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL, sometimes called bad cholesterol) molecule more likely to get trapped in an artery wall. Free radicals also have the potential to alter a cell’s membrane, changing the flow of what enters the cell and what leaves it.

Fortunately, we aren’t defenseless against free radicals. The body puts up natural defenses against free radicals by making molecules that smothers the errant chemicals. We also extract free-radical fighters from food. Often called “antioxidants”, certain kinds of food give electrons to free-radicals without themselves turning into electron-scavenging substances. There are many different substances that can act as antioxidants. The most familiar ones are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other related carotenoids, along with the minerals selenium and manganese. They’re joined by glutathione, coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, flavonoids, phenols, polyphenols, phytoestrogens, and many more.

However, the term “antioxidant” can be misleading. These substances do not emit chemical properties that fight so much as they emit properties that facilitate. Indeed, some substances that act as antioxidants in one situation may be prooxidants—electron grabbers—in a different chemical milieu. Another big misconception is that antioxidants are interchangeable. This is not true. Each anti-oxidant has unique chemical behaviors and biological properties. It is believed, and has been strongly corroborated through scientific study, that anti-oxidants evolved as parts of elaborate networks, each substance having a different role to play. It follows that no single substance can fulfill the function of every other substance.

Health Benefits of Antioxidants: What’s the Buzz?

Antioxidants came to public attention in the 1990s. It was then that scientists began to understand that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis, and that the chemicals may contribute to cancer, vision loss, and a host of other chronic conditions. A number of studies stated that people with low intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables were at greater risk for developing these chronic conditions than were people who ate sufficient amounts fruits and vegetables. Clinical trials tested the impact of single substances, especially beta-carotene and vitamin E, on cancer, heart disease, and similar maladies. But even before the results of these trials were in, the media, and the dietary supplement and food industries began promoting the benefits of “antioxidants.” Foods such as frozen berries and green tea were hyped as being rich in antioxidants. The consequences of this publicity were predictable: certain foods were labeled as rich in antioxidants and were marketed as such in stores; the makers of dietary supplements began touting the disease-fighting properties of all sorts of antioxidants.

In the meantime, the results of the actual trials were mixed. Most have not found the hoped-for benefits. And research teams reported that vitamin E and other antioxidant supplements didn’t protect against heart disease or cancer. One study even showed that taking beta-carotene may actually increase the chances of developing lung cancer in smokers. However, some of the trials reported benefits. One such study found that taking beta-carotene is associated with a modest reduction in the rate of cognitive decline.

The rather most, if not downright disappointing, results of the antioxidant trials have not stopped the commercial interests from misrepresenting the benefits of antioxidants in order to make money. Antioxidant supplements are a $500 million dollar industry that continues to grow. Antioxidants are still added to breakfast cereals, sports bars, energy drinks, and other processed foods, and they are promoted as additives that can prevent heart disease, cancer, cataracts, memory loss, and a host of other conditions. The claims made by the food and dietary supplement industries often distort the data. It is true that the package of antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and other substances found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help prevent a variety of chronic diseases; but there is no solid evidence that high doses of antioxidants can accomplish the same feat. The conclusion is clear: randomized, placebo-controlled trials—which, when performed well, provide the strongest evidence—offer little support that taking vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, or other single antioxidants provides substantial protection against heart disease, cancer, or other chronic conditions. The results of the largest such trials have been mostly negative.

Heart Disease and Antioxidants

Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other so-called antioxidants are not a panacea for heart disease and should not be promoted as such. In the Women’s Health Study, 39,876 initially healthy women took 600 IU of natural source vitamin E or a placebo every other day for 10 years. The results of the study showed that the rates of major cardiovascular events and cancer were no lower among those taking vitamin E than they were among those taking the placebo; however, a 24 percent reduction in total cardiovascular mortality was observed, which can be considered a quite significant result.

Earlier large vitamin E trials, conducted among individuals with previously diagnosed coronary disease or at high risk for it, generally showed no benefit. In the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial, the rates of major cardiovascular events were essentially the same in the vitamin E (21.5 percent) and placebo (20.6 percent) groups, although participants taking vitamin E had higher risks of heart failure and hospitalization for heart failure. (3) Another trial, the Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto Miocardico (GISSI), showed mixed results; there were no preventive effects after more than three years of treatment with vitamin E among 11,000 heart attack survivors. Nevertheless, some studies suggest potential benefits among certain subgroups. A recent trial of vitamin E in Israel, for example, showed a marked reduction in coronary heart disease among people with type 2 diabetes who have a common genetic predisposition for greater oxidative stress. In any case, Beta-carotene, as was shown in the Physicians’s Health Study, does not provide any protection against heart disease or stroke.

There have been combinations, but the findings are complicated and unclear. In the Supplementation en Vitamins et Mineraux Antioxydants (SU.VI.MAX) study, 13,017 French men and women took a single daily capsule that contained 120 milligrams of vitamin C, 30 milligrams of vitamin E, 6 milligrams of beta-carotene, 100 micrograms of selenium, and 20 milligrams of zinc, or a placebo, for seven and a half years. The vitamins had no effect on overall rates of cardiovascular disease. In the Women’s Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study, vitamin E, vitamin C, and/or beta-carotene had much the same effect as a placebo on myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, or cardiovascular death, although there was a modest and significant benefit for vitamin E among women with existing cardiovascular disease.

Cancer and Antioxidants

There is also no conclusive proof that antioxidants help prevent cancer. Scientists need more time to determine the impact of antioxidants on the risk of getting cancer. In the long-term Physicians’ Health Study, cancer rates were similar among men taking beta-carotene and among those taking a placebo. Other trials have also largely showed no effect, including HOPE. The SU.VI.MAX trial showed a reduction in cancer risk and all-cause mortality among men taking an antioxidant cocktail but no apparent effect in women; it is possible that this is a result of the men in the study having low blood levels of beta-carotene at its beginning. A randomized trial of selenium in people with skin cancer demonstrated significant reductions in cancer and cancer mortality at various sites, including colon, lung, and prostate. The effects were strongest among those with low selenium levels at baseline.

Age-Related Eye Disease and Antioxidants

The effects of antioxidants on age-related eye disease may be one of the most hopeful leads scientists have. A six-year trial, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), found that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc provided some protection against the development of advanced age-related macular degeneration in people who were at high risk of the disease. Lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, may also protect vision. It is too early to tell what the impact of lutein supplements may be. The trials of such substances have been relatively short, and their ability to slow or prevent age-related macular degeneration has not been ascertained. A new trial of the AREDS supplement regimen plus lutein, zeaxanthin, and fish oil is underway, and it could yield better information.

Potential Hazards of Antioxidants

There have been a few studies which showed that the consumption of antioxidants, as opposed to being beneficial in all instances or at least harmless in fact can interfere with the health of the consumer. The first trial which showed this possible negative effect was undertaken in Finland where heavy smokers were fed beta-carotene. Because of their smoking habits there was a already a lung cancer risk but it was noticed that a significant increase in the incidence of lung cancer amongst the trial group as opposed to the placebo. The trial was stopped so conclusive results are hard to deduce.

A different test which was conducted with heavy smokers exposed to asbestos being fed beta-carotene and vitamin A. This too shows an increase in the incidence of Lung cancer. It must be emphasized that not all trials of Beta-carotene have been negative. A physicians health study which only had a few smokers did not show any significant differences even when followed up after 18 years.

In a separate study showing possible negative effects of a variety of health supplements showed a higher incidence of skin cancer in women being fed supplements of Vitamins C & E, Beta-carotene, selenium and zinc.

Conclusions to be drawn from the above studies, amongst others, is that it is known that although free radicals have been shown to contribute to the incidence of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and even vision loss, there is no automatic conclusion that can be drawn that antioxidants will fix the problem. And certainly not when consumed away from their normal context.

Studies to date do not show conclusive evidence one way or another but there is certainly no strong evidence to suggest that antioxidants are effective against disease. A rider must be mentioned and that is that the trials conducted till now have been short in duration, conducted with people some of whom had an existing disease.

There has been a noticeable benefit to the consumption of beta-carotene on cognitive ability after 18 years. This is exceptional as it is the only study to have continued so long. (Physicians health follow up study) Nevertheless there is abundant evidence suggests that eating whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—all rich in networks of antioxidants and their helper molecules—provides protection against many of these scourges of aging.

Clarification with regard to supplemental studies

There are any number of studies conducted on any number of vitamins and other dietary supplements that are often contradictory. The picture presented to the consumer is confusing and will often seem frustrating in that instead of clarifying things these studies muddy the waters.

Examining exactly what the vitamins trial study did will often go some way to explaining the varying results. Here are a few items to check when looking at apparently conflicting vitamins studies.

  • What was the precise dosage taken by the participants and how long was the study’s duration. This is significant as few studies will have identical dosages and identical time spans. A study in Vitamin D showed that a dosage of 700 plus IU per day had a significant protection against fractures whereas a study of people taking only 400 IU per day showed no such effect. The same applies to the duration as the build up of the protective mechanisms is not a short process.
  • The age, health and life styles of the participants. Studies drawn from young, active gym going participants is likely to differ significantly from heavy drink and smoking office workers. Exercise and other lifestyle choices such as diet affect out health and how the body responds to vitamins.
  • At what stage is was the supplement fed to a study participant. If studying the effect of a supplement on someone already suffering from a disease it may be found that something taken at the onset has a differing effect from something taken when a disease is far advanced. An example being that Folate supplements are only effective against neural tube defects in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • How were the results tabulated and calculated. This is a significant problem as measurement as to benefit may and probably will vary widely. Heart disease is a wide subject and a measurement of coronary thrombosis may miss out on the incidence of strokes.

Help to Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in American men, second only to skin cancer. Each year, about 200,000 men are diagnosed with the disease and 31,000 die. While regular screening has helped reduce the number of deaths, doctors say more is needed. Now, researchers are looking for men to help as part of a nationwide study.

You might say Dan Feeney is one in about 32,000. That is because Feeney is one of 32,400 men in a nationwide study looking for a way to prevent prostate cancer.

He says, “It seemed like a very easy thing to do. There’s nothing else I can really do to help it.”

Feeney lives a healthy lifestyle. He eats right and exercises regularly. “I met my wife roller blading five years ago,” he says.

Now he takes an additional step with selenium and vitamin E.

Urologist Eric Klein, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, says, “This is the largest, best-designed trial looking at nutrient supplements, not pharmaceuticals but nutrient supplements, that are found in the diet, to prevent the most common cancer in the United States.”

Dr. Klein heads the SELECT trial at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Patients are given either vitamin E, selenium, both or placebos. The trial is based on previous studies, with different goals. One was for skin cancer.

“The incidence of prostate cancer was markedly reduced for men who took selenium,” says Dr. Klein.

As for vitamin E, that idea came from a lung cancer study that found a 40-percent reduction in prostate cancer in men taking the supplement.

Dr. Klein says, “We have to do the right kind of study with the right kind of scientific controls before we can conclude that these two agents are useful in preventing cancer.”

Feeney hopes to roll through the study without any problems, but if nothing else … “Make sure that I get regular check-ups for one thing, just for my own self,” he says.

The study will follow patients for a period of 7 to 12 years. It is being conducted at 400 centers around the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. White men must be 55 or older to participate and black men 50 years or older.

NSAIDs help prevent prostate cancer

Daily use of aspirin or another of the class of pain relievers known as NSAIDs could help prevent prostate cancer in older men, say Mayo Clinic researchers. Their study found less than half as many cancers in men who took the drugs on a regular basis than in those who did not.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, affecting about 189,000 men every year. It is also the second leading cause of death from cancer among men.

While new and better detection methods are allowing the disease to be identified at earlier and more treatable stages, these methods do not help prevent the condition. Studies are currently underway to determine the effect of several substances, including selenium, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and green tea, on prostate cancer risk.

The Mayo scientists decided to study the impact of NSAIDs — nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — on prostate cancer after other studies linked the drugs to a reduced risk of other cancers. They analyzed data on about 1,300 men participating in a study of urinary tract symptoms. The men were enrolled in the study in 1990 and followed for an average of six years. Information on daily medication use was gathered throughout the study.

The study found 4 percent of the men who reported daily NSAID use developed prostate cancer by the end of the follow up. This compares to 9 percent of those who reported no regular NSAID use. The link between NSAID use and a reduced risk of prostate cancer was more significant in men over age 60.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2002;77:219-225

Stroke and Cancer

Most stokes develop from blockages in the arteries feeding the brain or from pieces of these blockages breaking off (emboli). The process is very similar to that in coronary artery disease and the action required to prevent it is similar. In addition:

• Calcium and potassium – One research revealed that women who had a high intake of calcium from diet or supplements had 31% fewer strokes than those with low intakes. High potassium intake reduced strokes by 28%.
• Fish oil consumption – Research showed that women who ate fish regularly had significantly fewer strokes. Nurses eating 1-3 fish meals per month had a 7% reduction in strokes compared to those who did not eat fish. One fish meal per week gave a 22% reduction, 2-4 fish meals per week 27% and those who ate five or more fish meals per week had a 52% reduction in strokes when compared with those who did not eat fish.
• Whole grain consumption – Women who regularly had high levels of whole grain in their food had fewer strokes.

Cancer

This is probably the most feared of diseases, and yet most people have little idea how they can reduce their chances of developing it. Considering that one in three people will develop cancer, protective measures are very important.

There are many causes of cancer, and the body has a number of protective defence systems, particularly the immune system which can actively seek out the cancer cells and destroy them. These systems all require good nutrition to function properly. We do not know how these nutrients help reduce cancer, but a number of simple dietary steps have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of developing this feared disease. These include: multivitamins, antioxidant vitamins, selenium and other minerals, fruit, vegetables and fish oil.

1. Multivitamins and folic acid

Folic acid and other B vitamins appear to be very important in cancer protection. As with many nutritional therapies, treatment needs to continue for a number of years to have a demonstrated effect. When they are taken for some time, the effect can sometimes be huge.

• One research showed that women who took multivitamin tablets containing folic acid for 15 years or more reduced their risk of developing colon cancer by 5%. It took many years for this effect to be apparent – after 5 years there was no benefit and after 10 years the reduction was 50%. But after 15 years of multivitamin intake there were only 15 cases of colon cancer per 10,000 women, compared with 68 in those who did not take multivitamin supplements – a 75% reduction.

Breast cancer: alcohol appears to increase the risk of developing breast cancer. In one research, folic acid did not lower the incidence of breast cancer, except in alcohol drinkers. In those women who had more than 1-2 drinks of alcohol per day, taking a multivitamin supplement containing folic acid reduced their breast cancer risk by 36%.

2. Vitamin E

It is believed that free radicals and oxidation may play a part in causing many cancers and vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, mopping up free radicals. In a study of 11,000 older people (67 – 105 years) those taking vitamin E supplements had 59% fewer cancer deaths.

3. Selenium

Selenium is a trace element and appears to take part in many body functions, especially working with antioxidants. In some areas of the world the levels of selenium in the soil are low. (New Zealand is one of those places).

Selenium appears to have a powerful protective action against some cancers:

• In a study performed in Arizona, where there are relatively low levels of selenium in the soil, 1,312 people took either 200ug of selenium or dummy tablets and were followed for 6 years. Those taking selenium had 36% less cancer reported and 50% fewer cancer deaths (63% fewer prostate cancer, 58% fewer colon and rectal cancer and 46% fewer lung cancers).
• In a small study of patients with prostate cancer, the risk of prostate cancer was 4-5 fold higher in those who had low levels of selenium in their blood.
• In the Health Professional’s Study of 44,000 men, toenail clippings were used to detect their selenium status. There was 51% less prostate cancer in men with the highest selenium level, compared with the lowest level.

4. Fruit and vegetables
The fiber and antioxidant content of fruit and vegetables has been thought to reduce the risk of cancer but in a study, surprisingly, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables did not reduce the incidence of either colon or rectal cancer.

5. Cruciferous vegetables
This is an especially powerful group of vegetables for reducing the risk of cancer. They help in the production of DIM (di-indol methane) and Indol-3-Carbinol which can neutralize carcinogenic (cancer producing) toxins. Sadly, these are vegetables many people don’t like to eat, such as watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale. Overcooking or prolonged storage can reduce some of the neutralizing action, but it is interesting that if eaten with meals, these vegetables can neutralize cancer-producing toxins found in the rest of our diet.

6. Fish oils

A long term study in Sweden involving 11,000 men showed a 2-3 fold increase in prostate cancer in those men who ate little or no fish, when compared with those eating moderate or high amounts.

7. Lycopene
A substance found in cooked tomatoes that has been shown to reduce the development of prostate cancer. It appears to be more concentrated in tomato sauce; however, a good supplement containing lycopene would probably be a more palatable and healthier option.

• Harvard University followed 47,000 health professionals for over 12 years. Those eating 4-7 servings of tomato sauce per week had 20% less prostate cancer, and those eating more than 10 servings per week had 45% less.
• In a large epidemiological study, Vogt tested blood lycopene levels in over 500 people. Those with high blood lycopene levels had 35% less prostate cancer than those with low levels.

8. Melatonin

A sleep hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that appears to have a protective effect against the development and progression of cancer. Shift workers who sleep in the light and produce very little melatonin have a higher risk of developing cancer. In the study, those who worked night shifts for more than 30 years had a 36% higher risk of developing breast cancer.

In a review of ten randomized trials involving 643 patients, cancer patients given melatonin in high doses (10-40mg at night) reduced their risk of death at one year by 34%.

Nutrition and Supplementation for Coronary Heart Disease

Fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables contain many antioxidants and other protective nutrients. Research showed that women who had a high intake of fruit and vegetables had 20% fewer heart attacks than those on low intakes.

Dietary fiber

Fiber is an indigestible part of vegetables and fruits and is usually removed when processing food. Fiber in the diet keeps the bowels moving, helps eliminate some of the toxins in our food and can also lower the cholesterol. Fiber is made up of complex carbohydrates which are not absorbed and stay in the bowel. Unrefined grain fiber appears to be one of the best sources of dietary fiber. When grains are refined, the outer layer, or husk, is removed. Most of the nutrients and fiber are in this outer husk. Women who had a high intake of fiber in their diet had less coronary artery disease, reducing cardiac events by 37%.

Whole grain

In addition to fiber, whole grains also contain many vitamins and other nutrients which are lost when the grain is processed and refined. Women regularly eating whole grain foods had 25% less coronary disease than those eating few or no whole grain foods.

Nut consumption

Nuts are the seeds for a new plant and provide all the necessary nutrients for the first few weeks of its life. They are a rich source of many beneficial fats, oils, proteins and vitamins. Women who ate more than 5 ounces of nuts per week had 45% fewer heart attacks than those who ate no nuts.

Alcohol

Alcohol raises the level of the good HDL cholesterol in the blood. Wine, especially red, also contains many beneficial antioxidants. Alcohol in moderation appears to have a substantial benefit in reducing heart disease – but probably not enough to make a non-drinker start drinking! However, it does mean that one does not need to stop having one or two pleasurable evening drinks – BUT no more! Women who were light to moderate drinkers had fewer deaths, mainly due to reduced coronary artery disease. Heavier drinkers had more breast cancer and deaths from cirrhosis of the liver. In a number of studies, two drinks per day reduced the risk of heart attacks by 30-50%. However, we stress that more than two drinks per day is bad for the heart, especially the heart muscle, but also the liver, pancreas and the brain.

Fish oils

Fish contain omega 3 oils which are very long chained polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from the plankton at the bottom of the food chain. These appear to have many beneficial actions with the body. With regard to the heart, fish oils appear to reduce the incidence of heart attacks, but most excitingly, they stabiles the heart rhythm and so have a major effect on sudden death (cardiac arrest is the cause of most deaths from heart attacks).

• Women who had a higher intake of fish in their diet had less coronary disease. Compared to women who did not eat fish, women who ate one fish meal per week reduced their risk of heart disease by 29%, 2-4 fish meals per week by 31% and those eating five or more fish meals per week had 44% fewer cardiac events.
• In the 44,000 men in the Health Professional Study, those eating some fish in their diet reduced coronary disease by 26%, but surprisingly, increasing the fish intake further made little difference.
• In the Chicago Western Electric study, 1,822 men were followed for 30 years. Those with the highest fish intake had a 44% reduction in deaths from heart attack. There is no drug which can reduce heat death by even a fraction of this number.
• In the Italian GISSI-P trial, 11,000 people were given either fish oil or dummy capsules after suffering a heart attack. The people taking fish oil had 20% fewer heart deaths and a 45% reduction in sudden cardiac death. Remember, Italians already eat a lot of fish, so more fish oils gave additional protection.
• Sudden death is reduced by 81% in men who eat fish regularly.

This is not a typing mistake: in the meticulously conducted Health Professional Study, taking fish oils reduced the incidence of sudden death by 81%. Because most heart attack fatalities are due to sudden death caused by ventricular fibrillation, such a simple preventive action as taking regular fish oils could save literally millions of lives worldwide each year.

Vitamin C

A report confirmed heart benefit from taking vitamin C supplements. The report found that those taking vitamin C supplements had 28% fewer cardiac events (heart attacks and death).

Magnesium

This mineral appears to be important in the function of muscles (enabling them to relax), and also in the control of heart rhythm. A number of studies have shown magnesium to be beneficial:

• In a study conducted by the USA Centers for Disease Control, 12,000 healthy people (25-74 years) were followed for 19 years. Those who had high magnesium levels in their blood had 31% fewer heart-related deaths than those with low blood magnesium levels.
• Magnesium supplementation reduced rhythm disturbances when given to children undergoing heart surgery.
• After a heart attack magnesium given intravenously reduced the mortality by 24% and heart failure by 25% in 2,300 patients in the LIMIT 2 study.
• Magnesium and sudden death. A review of published data on magnesium suggests that sudden death is common in magnesium deficient areas and that heart magnesium levels are low in people who die suddenly. Heart rhythm irregularities occur with low magnesium levels and intravenous magnesium can reduce arrhythmias after a heart attack. However, few large scale clinical trials have been done to see if there is benefit in suing oral magnesium supplementation.

Selenium

This mineral is low in the soil of a number of countries – New Zealand, Scandinavia, parts of the USA, Australia and China. In these areas, farmers routinely supplement their animals with selenium to avoid heart disease, muscle disease and cancer.

It appears that selenium is necessary for the full function of vitamin E, as well as having other important effects in the body. In areas where the levels are low there is a higher incidence of cancer and in a study in Arizona supplementation hugely reduced the risk of developing cancer. In China selenium has been used to treat heart failure in children (Keshan’s disease). Many people believe that selenium supplementation is a good idea in areas where selenium levels are low. Unfortunately, because it is a problem in only a few areas, there is not a lot of research being performed.

From these studies, it is obvious that if people had a nutritious diet plus supplements, we could make a huge reduction in heart disease. In modern medicine, there has no drugs which have anything like this preventive power. Heart disease could be dramatically reduced if people ate an ideal diet and took good nutritional supplements.

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