A Golden Mean for prostate cancer prevention

David Waters

David Waters (Vincent Walter)

03/03/2016 |

What does Aristotle have to do with selenium and prostate cancer? According to David Waters, a lot.

“As it turns out, more is not always better,” says Waters, paraphrasing Aristotle’s golden mean, that moral sweet spot between the extremes of excess and deficiency. “With selenium, it’s easy to over-supplement.”

Waters, a professor emeritus of veterinary clinical sciences and director of the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, points to one of his research team’s studies, whose results were reported in the peer-reviewed scientific journal BioFactors.

In controlled laboratory experiments, selenium triggered the elimination of prostate cells with the most genetic damage — a kind of “homeostatic housecleaning” process that helps keep cancer at bay.

But that only happened at mid-range selenium levels, Waters says.

If you imagine the letter “U,” with one tip being very high selenium levels and the other tip being very low, the ideal level seems to be the trough of the curve. “Measuring selenium status and then titrating selenium levels to mid-range status would seem to offer men a practical and informed approach, rather than blindly taking selenium supplements and risking the downside of unnecessary over-supplementation,” he wrote for the medical website UroToday.

– Angie Roberts
See original article at http://bit.ly/1Xmpdma