With all of the advancements in medical technology these days, cancers are being detected at the very earliest stages.
Which is fantastic — in theory.
The problem is, in many instances, we’re now finding these cancers long before we need to do anything about them. But mainstream medicine doesn’t typically operate that way.
Most of the time, as soon a doctor diagnoses you with cancer, in the next breath, they recommend the most aggressive treatment available. And if you’ve ever faced a cancer diagnosis, you know just how terrifying it is. You’re willing to do practically anything to fight it.
But when it comes to very early stage cancers, radical interventions may do more harm to your body than good.
Recently, there was an eye-opening article in Time Magazine that talked about a relatively new strategy for Stage 0 breast cancer called “active surveillance” which suggests taking a much less invasive approach to fighting early stage cancers. (Similar to the “watchful waiting” approach often used for non-aggressive cases of prostate cancer.) If you haven’t seen the Time article, I suggest you take a look.
In the meantime, today I want to tell you about a completely non-invasive way to tackle a different type of pre-cancerous condition. It’s known as CIN, which is short for Cervical Intra-epithelial Neoplasia grade 1.
To be clear, CIN is not a cancer, but if left untreated may develop into cancer. So therefore it’s often described as a “pre-cancerous condition” by doctors. And in this country, the powers that be recommend cone biopsies and rigorous follow ups.
But I recently read a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition that showed CIN can be reversed with a safe, common supplement.
In this study, researchers recruited 58 women who all were diagnosed with low-grade CIN. The women were either given 200 mcg of selenium or a placebo for six months.
And after the six-month period, this is what the researchers found.
Those who took the selenium supplement experienced:
- A 60% regression of CIN
- Significant rises in total plasma antioxidant capacity. There was also a significant decrease in malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidative stress. (Proof positive, once again, that oxidative stress is bad news, and at the root of many, many chronic diseases.)
- There was also a positive metabolic effect, which included significant decreases in fasting plasma glucose levels, serum insulin levels, and increased HDL-cholesterol levels.
This last finding was a little surprising. But it makes sense considering selenium is an essential trace element and is key in various major metabolic pathways.
I love when an old, forgotten nutritional supplement gets its due.
Don’t get me wrong. New supplements are great, and I am the first to tell you about them. And many of the products I formulate include the latest, most well-researched supplements.
But sometimes, an oldie is still a goodie.
I recommend at least 75 mcg of selenium per day.
You can also get more of this essential nutrient by eating some specific foods like white button mushrooms and seafood (tuna, salmon, cod, halibut, shrimp). Beef, turkey, and lamb are also rich in selenium.