Minerals play a vital role in fighting cancer. A prime example is the mineral selenium (Se), an essential micronutrient with important biological and biochemical functions in organisms because of its unique and powerful antioxidant properties and its ability to regulate thyroid gland metabolism. Those who have studied geographical differences have seen that in low-selenium regions, higher death rates occurred from malignant lymphomas and cancers of the tongue, oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, larynx, lung, kidneys and bladder. In addition, cancer patients with low selenium levels tend to have a wider spread of the disease, more recurrences and die sooner.
In a China study Dr. Shu-Yu Yu classified the regions as high-selenium, medium-selenium, and low-selenium. They then compared death rates from cancer to the selenium rates and found there was an exact correlation. In the low-selenium classification, three times as many people died from cancer as in the high-selenium classification.
1) Selenium, especially when used in conjunction with vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, works to block chemical reactions that create free radicals in the body (which can damage DNA and cause degenerative change in cells, leading to cancer).
2)Selenium also binds strongly with mercury, protecting us from its damaging effects.
3)Selenium helps stop damaged DNA molecules from reproducing, meaning it acts to prevent tumours from developing.
4)"It contributes towards the death of cancerous and pre-cancer cells. Their death appears to occur before they replicate, thus helping stop cancer before it gets started," says Dr. James Howenstine in A Physician's Guide to Natural Health Products That Work.
It is well known that Se is an antagonist that moderates the toxic effects of many heavy metals such as, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, ...in organisms.
This same capacity to mitigate heavy metal toxicity crosses over into radioactive particles giving us a measure of increased protection via increases in selenium-dependent glutathione. It is through mercury's attack on these sulphide bonds (SH) that mercury is able to change the biological properties of proteins and change important physiological functions.
The interaction of lead with sulfhydryl (SH) sites causes most of its toxic effects, which include impaired heme synthesis, inhibition of erythrocyte Na/K ATPase, diminished RBC glutathione, shortened RBC lifespan, impaired synthesis of RNA, DNA and protein and impaired metabolism of vitamin D.
Chemicals, heavy metals and radiation combine to act on the very same cellular enzyme pathways. Lead may also affect the body's ability to utilize the essential elements calcium, magnesium, and zinc.