When it comes to your health, we doctors can often trace an issue right back to what you put into your body. A poor diet, for instance, can lead to higher rate of infection, digestion issues, and even disease. But replace those unhealthy foods with unprocessed, natural, nutrient-filled dishes… and you could see a huge improvement.
If you read my Health eTips regularly, then you know what a supporter I am of the Paleo diet – because it can, among other things, halt type 2 diabetes development, help prevent heart disease, and even help you lose weight.
And now, research published in the American Society of Nutrition says that the Paleo diet may even help prevent liver cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed data on 520,000 men and women between the ages of 25 and 70 over the course of eight years.
They noted that selenium levels in the blood were SIGNIFICANTLY lower in people who had two specific types of liver cancer: hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and gallbladder and biliary tract cancers (GBTC).
And those with higher levels of selenium in their blood showed a lower risk specifically for HCC as well.
Selenium is a trace mineral found in foods like salmon, shellfish, Brazil nuts, meats, eggs, and other staples of the Paleo diet… it is also a critical part of the reproductive process, metabolism, and detoxing your body to prevent infection.
It is thought to help stave off several different types of cancer – not only liver, but also breast, prostate, and colon – by acting as an antioxidant and reducing your body’s inflammatory response.
And, as we know, inflammation can cause pain as well as tissue damage and disease.
The researchers suggest that upping your selenium intake could go right along with liver cancer prevention methods like limiting alcohol, managing weight, and quitting smoking – although it may not do a thing for one type of liver cancer, intrahepatic bile duct cancer (IHBC).
If your selenium levels have plummeted from kidney dialysis or an infection (especially one that’s caused diarrhoea), you can supplement with selenium, which you can find in a daily multi-vitamin, on its own in capsule form, or in a prostate support formula.
But your body doesn’t need a lot of selenium, even to prevent cancer and other diseases. You can get plenty of it by just eating the equivalent of six to eight Brazil nuts a day, as long as you’re not allergic to them.
But there is such a thing as getting too much selenium, so don’t go too nuts.
Following the Paleo diet will likely get you all the selenium you need – as well as other essential nutrients and minerals like magnesium and potassium – without overdoing it. Just make sure you stick to organic versions of your favourite Paleo-friendly foods to get the highest concentration of the nutrient out of them.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Heightened liver cancer risk linked to low selenium levels: study, nutraingredients.com/Research/Heightened-liver-cancer-risk-linked-to-low-selenium-levels-Study