Selenium is one of those supplements that were are told is good for us and then we are told it is bad for us. Every six months to a year the story and the recommendations seem to change.

According to a study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute the University of California, San Francisco higher levels selenium in the blood may worsen prostate cancer in some men who already have the disease, that is today’s latest!

The study results said that a higher risk of more-aggressive prostate cancer was seen in men with a certain genetic variant which is found in about 75 percent of the prostate cancer survivors. Men with this particular genetic variant who also had a high level of selenium in their blood faced a two-fold greater risk of a poorer outcome from their prostate cancer than men with the lowest amounts of selenium. By contrast, the 25 percent of men with a different variant of the same gene and who had high selenium levels were at 40 percent lower risk of aggressive disease. The variants are slightly different forms of a gene that instructs cells to make manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2), an enzyme that protects the body against harmful oxygen compounds.

The research findings suggest that “if you already have prostate cancer, it may be a bad thing to take selenium,” says Philip Kantoff, MD, director of Dana-Farber’s Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology and senior author of the study that is published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology on its website now and later will be in a print journal. The lead author is June Chan, ScD, of the University of California, San Francisco.

This study reveals the strong interaction between selenium and SOD2 to influence the biology of prostate cancer. The authors say the current research demonstrated that variations in the make u