Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Prostate Cancer and Selenium

Today at BigThink (and here) I'm blogging about prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. In particular, I want to get the word out about selenium's well-documented ability to protect again prostate carcinomas. It turns out there are other important health benefits (for people of both sexes) to selenium, some of which I summarize in my BigThink post.

While selenium's exact mode of action is still not wholly known, it appears the mineral induces apoptosis of cancer cells by triggering caspase-3 a cysteine-aspartate protease involved in the "execution phase" of programmed cell death (apoptosis).

After writing the BigThink post, I decided to have a little fun and try for some do-it-yourself epidemiology graphs. I was startled by the results. This is what I came up with.

Prostate cancer in the U.S., 1970-2004 (obtained from

The above map shows U.S. prostate cancer by county. Rates are population-adjusted (so you're not seeing mere population density effects). It's obvious that the cancer rate is not randomly distributed by geography. But what, I wondered, could account for the uneven distribution?

I searched online for a map of soil selenium distribution, and this is what I found (at

Obviously the inverse correlation between selenium and prostate cancer is not perfect. (How could it be? Americans are a mobile lot; and people don't simply eat locally grown vegetables, etc.) But I think the two maps speak pretty clearly to the role of selenium in protecting against prostate cancer. If you want to draw a different conclusion, so be it.


  1. Good, good post!

    It is very true, in USA selenium is decreasing in soils. Btwm there used to be decent amounts of selenium in USA soils, like when UK stopped imports from USA, their selenium levels went way down.

  2. Similarly, education should also not be limited to one particular age bracket. Any person who has the desire, need and willingness to learn must be given the chance to study and join school, college or university at whatever level he desires.problem statement for nursing research

  3. Your personal statement is your chance to speak for yourself and tell the committee WHY you're their top applicant. So what if you're not the best writer - personal statement writing help. statement of purpose for mba

  4. In the same manner, education and learning also need to certainly not always be tied to a real age bracket. Any individual who may have your want, have to have along with motivation to find out have to be granted the opportunity to analyze along with enroll in institution, college in no matter what amount they needs best statement of purpose.

  5. Anonymous12:30 PM

    Education fosters better work opportunities and creates favorable circumstances for sustainable development and viable economic growth. Education is therefore the key to success, growth and prosperity in the future. recommendation letter for phd admission

  6. A lot a lot of care establishments ar utilizing the foremost recent evidenced-based, result-driven nurse residency programs that are created to line off framework for whole new RN employees and suffered nurse practitioners. This program provides a reliable, semipermanent suggests that to mend encourage clinical effectiveness and authority one in every of the utterly new nurses. Also, victorious programs invariably promote associate all natural facet by increasing the institutions of the power to allow nice teaching to RNs. nursing residency application

  7. Nice Post! The increasing importance of Writing Assignments has prompted students to take a helping hand from
    management assignment help

  8. I appreciate your hard work. Keep posting new updates with us.
    Australian Assignment Help

  9. Are you in need of Best Writing Services? Then get connected with
    Buy Assignment Online


Add a comment. Registration required because trolls.