Some studies have shown that low dietary selenium intakes are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. A study of more than 50,000 male health professionals in the U.S. found a significant inverse relationship between toenail selenium content and the risk of prostate cancer. This study looked at 181 men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and 181 healthy men.

Men with a toenail selenium content that correlates with a dietary intake of approximately 159 mcg per day had a 65 percent lower risk of advanced prostate cancer, compared to men with an intake of 86 mcg per day.

Selenium helps to protect the DNA inside our cells from harm. It is also necessary for the production of glutathione peroxidase, which acts to detoxify your body from harmful chemicals.

Reference: Yoshizawa K, Willett WC, Morris SJ, et al. Study of prediagnostic selenium level in toenails and the risk of advanced prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998;90(16):1219-1224