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SeMet (Selenium) 55 mcg 90 vegi-caps
SeMet (Selenium) 55 mcg 90 vegi-caps Quantity in Basket: None
Code: AOR-SeMet

Price: $15.16


SeMet™ from Advanced Orthomolecular Research®  
Dosage: 55 mcg Size: 90 vegi-caps    
Category: AOR Product Number: 08018 Product Code: AOR-SeMet  


SeMet™ is Selenomethionine, a superior form of selenium found in plants when grown in exceedingly selenium-rich soil.

Studies have shown high-SeMC-cultivars of these vegetables suggest that SeMC is a key element in the cancer-fighting efficacy of these protective vegetables.

• High-SeMC broccoli gives animals more protection against early-stage colon cancer than does an equal amount of conventional selenium, an equal amount of regular broccoli, or even a combination of both.
• Similar results are seen in battling abnormal cells that lead to breast or colon cancer using high-SeMC garlic vs. the same amount of selenium from high-selenomethionine yeast or Brazil nuts.
• SeMC is proven effective in an animal model of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a human genetic vulnerability to colon cancer. No other natural selenium compound has been shown to do this.

SeMC fights cancer in ways fundamentally different from other selenium forms:

•Apoptosis vs Necrosis: Inorganic selenium kills cancer cells through nonselective damage to the DNA and cell membranes of both healthy cells and cancer cells, leading to toxic cell death (necrosis). SeMC selectively activates cancer cells' "suicide program" (apoptosis) without damage to healthy cells.
•Gene expression: SeMC regulates cellular growth programs, inhibiting cancer cells earlier in the cell cycle than does inorganic selenium.
• Angiogenesis: SeMC may also act by cutting off the growing tumor's blood supply more effectively than the common selenium supplements, without interfering with the growth of blood vessels in normal, healthy tissue.

By any measure, SeMC has proved itself to be the best selenium you can take. The National Cancer Institute apparently agrees: it is in the process of filing "Investigational New Drug" documents to use SeMC instead of other selenium supplements in future human trials.

See references and abstracts below.


Suggested Usage: Take one capsule daily with a meal, or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner.

Other Label Information: Keep out of the reach of children.

Serving Size: 1 capsule

  Amount  %DV  

Selenium (Selenomethionine) 55 mcg 79%

Other Ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose.
Capsule: hypromellose, potassium acetate, gellan gum, water.


Selenocompounds in plants and animals and their biological significance.
J Am Coll Nutr 2002 Jun; 21(3): 223-32. Whanger PD.

There are several selenocompounds in tissues of plants and animals. Selenate is the major inorganic selenocompound found in both animal and plant tissues. Selenocysteine is the predominant selenoamino acid in tissues when inorganic selenium is given to animals. Selenomethionine is the major selenocompound found initially in animals given this selenoamino acid, but is converted with time afterwards to selenocysteine. Selenomethionine is the major selenocompound in cereal grains, grassland legumes and soybeans. Selenomethionine can also be the major selenocompound in selenium enriched yeast, but the amount can vary markedly depending upon the growth conditions. Se-methylselenocysteine is the major selenocompound in selenium enriched plants such as garlic, onions, broccoli florets and sprouts, and wild leeks.

Se-methylselenocysteine: a new compound for chemoprevention of breast cancer.
Nutr Cancer 2001; 40(1): 12-7. Medina D, Thompson H, Ganther H, Ip C.

Selenium compounds have attracted renewed interest as chemopreventive agents for human cancer on the basis of the pioneering intervention study by Clark and co-workers. The rodent mammary gland has been used extensively as a model for examining the chemopreventive activities of inorganic and organic selenium compounds. This review summarizes the rationale and results for use of a new organic selenium compound, Se-methylselenocysteine, which exhibits greater efficacy as a chemopreventive agent than several previously used selenium compounds in experimental models of breast cancer and has potential for use inhuman populations.

Lessons from basic research in selenium and cancer prevention.
J Nutr 1998 Nov; 128(11): 1845-54. Ip C.

The article reviews the progress in basic research of selenium and cancer prevention during the past decade. Special emphasis is placed on the following four major areas of discussion: 1) chemical forms of selenium and anticarcinogenic activity; 2) selenium-enriched food; 3) in vitro effects of selenite vs. monomethylated selenium; and 4) aromatic selenium compounds. It is clear that basic research has contributed new knowledge to our understanding of selenium biochemistry, anticancer efficacy and regulation of cell growth. Some of this information could be ready for incorporation into the design of a second-generation selenium trial in humans.

Selenium (Se) from high-selenium broccoli is utilized differently than selenite, selenate and selenomethionine, but is more effective in inhibiting colon carcinogenesis.
Biofactors 2001; 14(1-4): 191-6. Finley JW, Davis CD.

The reduction in incidence of chemically-induced colon cancer by foods high in selenium (Se) was investigated in Fisher-344 rats. The foods used were high-Se broccoli (produced in a greenhouse by addition of selenate to the media surrounding the plant roots) and a processed high-Se wheat product (made by milling high-Se wheat purchased from a seleniferous area). Weanling rats were fed diets containing different amounts of Se from these foods or from selenium salts (selenite and selenate). Early in the experiment the animals were injected with a chemical carcinogen. After 11 weeks on diets animals were killed and the colons examined for preneoplastic lesions (aberrant crypts foci, ACF). ACF were significantly reduced in animals fed supra-nutritional amounts of Se from broccoli, despite the finding that Se from broccoli was poorly bioavailable. Supra-nutritional amounts of Se from high-Se processed wheat also significantly reduced aberrant crypts (AC), although pure selenomethionine, (the predominant chemical form of Se in wheat), did not significantly reduce AC. These results emphasize the need to study Se in food forms, and not extrapolate from previous studies using pure chemical forms in cancer inhibition studies. They also demonstrate that foods with high Se bioavailability are not necessarily the most efficacious for cancer incidence reduction.

Chemical speciation influences comparative activity of selenium-enriched garlic and yeast in mammary cancer prevention.
J Agric Food Chem 2000 Jun; 48(6): 2062-70. Ip C, Birringer M, Block E, Kotrebai M, Tyson JF, Uden PC, Lisk DJ.

A recent human intervention trial showed that daily supplementation with selenized yeast (Se-yeast) led to a decrease in the overall cancer morbidity and mortality by nearly 50%; past research has also demonstrated that selenized garlic (Se-garlic) is very effective in mammary cancer chemoprevention in the rat model. The goal of this study was to compare certain biological activities of Se-garlic and Se-yeast and to elucidate the differences based on the chemical forms of selenium found in these two natural products. Characterization of organic selenium compounds in yeast (1922 microg/g Se) and garlic (296 microg/g Se) was carried out by high-performance liquid chromatography with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry or with electrospray mass spectrometry. Analytical speciation studies showed that the bulk of the selenium in Se-garlic and Se-yeast is in the form of gamma-glutamyl-Se-methylselenocysteine (73%) and selenomethionine (85%), respectively. The above methodology has the sensitivity and capability to account for >90% of total selenium. In the rat feeding studies, supplementation of Se-garlic in the diet at different levels consistently caused a lower total tissue selenium accumulation when compared to Se-yeast. On the other hand, Se-garlic was significantly more effective in suppressing the development of premalignant lesions and the formation of adenocarcinomas in the mammary gland of carcinogen-treated rats. Given the present finding on the identity of selenomethionine and gamma-glutamyl-Se-methylselenocysteine as the major form of selenium in Se-yeast and Se-garlic, respectively, the metabolism of these two compounds is discussed in an attempt to elucidate how their disposition in tissues might account for the differences in cancer chemopreventive activity.

Chemical form of selenium, critical metabolites, and cancer prevention.
Cancer Res 1991 Jan 15; 51(2): 595-600. Ip C, Hayes C, Budnick RM, Ganther HE.

Methylated selenides are prominent metabolites at the dietary levels used for obtaining anticarcinogenic effects with selenium. The present study reports the chemopreventive activities of 2 novel selenium compounds, Se-methylselenocysteine and dimethyl selenoxide, in the rat dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-induced mammary tumor model. Other treatment groups were supplemented with either selenite or selenocystine for comparative purposes. Each selenium compound was tested at different levels and was given to the animal starting 1 week before dimethylbenz(a)anthracene administration and continued until sacrifice. Results of the carcinogenesis experiments showed that the relative efficacy with the four compounds was Se methylselenocysteine greater than selenite greater than selenocystine greater than dimethyl selenoxide. In correlating the chemical form and metabolism of these selenium compounds with their anticarcinogenic activity, it is concluded that: (a) selenium compounds that are able to generate a steady stream of methylated metabolites, particularly the monomethylated species, are likely to have good chemopreventive potential; (b) anticarcinogenic activity is lower for selenoamino acids, such as selenocysteine following conversion from selenocystine, which have an escape mechanism via random, nonstoichiometric incorporation into proteins; and (c) forms of selenium, as exemplified by dimethyl selenoxide, which are metabolized rapidly and quantitatively to dimethyl selenide and trimethylselenonium and excreted, are likely to be poor choices. We also undertook a separate bioavailability study using Se-methylselenocysteine, dimethyl selenoxide, and trimethylselenonium as the starting compounds for delivering selenium with one, two, or three methyl groups, and measured the ability of these compounds to restore glutathione peroxidase activity in selenium-depleted animals. All three compounds were able to fully replete this enzyme, although with a wide range of efficiency (Se-methylselenocysteine greater than dimethyl selenoxide greater than trimethylselenonium), suggesting that complete demethylation to inorganic selenium is a normal process of selenium metabolism. However, the degree to which this occurs under chemoprevention conditions would argue against the involvement of selenoproteins in the anticarcinogenic action of these selenium compounds.

Caspases as key executors of methyl selenium-induced apoptosis (anoikis) of DU-145 prostate cancer cells.
Cancer Res 2001 Apr 1; 61(7): 3062-70. Jiang C, Wang Z, Ganther H, Lu J.

Apoptosis induction may be a mechanism mediating the anticancer activity of selenium. Our earlier work indicated that distinct cell death pathways are likely involved in apoptosis induced by the CH3SeH and the hydrogen selenide pools of selenium metabolites. To explore the role of caspases in cancer cell apoptosis induced by selenium, we examined the involvement of these molecules in the death of the DU-145 human prostate carcinoma cells induced by methylseleninic acid (MSeA), a novel penultimate precursor of the putative critical anticancer metabolite CH3SeH. Sodium selenite, a representative of the genotoxic selenium pool, was used as a reference for comparison. The results show that MSeA-induced apoptosis was accompanied by the activation of multiplecaspases (caspase-3, -7, -8, and -9), mitochondrial release of cytochrome c (CC), poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage, and DNA fragmentation. In contrast, selenite-induced apoptotic DNA fragmentation was observed in the absence of these changes, but was associated with the phosphorylation of c-Jun-NH2-terminal kinase 1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase/stress-activated protein kinase 2. A general caspase inhibitor, benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-(OMe) fluoromethyl ketone, blocked MSeA-induced cleavage of procaspases and PARP, CC release, and DNA nucleosomal fragmentation, but did not prevent cell detachment. Furthermore, PARP cleavage and caspase activation were confined exclusively to detached cells, indicating that MseA induction of cell detachment was a prerequisite for caspase activation and apoptosis execution. This process therefore resembled "anoikis," a special mode of apoptosis induction in which adherent cells lose contact with the extracellular matrix. Additional experiments with irreversible caspase inhibitors show that MSeA-induced anoikis involved caspase-3- and -7-mediated PARP cleavage that was initiated by caspase-8 and probably amplified through CC-caspase-9 activation and a feedback activation loop from caspase-3. Taken together, the data support a methyl selenium-specific induction of DU-145 cell apoptosis that involves cell detachment as a prerequisite (anoikis) and is executed principally through caspase-8 activation and its cross-talk with multiple caspases.

Cancer-protective properties of high-selenium broccoli.
J Agric Food Chem 2001 May; 49(5): 2679-83. Finley JW, Ip C, Lisk DJ, Davis CD, Hintze KJ, Whanger PD.

Selenium (Se) from high-Se garlic reduces the incidence of chemically induced mammary tumors, and Se from high-Se broccoli reduces colon cancer. However, the ability of Se from high-Se broccoli to protect against mammary cancer has not been tested. Also, the sprout form of broccoli contains many secondary plant compounds that are known to reduce cancer risk, but the anticarcinogenic activity of broccoli sprouts has not been investigated. The present studies examined the ability of high-Se broccoli or high-Se broccoli sprouts to protect against chemically induced mammary or colon cancer. In one experiment, Sprague--Dawley rats that consumed diets containing 3.0 microg of Se/g supplied as high-Se broccoli had significantly fewer mammary tumors than rats fed 0.1 microg of Se as selenite with or without the addition of regular broccoli. In the second experiment, Fisher F-344 rats fed 2.0 microg of Se/g of diet supplied as either high-Se broccoli florets or high-Se broccoli sprouts had significantly fewer aberrant colon crypts than rats fed 0.1 or 2 microg of Se/g of diet supplied as selenite with or without the addition of low-Se broccoli. These data demonstrate that the cancer-protective effect of Se in high-Se broccoli extends to mammary cancer and the protective forms of broccoli against colon cancer include high-Se broccoli sprouts.

Characterization of tissue selenium profiles and anticarcinogenic responses in rats fed natural sources of selenium-rich products.
Carcinogenesis 1994 Apr; 15(4): 573-6. Ip C, Lisk DJ.

The present report describes the biological effects associated with the feeding of three selenium-rich natural products in rats: high-selenium garlic, high-selenium onion and Brazil nut. The first two are experimental crops cultivated with selenium fertilization. Brazil nut is probably the only unadulterated high-selenium food that is available commercially. Tissue selenium profiles, liver glutathione concentrations and mammary cancer inhibition (in the dimethylbenz[a] anthracene model) were the endpoints of investigation. Parallel designs were set up to compare the three high-selenium products with selenite and selenomethionine. Previous studies have shown that treatment with seleno-methionine resulted in significantly greater tissue selenium accumulation, particularly in skeletal muscle, than treatment with selenite. In contrast, selenite, but not selenomethionine, induced a modest increase in liver glutathione concentrations. The objective was to determine whether the high-selenium natural products elicited responses that were similar to that of selenite or selenomethionine. Our experiments suggested that the high-selenium garlic and onion might have some unique attributes. First, their ingestion did not lead to an exaggerated accumulation of tissue selenium, a concern that was shared by both selenomethionine and Brazil nut. Second, unlike selenite, they did not cause any perturbation in glutathione homeostasis. Third, they expressed good anticancer activity that was equal to, if not better than, that of selenite. The chemical form(s) of selenium present in the high-selenium Allium vegetables will be discussed in relation to the manifestation of the above characteristics.

Se-methylselenocysteine induces apoptosis through caspase activation and Bax cleavage mediated by calpain in SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells.
Cancer Lett 2002 Aug 8; 182(1): 83-92. Yeo JK, Cha SD, Cho CH, Kim SP, Cho JW, Baek WK, Suh MH, Kwon TK, Park JW, Suh SI.

Se-methylselenocysteine (Se-MSC) is a potent chemopreventive agent in many test systems and has been shown to inhibit tumor promotion and induce apoptosis, but its mechanism of action is still not well understood. The present study was designed to assess the mechanism of Se-MSC on the induction of apoptosis in SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells. Se-MSC displayed strong inhibitory effects on cell proliferation and viability of SKOV-3 cells in dose and time dependent manners and induced apoptosis. Investigation of the mechanism of Se-MSC-induced apoptosis revealed that treatment with Se-MSC produced morphological features of apoptosis and DNA fragmentation. This was associated with caspase-3 activation and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and phospholipase C-gamma1 proteins. However, SKOV-3 cells treated with Se-MSC did not demonstrate cytochrome c accumulation in the cytosol during apoptosis induction. Pretreatment of cells with the caspase inhibitors (z-VAD-fmk and DEVD-CHO) prevented Se-MSC-induced apoptosis. These results suggested that Se-MSC induces apoptosis through cytochrome c-independent caspase-3 activation in SKOV-3 cells. In late stage of apoptosis, p18kDa fragment of Bax was generated with the down-regulation of the expressions of survivin, X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein, and human inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1 following Se-MSC treatment, suggesting that the modulation of Bax and IAP (inhibitors of apoptosis) family proteins play some role in Se-MSC-mediated apoptosis. Pre-treatments of z-VAD-fmk and the calpain inhibitor, calpeptin inhibited Bax cleavage. These results suggested that Bax cleavage is mediated by calpain, and calpain activation may be a caspase-dependent one. Taken together, the chemopreventive effects of Se-MSC may be related in part to the caspase-3 activation, the down-regulation of IAP family proteins, and Bax cleavage mediated by caspase-dependent calpain activation.


i. Whanger PD. "Selenocompounds in plants and animals and their biological significance." J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Jun; 21(3): 223-32.
ii. Medina D, Thompson H, Ganther H, Ip C. "Se-methylselenocysteine: a new compound for chemoprevention of breast cancer." Nutr Cancer. 2001; 40(1):12-7.
iii. Ip C. "Lessons from basic research in selenium and cancer prevention." J Nutr. 1998 Nov; 128(11): 1845-54.
iv. Finley JW, Davis CD. "Selenium (Se) from high-selenium broccoli is utilized differently than selenite, selenate and selenomethionine, but is more effective in inhibiting colon carcinogenesis." Biofactors. 2001; 14(1-4): 191-6.
v. Ip C, Birringer M, Block E, Kotrebai M, Tyson JF, Uden PC, Lisk DJ. "Chemical speciation influences comparative activity of selenium-enriched garlic and yeast in mammary cancer prevention." J Agric Food Chem 2000 Jun; 48(6): 2062-70.
vi. Ip C, Hayes C, Budnick RM, Ganther HE. "Chemical form of selenium, critical metabolites, and cancer prevention." Cancer Res 1991 Jan 15; 51(2): 595-600.
vii. Jiang C, Wang Z, Ganther H, Lu J. "Caspases as key executors of methylselenium-induced apoptosis (anoikis) of DU-145 prostate cancer cells." Cancer Res. 2001 Apr 1; 61(7): 3062-70.
viii. Finley JW, Ip C, Lisk DJ, Davis CD, Hintze KJ, Whanger PD. "Cancer-protective properties of high-selenium broccoli." J Agric Food Chem. 2001 May; 49(5): 2679-83.
ix. Ip C, Lisk DJ. "Characterization of tissue selenium profiles and anticarcinogenic responses in rats fed natural sources of selenium-rich products." Carcinogenesis. 1994 Apr; 15(4): 573-6.
x. Yeo JK, Cha SD, Cho CH, Kim SP, Cho JW, Baek WK, Suh MH, Kwon TK, Park JW, Suh SI. "Se-methylselenocysteine induces apoptosis through caspase activation and Bax cleavage mediated by calpain in SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells." Cancer Lett. 2002 Aug 8; 182(1): 83-92.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.