SELENIUM – Easy to get as a vegan, a fact that’s very hard for anti-vegan crusaders to wrap their cute little “brains” around.
This 2012 article by a Jack Harrison https://jacksdailydose.com/2012/01/18/meaty-mineral-slash-cancer-risk/ is a “customer favorite” (as they all seem to be) at Jack’s Daily Dose (of what, exactly?). The site is a production of a company called New Market Health, a publisher and supplement seller, said to provide natural cures and health solutions: https://www.bbb.org/greater-maryland/business-reviews/publishers-periodical/new-market-health-publishing-in-frederick-md-90207875/reviews-and-complaints
First, the article’s title. Oh my! Vegans feeling alienated by society and looking for an excuse to quit and get back to fitting in can stop at the title and look no further…
1) “Can veganism cause pancreatic cancer?”
Scary! Clever Jack can’t get himself in trouble there, since he’s only asking a question. Sweet.
Still not frightened into eating animal corpses, milk and eggs? Well then, look at the bold subheading:
2) “The meaty mineral that can slash your cancer risk”
Wow, sounds like there’s great hope to save one’s life with some animal products… oh boy, we’re cookin’ now!
So the teetering vegan reads on…
3) Harrison goes on to “wonder if” Steve Jobs got pancreatic cancer due to his supposed vegan lifestyle, due to his “bunny chow” diet and severe lack of this vital nutrient.
The frightened vegan thinks, Yeah, pancreatic cancer is bad news, and wow, what? Jobs was a vegan, eating bunny chow? And those plant products gave him pancreas cancer and killed him, even with all his money!? Oh holy hell, I must read on and find this lifesaving nutrient I’m missing…
4) Jack then claims to be the one who discovered the cancer-fighting powers of this nutrient…selenium. Now his wisdom has caught on, he says, and a recent study found that selenium can slash pancreatic cancer risk to almost nil.
Soon-to-be-ex-vegan now says to his/herself: OMG! There must be no selenium in plant foods, only in animal protein… what a fool I’ve been to be doing this vegan thing! Curses on all those vegan cultists who put me at risk of dying from pancreatic cancer! Teach me more, Jack, please…
5) Jack then warns that you have to be a Brazil nut scarfing weirdo to survive and not get cancer if you’re a vegan, since, as everyone should know, we get proper selenium only from animal protein.
McNugget-craving reader thinks, Hah, there it is! The proof’s in the blood pudding… animal products are absolutely necessary for human health, for our very survival. And when’s the last time I saw a Brazil nut? Those big honking off-white crunchy things with the brown skins…who eats those? Not me! This Jack guy is awesome, must be a doctor or nutritionist. Learn me some more, Jacko…
6) Then he types some drivel about our need for nickel and makes a joke about it not being the coins, and says nickel can cut your pancreas cancer risk by another third.
Sausage-jonesing vegan chortles, Hehehe, he’s smart, informative, and funny! We all like a little humor with our education… I’m loving this guy! I read on with relish…
7) Next and lastly, Jackie espouses the importance of drinking clean, contaminant-free water to prevent pancreas problems… keeping out things like lead, cadmium, etc.
Who can argue with that? So the now ex-vegan says to him/herself: Such profound wisdom and caring! Ima make me up a shopping list and visit the butcher, dairy and egg sections of the market for the first time in years. I’m gonna quit being vegan and save my life, unless it’s already too late. Wish me luck everyone, I’m back with y’all in the normal way of eating. Hallelujah!
Now, what wipes all of that claptrap out thoroughly and with a flourish? …FACTS, and nothing more:
1) No, veganism cannot cause pancreatic cancer. Genes, cigarette smoking, obesity, and working with certain chemicals such as in dry-cleaning and metal works (and the early computer industry a la Steve Jobs) are primary causes of pancreas cancer.
>>> Other pancreas problems, like pancreatitis, which can lead to cancer are caused by high-fat diets like keto, see here: https://www.reddit.com/r/keto/comments/7nxa32/pancreatitis_and_keto_anyone_else/ and here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11575609
2) Selenium is not a “meaty mineral,” since Brazil nuts are by far the highest in selenium of ALL foods of any kind. Whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and all the plant protein foods contain selenium and it’s easy to meet your need of about 55mcg for adults on all plant foods. See here and scroll down to “sources”: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/
3) Steve Jobs either was or wasn’t a vegan (depending on who you listen to) and it makes no difference in this case. His possible genetic makeup and/or long history in the early days of computers…his hands-on building of them, etc…. were far more likely involved in his developing the cancer. He was closer to a pescatarian/fruitarian than a vegan. He apparently ate more fish near the end of his life under pressure from loved ones to try to save his life. It failed. If he was deficient in selenium it was due to his possibly eating all or primarily fruit for so long, since sweet fruits have almost no selenium. Foods higher in protein have selenium. Interestingly, just ONE brazil nut has all the selenium you need in a day.
4) This Jack person sure claims a lot of credit, and I’ve not yet seen any real evidence of selenium slashing risk of pancreatic cancer by 95%, as he also claims. I’ve only seen how proof of selenium’s protectiveness against pancreatic cancer is inconclusive. I wonder if this supplement company manufactures selenium supplement. It’s quite dangerous to take selenium supplement, since it is dangerously toxic in large amounts.
IMPORTANT: People are warned even to limit their number of tasty Brazil nuts. (I like them in lightly roasted nut mixes, but don’t often get them.)
Here are the top sources of selenium for vegans:
https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/best-vegetarian-foods-selenium/ So getting selenium is not a problem, but look how that Jack person tried to instill all this cancer terror in readers, leading them only to animal products as their salvation. That is reprehensible!
5) And yet more lies compounding the rest of the lies. You have to really love Brazil nuts to be vegan and get selenium? Where does this guy pull his information out from?! Again, just ONE Brazil nut and you’re all set for your selenium in a day. Can those people get any more deceitful?
6) The nickel thing is neutral; all the plant foods, especially higher protein ones, contain plenty of nickel.
7) The tap water issue is neutral too; we all should use a good water filter for consuming tap water, or use good bottled water. The reverse osmosis thing he seems to require probably has something to do with their company selling them, although I don’t know that. The charcoal filtration systems like Pur and Brita do just fine for filtering out lead and other harmful things like chlorine.
Here’s a good article about pancreas health for additional information which also proves the Daily Dose article as absolute nonsense: https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/exocrine-pancreatic-insufficiency/prevent-pancreatitis-and-epi/
What all of the above says, needlessly, is that if you’re vegan and eating a normal, balanced, non-animal diet low on any junk and high on real foods, you’ve not one thing to worry about with selenium or pancreatic cancer due to your rejecting all animal products. Those fear tactics are absolute nonsense, and as usual only serve to protect and bolster the meat/egg/dairy industries. Which is despicable. But, what else is new?