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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Diabetes Channel
Reported July 10, 2007

Too Much Selenium Linked to Diabetes

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Selenium supplements have been sold as natural remedies for cold sores, shingles, arthritis and multiple sclerosis, but buyer beware! A recent study reveals too much selenium could put people at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Selenium is a trace mineral that can be found in soil and several types of food. When consumed in small amounts, selenium can be beneficial to the body's metabolism, but researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo report consuming selenium in large amounts could actually be hazardous to one's health. Researchers drew this conclusion when they found 58 of the 602 participants who were free of diabetes upon enrollment in the selenium study developed type 2 diabetes after consuming 200 micrograms of selenium for less than eight years. Only 39 of the 602 participants in the placebo group developed the condition during the same time period. Study authors report people with high selenium intake were at greater risk for diabetes regardless of age, gender or smoking status. According to researchers, the only group of people who may be exempt from the effects of selenium are those who are overweight.

"What the U.S. public needs to know is that most people in the United States have adequate selenium in their diet," Eliseo Guallar, M.D., Dr.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health was quoted as saying. "Moreover, taking selenium supplements on top of an adequate dietary intake may cause diabetes." Experts say multivitamin pills can contain anywhere from 33 to 200 micrograms of selenium. Doctors also recommend people older than age 14 receive approximately 55 micrograms per day.

SOURCE: The Annals of Internal Medicine, published online July 10, 2007


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