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Selenium Supplements May Help -- or Harm
Date:2/29/2012

s," said Duffy MacKay, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

MacKay noted that Americans likely have normal or higher levels of selenium because they take supplements. "I wouldn't want these results to be interpreted to mean that people should stop taking supplements," he said.

So, how can you be sure you're getting adequate levels without getting too much? One way is to get a blood test to assess your current selenium levels.

However, if you don't get a blood test, Rayman said, "One can be fairly confident that in North America, additional selenium isn't needed, but the same may well not be true in Europe."

Rayman said that people generally don't need to be concerned about the amount of selenium in their diets. The only food that might provide higher-than-recommended amounts when consumed frequently is Brazil nuts, she said.

More information

Learn more about selenium from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Margaret Rayman, Ph.D., professor of nutritional medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K.; Duffy MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Washington, D.C.; Feb. 29, 2012, The Lancet, online


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