Selenium supplements are widely promoted on the Internet for conditions ranging from cold sores and shingles to arthritis and multiple sclerosis . They are sold to prevent aging, enhance fertility, prevent cancer and get rid of toxic minerals such as mercury, lead and cadmium.
Selenium supplements have shown some promise in preventing prostate cancer. Because of selenium's antioxidant activities, some scientists feel it might be effective against diabetes.
But now researchers say that selenium supplements don't appear to prevent type 2 diabetes and "may increase risk for the disease."
The study is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine's advance online edition.
Dr. Saverio Stranges, lead author of the study, says it's not clear why selenium would be associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes.
"No single study can provide the answer to a scientific question, but at this time, selenium supplementation does not appear to prevent type 2 diabetes, and it may increase risk of the disease. However, our understanding of the mechanisms whereby selenium would increase risk of diabetes is very limited at this time and this issue needs to be further explored.
"Nevertheless, I would not advise patients to take selenium supplements greater than those in multiple vitamins," he said.
Stranges' team studied data on some 1,200 U.S. adults enrolled in a cancer prevention study.
The participants were 63 years old, on average. They lived in areas where the soil had low levels of selenium.
Selenium is a mineral found in the soil and in plants.
The body needs small amounts of selenium. Too much selenium can cause health problems including stomach upset, hair loss, nail problems, and nerve damage.
All participants in the study had previously had non-melanoma skin cancer. But none reporPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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