Selenium Supplements


A new study out of France has found that men supplementing with the essential trace mineral selenium decreased their risk of abnormal blood sugar metabolism. The mineral shows the potential to protect against diabetes, according to the study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism. Oddly enough, the mineral did not seem to have an effect on the abnormal blood sugars of the women studied.

“The reason we observed a protective effect of selenium in men but not in women is not completely clear, but might be attributed to women being healthier at baseline, having better antioxidant status in general and possible differences in how men and women process selenium,” said lead researcher Tasnime Akbaraly from the University of Montpellier I.

Selenium has been examined in the past due to its anti-cancer properties. Several studies have found that supplementing selenium leads to dramatic drops in cancer rates for a variety of cancers including breast, esophageal, stomach, prostate, liver and bladder cancers. Selenium also helps in the proper function of the immune system, protects DNA, proteins and lipids from free radical damage, aids in normal thyroid function and the normal development of sperm cells (could this be a key to why the current study found the mineral affects the blood sugar of men and not women?).

Selenium has also been found to help with dandruff. While many dandruff shampoos feature a compound called selenium sulfide as an active ingredient for topical use, nutritionists tend to recommend consuming the mineral to control dry scalp.

Selenium is found in high amounts in animal proteins like eggs, pork, beef, chicken, fish, shellfish and other seafoods. It’s also found in vegetable sources such as Brazil nuts, mushrooms, barley, dates, Swiss chard and sea vegetables. Because the amount of selenium found in foods can vary widely depending on the soil structure or the amount naturally present in animal feed, supplementing selenium may be the best answer. Two hundred micrograms per day is what is recommended for the mineral’s anticancer effects.

Author by Doug DiPasquale

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