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Selenium Seems To Protect Elderly Men, But Not Women, From The Onset Of Diabetes

March 18, 2010: 03:16 AM EST
Does the trace element selenium promote, or prevent, the onset of Type II diabetes? Studies have provided conflicting evidence, some showing that selenium lowers the risk because of “insulin-like” activity and antioxidant properties, others indicating that selenium increases the risk and even boosts blood fat levels. A new study launched to resolve the conflicting results has found that high plasma selenium levels seem to protect against “dysglycemia,” a precondition of Type 2 diabetes, in elderly men, but not women. The study looked at data from a nine-year study of nearly 1,400 healthy men and women aged 59-71 years. During the study period, 127 new cases of diabetes developed. But men with high levels of selenium were 52 percent less likely to develop diabetes, a result not seen in women.
Tasnime N Akbaraly, Josiane Arnaud, Margaret P Rayman, Isabelle Hininger-Favier, Anne-Marie Roussel, Claudine Berr and Annick Fontbonne, "Plasma selenium and risk of dysglycemia in an elderly French population: Results from the prospective Epidemiology of Vascular Ageing Study", Nutrition & Metabolism 2010, March 18, 2010, © BioMed Central Ltd
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