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Selenium Helps Blood Sugar Health in Men

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Selenium Helps Blood Sugar Health in Men

By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, April 26, 2010, abstracted from “Plasma selenium and risk of dysglycemia in an elderly French population: Results from the prospective Epidemiology of Vascular Ageing Study” printed online in Nutrition and Metabolism

Diabetes now affects 24 million Americans and costs our healthcare system $174 billion per year (1). One out of every five health care dollars is spent caring for someone with diagnosed diabetes, while one in ten health care dollars is attributed to diabetes (2). The condition comes with a number of health risks, including a 200-400% increased risk of stroke and a 200% increased overall risk of death, compared to those without diabetes of similar age.

Diabetes can lead to permanent disability and numerous health complications that include heart disease, stroke, blindness, chronic kidney disease, and amputations (1). Fortunately, there are a number of natural ways to help maintain blood sugar health, including supplementing with chromium (3), glucomannan (4), cinnamon (5), magnesium (6), and CoQ10 (7). One food known to help maintain blood sugar health is walnuts, which benefit blood vessel health, thanks to L-arginine (8). Walnuts also deliver optimal fats for diabetics (9) and benefit blood circulation (10) and insulin health (11).

Now a new study (12) has found that selenium, which is beneficial to joint health (13) and skin health (14), may also benefit blood sugar health in men. The study involved 1,162 patients aged 59 to 71 participating in The Epidemiology of Vascular Aging study (15). They provided blood samples first thing in the morning (called “fasting blood glucose”) before the study began and then at 2, 4, and 9 years into the study.

By with the end of the 9-year study, the average selenium levels in men and women were 1.08 and 1.10 micromoles/Liter, respectively. While the researchers found no blood sugar benefits of selenium in women, men with the highest levels of selenium (1.19-1.97 micromol/L) had a 52% reduced risk of diabetes, compared to those with the lowest selenium levels (0.18-1.00 micromol/L). When they further controlled for lifestyle factors, cardiovascular diseases, body mass index, high blood pressure, the reduced risk was 50%, although no benefits seen in women.

For the researchers, “This prospective study suggests a sex-specific protective effect of higher selenium [blood levels on blood sugar health].”

Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Danville, CA. You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at [email protected] or visiting his web site at

1. Number of People with Diabetes Continues to Increase” from the CDC Website
2. “Direct and Indirect Cost of Diabetes In the United States” posted on
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12. Akbaraly TN. Plasma selenium and risk of dysglycemia in an elderly French population: Results from the prospective Epidemiology of Vascular Ageing Study. Nutrition & Metabolism, 2010; (in press)
13. American College of Rheumatology 2005 Annual Conference – San Diego, CA
14. Van der Pols JC. Serum Antioxidants and Skin Cancer Risk: An 8-Year Community-Based Follow-up Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009 18: 1167-1173 Published Online First March 31, 2009. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-1211
15. Berr C, Coudray C, Bonithon-Kopp C, Roussel AM, Mainard F, Alperovitch A: Demographic and cardiovascular risk factors in relation to antioxidant status: the EVA Study. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1998, 68 :26-35.

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Seabiscuit Hogg
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 455

Thanks. Good read. I learned at least a couple things from that.

Seabiscuit Hogg is a fictious internet character. It is not recommended that you receive medical advice from fictious internet characters.

SBH :)