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Selenium is a trace mineral essential to health that binds with proteins to form powerful antioxidant enzymes called selenoproteins. Earlier studies have linked good selenium levels to lower chances for several cancers, but few studies have tested for a link to diabetes, doctors said.

In this study, researchers analyzed the diets of 3,630 women and 3,535 men without diabetes or heart disease at the start of the study. After two years of follow-up, more than one in 10 had developed diabetes, but those with the highest level of selenium–measured in the toenail–were 24 percent less likely to have developed the condition.

Doctors said that adequate levels of selenium could come from a good diet, rich in plant-based foods such as fresh garlic, mushrooms, whole grains, wheat germ, and brewer’s yeast, as well as organ meats, tuna fish, and other seafood. Selenium levels in plant-based foods depend on the amount in soil, which varies across the U.S.

Reference: Diabetes Care; 2012, Vol. 35, No. 7. 1544-51

From the October 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on December - 9 - 2012
categories: Supplements

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