Second recent study shows that selenium slows cognitive decline

February 14, 2007

Selenium is a mineral needed for detoxification, immune function, and antioxidant activity. Studies over the last couple of years show that low selenium levels increase the risk of developing heart damage, hepatitis, cancer, cataracts, poor immune system function, and now you can add age-related mental decline. Selenium is also part of the health-span extending glutathione system.

In this study scientists from Indiana University examined the effects of age on mental function in two-thousand elderly Chinese people (average age 72, 54 percent female). Indiana University is world renowned for the development of tests and scales to assess mental function. Lower levels of selenium in a person were matched to lower cognitive scores. There was an acceleration of aging matching 10 years in those with the lowest selenium levels versus the highest. Selenium intake was judged by food frequency questionnaires and by the amount of selenium found in nail samples; this gives a history of selenium intake, and from blood samples which reflect the current intake. The study is published on line ahead of print in the American journal of Epidemiology.

Note; On February 2nd of 2007 we posted a study from France showing that elderly people that had the greatest decline in their selenium levels had a greater level of cognitive decline and of those that actually improved their selenium levels their decline was slowed.

Fewer men develop prostate cancer if they have high Selenium levels in conjunction with a high Vitamin E intake, or if their Selenium is obtained from a Multiple-Vitamin

In this study, researchers for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle study data from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. The men in the study were followed for up to 8 years. It was found that if the man had a high level of Selenium and he had a high Vitamin E intake, the combo cut the incidence of prostate cancer. Fewer men also developed prostate cancer if their Selenium was obtained from a Multiple-Vitamin, Mineral supplement. If smokers had sufficient levels of Selenium (regardless of the source), fewer of them developed prostate cancer. The study is published in the January 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.