The mineral selenium lowers the risk of diabetes in men

March 23, 2010

     Dysglycemia is any disorder of blood sugar metabolism including impaired glucose tolerance, prediabetes, and diabetes. Researchers from the University of Montpellier led by Dr. Tasnime Akbaraly report a protective effect for the mineral selenium against disordered blood glucose.
     The research team evaluated data from 1,162 healthy participants in the Epidemiology of Vascular Ageing (EVA) study of men and women aged 59 to 71. Plasma selenium and fasting plasma glucose levels were measured upon enrollment and glucose was re-evaluated at 2, 4 and 9 years. Among men whose plasma selenium was among the highest one-third of participants at 1.19 to 1.97 micromoles per liter, there was a 52 % lower risk of having abnormal blood glucose compared with men whose levels were lowest at 0.18 to 1 micromoles per liter. Controlling for other factors failed to significantly modify the association in men (the relation between sufficient selenium and protection from diabetes still held true in other words); however, a similar association was not observed in women in this study. The researchers reason that Selenium was m ore protective in men than women because the men were more at risk of developing diabetes in the first place and the women enrolled in the study were by and large healthier than the men.
     The current study adds evidence to previous studies that uncovered a lower level of selenium in diabetic patients. "Our results showed that for French elderly males, having plasma selenium concentrations in the top tertile of the population distribution was significantly associated with a lower risk of developing dysglycemia over the following nine years," Dr Akbaraly commented. “The study is published in the March 17, 2010 issue of the journal Nutrition and Metabolism.