Selenium linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes

People who take selenium supplements may be putting themselves at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

Selenium is a trace mineral that has garnered much praise over the past decade for offering a host of health benefits, especially for individuals with low selenium levels. Low levels of selenium in your blood can be dangerous. It can put you at risk for poor immune function, cognitive decline, and even death. Adequate levels ensure good male fertility; protect against bladder, lung, colorectal and prostate cancers; and help ward off viruses. But too much selenium can have detrimental effects.

In randomized trials focused on the benefits of selenium supplementation, the association with type 2 diabetes risk was a secondary outcome. At least one study focused on the relationship between selenium status and glucose metabolism.

Other studies have implicated specific selenoproteins in the association with type 2 diabetes. These animal studies showed that both low-level and high-level of certain stress-associated selenoproteins have similar adverse effects on insulin resistance and hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels.

While more study is needed to understand the true risks and benefits of taking a selenium supplement, researchers stress that selenium is far more beneficial to people with low levels of the mineral in their blood, and that those with adequate levels should not take on the risk for diabetes.

The first line of defense against diabetes is developing a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise. In most cases, patients will eventually need to take medication.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers that the type 2 diabetes drug Actos had been linked to bladder cancer. Attorneys for Beasley Allen Law Firm is currently investigating cases of bladder cancer in patients who used Actos.

ACTOS is a trademark of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and used under license by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.

Source: MedPage Today