Increased dietary intake of selenium is associated with a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes, reported Italian researchers recently. Included in their prospective study were 7182 women from Northern Italy.
Increased dietary intake of selenium is associated with a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes, reported Italian researchers recently.1 Included in their prospective study were 7182 women from Northern Italy.
Dietary selenium intake was measured by a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Average selenium intake at baseline was 55.7 mcg/d, which is slightly higher than the US recommended dietary allowance of 55 mcg/d.
During a median follow-up period of 16 years, type 2 diabetes developed in 253 of the women in the study. The odds ratio for diabetes, comparing the highest to the lowest quintile of selenium intake, was 2.39. The odds ratio for diabetes associated with a 10 mcg/d increase in selenium intake was 1.29.
The researchers noted that the use of selenium-enriched food and supplements has increased in Western countries because of the perception that selenium can reduce the risk of cancer.2,3 They cautioned that this trend may exacerbate the current diabetes epidemic.
1. Stranges S, Sieri S, Vinceti M, et al. A prospective study of dietary selenium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes. BMC Public Health. 2010;10(564).
2. Millen AE, Dodd KW, Subar AF. Use of vitamin, mineral, nonvitamin, and nonmineral supplements in the United States: the 1987, 1992, and 2000 National Health Interview Survey results. J Am Diet Assoc. 2004;104:942-950.
3. Broadley MR, White PJ, Bryson RJ, et al. Biofortification of UK food crops with selenium. Proc Nutr Soc. 2006;65:169-181.