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Selenium Raises the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Study Finds

According to a study, selenium appears to lower lipids and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), possibly through insulin resistance rather than pancreatic beta cell activity.

Selenium Raises the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Study Finds
Image: Woman Injecting Insulin | InStyleHealth

The effects of selenium on coronary artery disease (CAD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), lipids, and glycemic characteristics were studied using Mendelian randomization.

The researchers used publicly available summary statistics from large consortia genome-wide association studies of CAD (76,014 cases and 264,785 non-cases), T2D (74,124 cases and 824,006 controls), lipids, and glycemic characteristics to apply genetic variants substantially linked with blood and toenail selenium. They also combined variant specific Wald estimates using inverse variance weighting and sensitivity analysis.

Biologically predicted selenium was linked to an increased risk of T2D (odds ratio [OR], 1.27, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.07–1.50; p=0.006). There was little evidence of a link to CAD.

Lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, greater fasting insulin, and a higher homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance were all linked to genetically predicted selenium. However, not all sensitivity tests yielded consistent results.

Furthermore, no correlations with lipids, fasting glucose, or a homeostasis model assessment of -cell function were found.

"We found little indication of a link to CAD," the authors said, "but an inverse relationship cannot be ruled out completely." "More research into the influence of selenium on these outcomes is needed."

Source: Eur J Clin Nutr 2021;75:1668-1678

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