Selenium does not protect against
Heart Disease

Written by
last updated: May 2006

Study affirmed selenium does not prevent heart disease

Researchers from the State University of New York investigated the effectiveness of selenium in prevention of heart disease in over 1300 patients participating in the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer Trial (NPC Trial) in the 90s. Incidence rates of hear attack, stroke and death from heart disease were analyzed. Findings showed that 200 mcg of daily selenium supplement for 7 1/2 years did not prevent heart disease. The results of this study were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in April 2006.

Editor's Note - Selenium only benefits cancer, but not heart.

A summary report of the NPC Trial published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention in July 2002 revealed benefits of selenium supplementation on cancer incidence, particularly among men with low blood selenium concentration. The benefit was most promising for prostate cancer prevention. Indeed, a few other studies published in 2004 showed the potential benefits of selenium in prevention of prostate cancer. One particular epidemiological study published in May 2004 in the Journal of National Cancer Institute revealed that men with high blood levels of selenium were about half as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer as the men with lower blood selenium.

The results of this NPC trial is a good reminder that antioxidants do not benefit all diseases, especially when they are in pure supplement form.

Selenium Key Message: Enjoy the benefits of selenium! Selenium is found in many foods such as seafood, lean meats, grains, eggs and garlic. If you are taking a selenium supplement, the maximum amount from food and supplements considered safe is 400 mcg a day.

If you would like to include more foods with high levels of antioxidants, fruits & vegetables as well as whole grains would be good choices. For a sensible heart smart diet, emphasize fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish and choose skinless lean meats.

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