Sneaking Selenium into Your Diet

Selenium is one of those “sleeper” nutrients that you don’t hear much about. But it’s critical to good health.

There’s been some impressive research supporting selenium’s role in cancer prevention. And now a new study puts a spotlight on selenium for diabetes.

Researchers analyzed data on 3,630 women and 3,535 men–none of whom had diabetes or heart disease in the mid-1980s, when the study started. When researchers checked in with them in 2008, 780 of the volunteers had developed type 2 diabetes.

And, as it turned out, those with highest levels of selenium had 24 percent lower risk of developing diabetes.

The researchers called for more research to figure out just how much selenium a person needs to offset their diabetes risk. But you don’t have to wait for those results to start getting more of this essential nutrient.

You can get selenium from specific foods like white button mushrooms and seafood (tuna, salmon, cod, halibut, shrimp). Beef, turkey, and lamb are also rich in selenium.

Sounds like good eating to me!

“Toenail selenium and incidence of type 2 diabetes in U.S. men and women.” Diabetes Care 2012;35(7):1,544-1,551.