Monday, July 30, 2007

Selenium Supplementation & Type2 Diabetes

Saturday Quack says, "Scrub the Selenium."

Forbes HealthDay News says, "Selenium Supplements Boost Type2 Diabetes Risk."

A selenium /type2 diabetes study published in the August Annals of Internal Medicine started being sensationalized by the press the minute the embargo was lifted. Once again, the headlines misrepresent the study.

Self-reported (key word here) diagnosis of type2 diabetes was a secondary endpoint in a clinical trial designed to look at the benefit of selenium supplementation in prevention of non-melanoma skin cancer in the Eastern US states where selenium levels are lower than the national average. The study participants were white, elderly males with skin cancer; type2 diabetes was a secondary outcome of interest (after thought of the research team and self reported by the study participants), which many researchers believe reduces the strength and relevance of the findings.

In fact, the first author of the study, Saverio Stranges, MD, PhD, said, "The study findings were interesting, but should be considered cautiously because in the general population, very few people, if any, take selenium supplements only, every day, for nearly eight years, so we can't be sure that these findings apply to the public at large."


Karen said...

These afterthought study results are rediculous!!!! I hate to seem paranoid, but this sounds like results the Big Pharm boys cooked up for job security. No one supplements with 200 mcg of selenium as a stand-alone supplement every day for eight years. Will the researchers ever understand that nutrition studies can't be designed using the same parameters used in pharmaceutical studies? This crap makes me sick and I wish you would remove the post.

Ellen said...

Calm down Karen!

Outrage, even when completely justified, usually gets us nowhere with mainstream medicine.

Karen said...

Don't tell me to calm down - it's time for the public to stand up to the pharmaceutical industry and refuse to take their overpriced drugs. I just spoke to a type2 diabetic who was diagnosed eight years ago and now he is on 9 prescription drugs every day. He reported to me that his doctor, the one prescribing the drugs, had never once spoken to him about using diet and exercise to help control the disease.