Americans with diabetes have been found to have high levels of selenium in their bodies, leading some experts to believe that it could contribute to development of the disease. A research team has now recommended that U.S. residents stop taking supplements that contain selenium.
Most Americans ingest large amounts of the mineral because soil in much of the U.S. contains high levels that are absorbed by crops. Selenium occurs naturally in soil, and leaches onto farm fields from irrigation and streams.
A research team examined the diabetes rate and selenium levels among nearly 1,000 people over the age of 40. They found that most had a good deal of selenium in their blood, but those with diabetes had substantially more.
Selenium is an essential element and antioxidant, but medical experts say there may be a fine line between the amount that your body needs and the amount that is harmful.