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Selenium shown to lower cholesterol levels

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Higher levels of the nutrient selenium may be linked to an improvement in cholesterol test results, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Selenium has been shown to play an important role in several bodily functions, but it has been unclear whether or not there are any benefits to taking higher doses of the nutrient. Some studies have connected it to a decreased cancer risk, but others have linked higher levels to higher odds of developing diabetes. The heart health effects of the nutrient were less clear.

In order to answer these questions, researchers from Johns Hopkins University asked a group of participants to take either a selenium supplement or a placebo. They administered cholesterol tests before the start of the study and again six months later.

The results showed that those taking supplements saw an average improvement in cholesterol levels of 8.5 to 9.7 mg/dl, depending on their dose level.

While the researchers cautioned that their results do not mean that individuals should take selenium supplements to lower their cholesterol, it does provide grounds for further research into the effects of the nutrient.  

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