Effects of long-term selenium supplementation on the incidence of type 2 diabetes: A randomized trial

Saverio Stranges, James R. Marshall, Raj Natarajan, Richard P. Donahue, Maurizio Trevisan, Gerald F. Combs, Francesco P. Cappuccio, Antonio Ceriello, Mary E. Reid

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Abstract

Background: Findings from animal models suggest that selenium supplementation improves glucose metabolism. Objective: To examine the effect of long-term selenium supplementation on the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Design: Secondary analysis of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Setting: Areas of low selenium consumption of the eastern United States. Patients: 1202 persons seen in dermatology clinics who did not have type 2 diabetes at baseline. Intervention: Oral administration of selenium, 200 μg/d, or placebo. Measurements: Incidence of type 2 diabetes. Results: During an average follow-up of 7.7 years (SD, 2.7), type 2 diabetes developed in 58 selenium recipients and 39 placebo recipients (incidence, 12.6 cases per 1000 person-years vs. 8.4 cases per 1000 person-years, respectively; hazard ratio, 1.55 [95% CI, 1.03 to 2.33]). The lack of benefit of selenium supplementation on the incidence of type 2 diabetes persisted in analyses stratified by age, sex, body mass index, and smoking status. An exposure-response gradient was found across tertiles of baseline plasma selenium level, with a statistically significantly increased risk for type 2 diabetes in the highest tertile of baseline plasma selenium level (hazard ratio, 2.70 [CI, 1.30 to 5.61]). Limitations: Diabetes was a secondary outcome in the parent trial. Diagnoses of diabetes were self-reported but were validated in most participants. The sample was mostly older and white. Conclusions: Selenium supplementation does not seem to prevent type 2 diabetes, and it may increase risk for the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Volume147
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 21 2007

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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Stranges, S., Marshall, J. R., Natarajan, R., Donahue, R. P., Trevisan, M., Combs, G. F., Cappuccio, F. P., Ceriello, A., & Reid, M. E. (2007). Effects of long-term selenium supplementation on the incidence of type 2 diabetes: A randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 147(4), 217-223.