Can Selenium Actually Treat Certain Conditions?

Does Selenium Work for Cancer Prevention?

There is some evidence that selenium may help to prevent various types of cancer. However, studies have been contradictory, with some showing that selenium has no effect on cancer. In general, it seems that people who have a selenium deficiency may benefit the most from supplementation for cancer prevention. However, such a deficiency is quite rare in the United States, as most people get plenty of selenium through dietary means.
There is some concern that a long-term intake of high selenium doses may increase the risk of skin cancer, although more research is necessary to confirm this finding. Even though selenium has antioxidant activity at normal doses, higher doses may actually have the opposite effect, which could increase the risk of cancer.

Does Selenium Work for Diabetes?

It is not clear if selenium plays a role in the prevention or treatment of diabetes. Some studies suggest that people who have low selenium levels may have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, while other studies have shown that high selenium levels due to supplementation also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. At this time, the bulk of the research tends to suggest that selenium increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, but much more research is necessary to fully evaluate this issue.

Does Selenium Work for Arthritis?

Studies suggest that people who have low selenium levels may be at a higher risk for osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis). However, it is not clear if selenium supplementation could prevent or treat arthritis. Early research suggests that it probably isn't very helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Final Thoughts on the Effectiveness of Selenium

Selenium shows promise for treating or preventing a few medical conditions. However, most studies are preliminary, and more research is necessary before it is known if selenium really works for these conditions. It is important to note that selenium can cause some serious side effects, and you should not take high doses of it without your healthcare provider's approval.
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