Taking daily selenium supplements for at least six months may significantly reduce cholesterol levels in elderly men and women, say British researchers.
British scientists headed by Professor Margaret P. Rayman, University of Surrey in the UK, have demonstrated in a new study waiting to be published that selenium supplements may reduce levels of both LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and total cholesterol. Their findings are particular important for hypercholesterolemic patients who have side effects from taking conventional cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins)
“In view of the potential public-health implications of hyperlipidaemia and the widespread use of selenium-containing supplements, the results are reassuring,” the researchers write in their paper, warranting further studies with longer duration, more participants, and a broader age differentiation.
In the recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study, more than 500 elderly volunteers were randomly assigned to a six-month treatment with 100, 200, or 300 micrograms of high-selenium yeast or placebo yeast (dummy pills).
The groups that got either 100 or 200 micrograms of selenium daily had significant reductions of LDL and total cholesterol, compared with the placebo group. No additional benefit was seen in the 300 microgram selenium group in terms of LDL and total cholesterol lowering. On the other hand, there was a significant increase in HDL (high-density lipoprotein), also known as “good” cholesterol.
The selenium yeast (SelenoPrecise®) used in the study is manufactured by Pharma Nord and is an organic selenium yeast with extremely high bio-availability (88.7%, documented) and excellent safety data.
Source: Abstracts will be published in the proceedings of the Nutrition Society 2010.