Little effect of supplementation with high-selenium yeast on plasma lipids

January 01, 0001

Little effect of supplementation with high-selenium yeast on plasma lipids

High selenium status has been linked to elevated blood cholesterol levels in cross-sectional studies. The aim of this study by researchers from the UK, Spain and the USA was to investigate the effect of selenium supplementation on plasma lipids. It consisted of a blinded randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study stratified by age and sex in 4 general practices in the United Kingdom with 501 volunteers aged 60 to 74 years. Participants received selenium, 100 mcg/d (n = 127), 200 mcg/d (n = 127), or 300 mcg/d (n = 126), as high- selenium yeast or a yeast-based placebo (n = 121) for 6 months.

Mean plasma selenium concentration was 88.8 ng/g at baseline and increased statistically significantly in the treatment groups. The adjusted difference in change in total cholesterol levels for selenium compared with placebo was -0.22 mmol/L (- 8.5 mg/dL) for 100 mcg of selenium per day, -0.25 mmol/L (- 9.7 mg/dL) for 200 mcg of selenium per day, and -0.07 mmol/L (-2.7 mg/dL) for 300 mcg of selenium per day. Similar reductions were observed for non-HDL cholesterol levels. There was no apparent difference in change in HDL cholesterol levels with 100 and 200 mcg of selenium per day, but the difference was an adjusted 0.06 mmol/L (2.3 mg/dL) with 300 mcg of selenium per day. The total-HDL cholesterol ratio decreased progressively with increasing selenium dose (significant).

The researchers concluded: "Selenium supplementation seemed to have modestly beneficial effects on plasma lipid levels in this sample of persons with relatively low selenium status. The clinical significance of the findings is unclear and should not be used to justify the use of selenium supplementation as additional or alternative therapy for dyslipidemia. This is particularly true for persons with higher selenium status, given the limitations of the trial and the potential additional risk in other metabolic dimensions."

Sounds like nothing to act on.

For the full abstract, click here.

Annals of Internal Medicine 154(10): 656-665, 6 May 2011
© 2011 by the American College of Physicians
Effect of Supplementation With High-Selenium Yeast on Plasma Lipids. Margaret P. Rayman, Saverio Stranges, Bruce A. Griffin, Roberto Pastor-Barriuso and Eliseo Guallar.

Category: K. Circulatory, T. Endocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional. Keywords: supplementation, selenium, yeast, plasma, lipids, randomized trial, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 3 June 2011

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