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Selenium's role in preventing heart attacks.

Periodically, I'm asked if we really need to spend our money on vitamins and minerals. And periodically, I answer, "yes." Even on an ideal diet (and who among us is on an ideal diet?), we're not getting everything we need. Take selenium, a mineral that has been linked to cancer when there's a deficiency. Even if you're on an extremely healthy diet, you're probably not getting enough selenium--unless you're taking a supplement.

A new study is showing that selenium lowers homocysteine and helps prevent heart problems in older people. I'm getting older, so this interests me!

High homocysteine is a risk factor for heart disease. When a group of doctors in Spain measured blood selenium levels along with homocysteine levels, they found that the people who had the highest selenium had the lowest risk for heart disease. Selenium comes from the soil. Good soil. Even in Spain, soil has been depleted of important nutrients. This one little mineral could mean the difference between getting heart disease and staying healthy. My advice: take a multivitamin/mineral with 200 mcg of selenium (such as Vitality Plus, 800-728-2288). This amount has been found in the past to be protective against cancers, and will protect your heart as well.

Gonzalez, S., et al. "Serum selenium is associated with plasma homocysteine concentrations in elderly humans," J Nutr, 2004 July.
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Title Annotation:Nutrition Detective
Publication:Women's Health Letter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
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