Osteoporosis: Could selenium reduce risk?

A new review from China finds an affiliation among nutritional consumption of selenium and osteoporosis risk. Even though the authors simply cannot figure out whether the website link is causal, they get in touch with for extra investigation.

A new review asks no matter if selenium ingestion could possibly website link to osteoporosis risk.

In the course of life, the body constantly breaks down bone, reabsorbs it, and remakes it. In osteoporosis, the reforming of bone can not maintain up with the rate of bone breakdown.

This course of action usually means that, about time, bones become weaker and far more susceptible to fracture. Osteoporosis predominantly has an effect on older adults, and, globally, an estimated 200 million people have osteoporosis.

The problem affects approximately 1 in 3 women in excess of 50 decades of age, although 1 in 5 males will have fractures that osteoporosis relates to in the course of their life time.

There are some threat elements for osteoporosis that people can not avoid, this kind of as advancing age and intercourse. But professionals have also determined some modifiable hazard aspects, for instance, smoking cigarettes tobacco and drinking liquor boost the threat.

Scientists also feel that nutritional variables may possibly play a aspect. To date, most investigation searching at nourishment and osteoporosis has concentrated on calcium for the reason that of its pivotal position in bone overall health.

The authors of the most latest analyze, on the other hand, consider that other micronutrients could influence osteoporosis risk. They made the decision to emphasis on selenium. The experts printed their success in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.


Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential for human health. It performs a element in a lot of devices of the system and is present in a broad assortment of meals, including fish, shellfish, purple meat, grains, eggs, hen, liver, and garlic.

Even though a handful of previously experiments have appeared at selenium’s impact on osteoporosis, the evidence has not been conclusive.

To handle this hole in our understanding, the hottest scientists took facts from 6,267 individuals who frequented the Department of Wellness Evaluation Centre of Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, China.

Registered nurses engaged with all participants and collated details about their lifestyles and demographics. All contributors had been 40 many years of age or older and done thorough meals frequency questionnaires.

Importantly, the researchers also took observe of other parameters that can affect osteoporosis, these types of as consuming, smoking cigarettes position, system mass index (BMI), and degree of actual physical activity.


All round, osteoporosis was current in 9.6% of contributors — 2.3% in males and 19.7% in girls. Using the questionnaire details, the scientists break up the contributors into 4 teams, which they ranked for the optimum to the least expensive selenium ingestion.

As they expected, individuals with the cheapest degrees of dietary selenium experienced the greatest hazard of producing osteoporosis. The authors noticed a dose response romance in other text, selenium ingestion had a destructive correlation with osteoporosis risk — the extra an particular person eaten, the lower their chance.

Even following managing for variables these types of as age, gender, and BMI, the romance was continue to major it also held real for equally males and girls. The authors conclude:

The results of our research could give a trace of the pathogenesis of [osteoporosis], and long term scientific tests of nutritional intake, which include [selenium] supplementary intake, on the possibility of [osteoporosis] are warranted.”

In their paper, the authors go over some mechanisms by which selenium could possibly influence osteoporosis threat. They explain how the activity of immune molecules, such as cytokines, encourage the progression of osteoporosis and that selenium may well inhibit these molecules.

Secondly, selenium sorts component of selenium dependent antioxidant enzymes, which mop up reactive oxygen species inside cells.

Reactive oxygen species come about as a byproduct of oxygen metabolism and participate in helpful roles in the overall body. Even so, if they make up, they cause oxidative stress, which can hurt cells. Consequently, lessen ranges of selenium may well enhance oxidative anxiety.

This is important because, as the authors clarify, there is some evidence that oxidative pressure may well affect the development of osteoporosis.


The authors feel that theirs is the 1st examine to relate nutritional selenium consumption to osteoporosis specifically. Whilst they utilized a somewhat substantial sample dimension and accounted for a extensive assortment of variables, there are still major restrictions.

For occasion, any study that is reliant on self-noted food stuff consumption is open up to error — human memory is surely not infallible. The authors also explain that degrees of selenium in food stuff can fluctuate, and that preparation techniques also influence how significantly selenium is readily available.

Also, in observational reports such as this, it is not feasible to verify a causal marriage among dietary selenium and ailment results there is generally the risk that other things are influencing the final results.

As the common age of the populace little by little rises, osteoporosis is starting to be far more commonplace. Knowledge how we can reduce threat is very important, and additional function is certain to observe.

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