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Selenium deficiency associated with increased inflammation in seniors

Selenium deficiency associated with increased inflammation in seniors

Tuesday, September 25, 2012. A report published online on September 13, 2012 in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging reveals a greater risk of inflammation among institutionalized older individuals whose levels of the mineral selenium were deficient.

"The aging process has been demonstrated to be associated with oxidative damage and increased production of inflammatory cytokines," W. Y. Lin and colleagues write in their introduction to the article. "The inappropriate presentation of inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1, and IL-6, characterizes a chronic inflammatory state in the elderly. Meanwhile, it has been reported that the increase in serum inflammatory cytokines, especially IL-6, is related to the development of sarcopenia, functional disability, frailty, and increased morbidity and mortality."

The current study included 336 men and women between the ages of 65 and 101 years who were residents of long-term health facilities in Taiwan. Blood samples were analyzed for the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), selenium and other factors.

Selenium deficiency, defined as having a serum selenium level of less than 80 micrograms per liter (mcg/L), was detected in 35.6 of the men and 43.2 percent of the women participating in the study. An increased risk of deficiency was associated with rising levels of IL-6. Among those whose IL-6 levels were among the top 25 percent of participants, the risk of deficiency was more than double that of subjects whose IL-6 levels were among the lowest quarter.

The authors attribute the finding to selenium's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and note that decreases in serum selenium as well as increases in interleukin-6 have been linked with chronic diseases involving inflammation, including cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. They remark that chronic inflammatory diseases could be a consequence rather than a cause of the relationship between selenium and IL-6; however, the design of the study prohibited exploration of causality. "Future studies should aim to further clarify the linkage between selenium and IL-6, and possible benefits and disadvantages of intervention," they conclude.

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Three months of green tea extract results in reductions in inflammation, blood pressure and oxidative stress in obese men and women

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A report in the June, 2012 issue of Nutrition Research revealed the results of a double-blinded trial which found a benefit for supplementation with green tea extract on blood pressure, inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first clinical trial performed on obese, hypertensive patients," announce authors Pawel Bogdanski and his colleagues at Poland's Poznan University.

Fifty-six men and women with high blood pressure and a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or more were randomized to receive a capsule containing 379 milligrams green tea extract or a placebo for three months. Blood pressure and serum levels of lipids, glucose, antioxidants, insulin and the inflammatory markers tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured before and after treatment.

At the end of the study, subjects who received green tea had improved insulin resistance, blood pressure, lipids, inflammation and total antioxidant status. Dr Bogdanski and his associates remark that green tea's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions may explain its cardioprotective and blood pressure-lowering effects.

"The present findings demonstrate strong evidence for a beneficial influence of green tea extract supplementation on blood pressure, carbohydrate metabolism, and lipid profile, as well as on inflammation and oxidative stress, in patients with obesity-related hypertension," the authors write. "Further studies on a larger scale and with a longer duration of observation are needed to support our data and to explore their mechanistic basis."

October 2012 Life Extension Magazine® Now Available in Electronic Format

October 2012 Life Extension Magazine® Now Available in Electronic Format

This e-issue of Life Extension Magazine® is extraordinarily easy to use, easy to navigate … with the same flip-the-page feeling you get from your printed copy, plus a few extra advantages. You can choose to search out a topic or keyword. Skim quickly. Skip ahead. Even order products. Now all that convenience is right at your fingertips.

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