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Major Dietary Supplement Could Promote Type 2 Diabetes

Higher-than-normal amounts of a selenium-containing enzyme could promote type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that mice with elevated levels of the antioxidant enzyme develop the precursors of diabetes at much higher rates than did control mice. Selenium, a common dietary supplement, is an antioxidant that helps to rid the body of harmful free radicals. Researchers said that although free radicals are known to be harmful and antioxidants helpful, the study suggests that we actually need some free radicals to help switch insulin signaling on and off in glucose (blood sugar) metabolism.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences June 7, 2004

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