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COMMENTARY: Stop buying vitamins and get more sleep instead

COMMENTARY: Stop buying vitamins and get more sleep instead
Health
As a medical doctor and public health specialist, I have been involved in several studies and clinical trials examining the benefits and risks of micronutrients and nutritional supplements, such as selenium, across several populations in North America and Europe.

In a recent study, my colleagues and I found no evidence that selenium supplements help prevent chronic disease — in this instance diabetes — even in regions where there are relatively low amounts of selenium in the natural diet.

Our study used data from a randomized clinical trial conducted in Denmark and was recently published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism .

There is, on the other hand, ample scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of other lifestyle modifications for healthy aging and the prevention of major chronic disease. These include: improving the overall quality of diet, increasing physical activity, refraining from smoking, maintaining healthy sleep patterns and minimizing stress.

In a previous randomized clinical trial conducted in the United States, we observed that relatively high doses of selenium supplements in areas where it is already plentiful in the diet (such as the U.S.) actually .

This issue has potential public health implications for several reasons. First, in the U.S. and many other Western countries, use of selenium-enriched foods and nutritional supplements has increased markedly in recent years. This is because of a perception that selenium and other anti-oxidant supplements can potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
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