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Background: Selenium is a trace element essential for health. Severe selenium deficiencies are associated with poor musculoskeletal (MSK) function. However, the effects of moderate deficiency on MSK function, especially in older adults, is unclear. Objectives: To determine the associations between selenium intake and MSK function in very old adults. Methods: Selenium intake at baseline and, hand-grip strength (HGS) and timed-up-and-go (TUG) at four phases over 5 years, were available in 791 participants in the Newcastle 85+ Study, a community-based, longitudinal cohort of ≥85 year old individuals. We investigated relationships between selenium intake and HGS and TUG in cross-sectional analyses at baseline using multivariate analyses and, prospectively using linear mixed models to explore HGS and TUG changes over 5 years in association with baseline selenium intake. Results: At baseline, 53% of participants had selenium intakes that were classified as low. These individuals had 2.80 kg lower HGS and were 2.30 s slower performing the TUG, cross-sectionally. In multivariate, baseline analyses, selenium intake had no significant impact on HGS or TUG. Selenium intake had no significant effect on MSK function, prospectively. Conclusion: Low selenium intake is common among very old adults and, in cross-sectional analyses, is associated with poorer MSK function.


Giorgia Perri, Nuno Mendonça, Carol Jagger, Jennifer Walsh, Richard Eastell, John C Mathers, Tom R Hill. Dietary Selenium Intakes and Musculoskeletal Function in Very Old Adults: Analysis of the Newcastle 85+ Study. Nutrients. 2020 Jul 12;12(7)

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PMID: 32664662

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