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The trace element selenium, which is found in selenoproteins, plays an antioxidant role in preventing muscle tissue injury. A positive association between selenium concentrations and hand grip strength has been reported in older adults; however, the evidence of this association is scarce in general adults. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the association between blood selenium concentrations and low hand grip strength using the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 in the United States (US). Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) of low hand grip strength, with blood selenium level adjusted for potential confounders. Among 8158 adults (women: 51.59%) with a mean age of 47 (range: 18-80) years, women and non-Hispanic Blacks tended to have low blood selenium concentrations. Notably, participants with high blood selenium concentrations (range, 178.1-192.5 µg/L) were more likely to have a low risk of low hand grip strength after adjusting for the potential covariates (OR: 0.60, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.38-0.95) than those with low blood selenium concentrations. After excluding participants with chronic diseases, high blood selenium concentrations were found to be associated with a low risk of low hand grip strength (OR: 0.30, 95% CI: 0.14-0.65). A J-shaped relationship was found between selenium concentrations and low hand grip strength (P for nonlinear trend <0.0001). Subgroup analyses revealed a significantly consistent relationship among women, non-Hispanic Whites and others, and individuals with overweight or obesity (P < 0.05). Our study suggests that blood selenium concentrations are inversely associated with hand grip strength in general US adults. However, further prospective studies are required to confirm the causality between selenium concentrations and hand grip strength.


Jingjing Pei, Lailai Yan, Yuwan Wu, Xi Zhang, Huan Jia, Huajun Li. Association between low blood selenium concentrations and poor hand grip strength in United States adults participating in NHANES (2011-2014). Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme. 2023 Jul 01;48(7):526-534

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PMID: 37015110

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