Taking excess of selenium, an essential mineral, in your diet can increase your cholesterol by almost 10 percent.

Selenium is a trace mineral with anti-oxidant properties. The body naturally absorbs selenium from foods such as vegetables, meat and sea food.

However, when the balance is altered and the body absorbs too much selenium, through supplements, for instance, it can have adverse affects.

A team led by Saverio Stranges at the University’s Warwick Medical School has found high levels of selenium are associated with increased cholesterol, which can trigger heart disease.

The researchers examined the association of plasma selenium concentrations (levels of selenium in the blood) with blood lipids (fats in the blood).

They found in those participants with higher plasma selenium there was an average total cholesterol level increase of eight percent.

Researchers also noted a 10 percent increase in non-HDL cholesterol levels (lipoproteins within your total cholesterol that can help predict the risk of someone suffering a heart attack or chest pain).

Also, of the participants with the highest selenium levels, 48.2 percent admitted they regularly took dietary supplements, says a Warwick release.

The study was conducted among 1,042 participants aged 19—64 years in the 2000—2001 UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

These findings were recently published in the Journal of Nutrition.

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