Selenium, zinc and copper may be involved in development of rheumatoid arthritis

arthritis metal, arthritis zinc, arthritis selenium, arthritis copper, arthritis digestLower levels of selenium and zinc tend to be recorded in people with rheumatoid arthritis along with increased copper levels, scientists report in Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, suggesting the metals may have a role in the development of the disease. An analysis of the available research found:

– 16 studies comparing 806 people with rheumatoid arthritis to 959 healthy people, which concluded that blood levels of selenium was decreased in those with rheumatoid arthritis;

– 23 studies comparing 1,398 people with rheumatoid arthritis to 1,299 healthy people, which  reported blood levels of zinc were decreased in the rheumatoid arthritis group;

– 26 studies comparing 1,723 people with rheumatoid arthritis to 1451 healthy people, which found blood levels of copper were increased in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

“Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have significant decreased serum selenium and zinc and increased serum copper than health controls, suggesting potential roles of selenium, zinc and copper in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis,” the experts conclude. “Patients and rheumatologists should give enough attention to the monitor of these elements during follow up.”

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