RLS affects about 10% of the people in the U.S. It runs in families and may have a genetic component.
A recent study from Yazd University of Medical Science in Iran has found that the mineral selenium provides improvement for restless leg syndrome symptoms.
The theory behind why selenium is effective in RLS is an interesting one. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which is a chemical messenger that helps in the transmission of signals in the brain and other vital areas. The involvement of the dopamine system is considered by some to be the base reason for the development of RLS. Selenium has been shown to have healthful characteristics that promote the action of the dopamine pathways in the body.
The Iranian study of selenium for restless leg syndrome was a five month trial. The patients first took a placebo, and then took 50 micrograms (a microgram is one millionth of a gram) and then 200 micrograms of selenium.
The researchers concluded that selenium in the daily recommended dose of 50 micrograms reduces the occurrence of restless leg syndrome symptoms greatly. Due to the absence of side effects from selenium consumption, they recommend selenium for the improvement of RLS, and acknowledge it as an alternative remedy to dopamine enhancing drugs.
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