The influence of selenium supplementation on postpartum thyroid status in pregnant women with thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Apr;92(4):1263-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2006-1821. Epub 2007 Feb 6.


Context: Pregnant women who are positive for thyroid peroxidase antibodies [TPOAb(+)] are prone to develop postpartum thyroid dysfunction (PPTD) and permanent hypothyroidism. Selenium (Se) decreases thyroid inflammatory activity in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis.

Objective: We examined whether Se supplementation, during and after pregnancy, influences the thyroidal autoimmune pattern and function.

Design: This was a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

Setting: The study was conducted in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Endocrinology.

Patients: A total of 2143 euthyroid pregnant women participated in the study; 7.9% were TPOAb(+).

Interventions: During pregnancy and the postpartum period, 77 TPOAb(+) women received selenomethionine 200 microg/d (group S1), 74 TPOAb(+) women received placebo (group S0), and 81 TPOAb(-) age-matched women were the control group (group C).

Main outcome measures: We measured the prevalence of PPTD and hypothyroidism.

Results: PPTD and permanent hypothyroidism were significantly lower in group S1 compared with S0 (28.6 vs. 48.6%, P<0.01; and 11.7 vs. 20.3%, P<0.01).

Conclusion: Se supplementation during pregnancy and in the postpartum period reduced thyroid inflammatory activity and the incidence of hypothyroidism.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iodide Peroxidase / immunology*
  • Parity
  • Placebos
  • Postpartum Period / drug effects
  • Postpartum Period / physiology*
  • Pregnancy / blood
  • Pregnancy / immunology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Selenomethionine / administration & dosage
  • Selenomethionine / therapeutic use*
  • Thyroid Function Tests
  • Thyrotropin / blood


  • Autoantibodies
  • Placebos
  • Thyrotropin
  • Selenomethionine
  • Iodide Peroxidase