Selenium and the thyroid

Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2013 Oct;20(5):441-8. doi: 10.1097/


Purpose of review: To provide information on the role of the essential trace element selenium, which enables appropriate thyroid hormone synthesis, secretion, and metabolism, and to discuss supplementation with various selenium compounds, which prevent thyroid diseases such as goiter and exert beneficial effects in thyroid autoimmune diseases.

Recent findings: Selenium administration in both autoimmune thyroiditis (M. Hashimoto) and mild Graves' disease improves clinical scores and well-being of patients and reduces autoimmune antibody titres in several prospective, placebo-controlled supplementation studies.

Summary: Adequate nutritional supply of selenium, together with the two other essential trace elements iodine and iron, is required for a healthy thyroid during development and adolescence, as well as in the adult and aging populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism / etiology
  • Humans
  • Iodide Peroxidase / physiology
  • Myxedema / etiology
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Selenium / physiology*
  • Selenoproteins / physiology
  • Thyroid Gland / physiology*


  • Selenoproteins
  • Iodide Peroxidase
  • Selenium