Selenium Supplementation and the Effects on Reproductive Outcomes, Biomarkers of Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Horm Metab Res. 2016 Mar;48(3):185-90. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1559604. Epub 2015 Aug 12.


Selenium supplementation could be effective on reproductive outcomes, biomarkers of inflammation, and oxidative stress among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of the study was to determine the effects of selenium supplementation on reproductive outcomes, biomarkers of inflammation, and oxidative stress in PCOS patients. The present randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 64 women aged 18-40 years old with PCOS at the clinic affiliated to Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran. The participants were randomly assigned to 2 groups receiving either 200 μg selenium daily (n=32) or placebo (n=32) for 8 weeks. Hormonal profiles, biomarkers of inflammation, and oxidative stress were measured and compared both before and after the treatment. After 8 weeks of intervention, pregnancy rate in the selenium group was higher than in the placebo group: 18.8 (6/32) vs. 3.1% (1/32), p=0.04. In addition, alopecia (40.6 vs. 9.4%, p=0.004) and acne (46.9 vs. 12.5 %, p=0.003) decreased following the consumption of selenium supplements compared with placebo. Additionally, patients who received selenium supplements had significantly decreased serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels (p=0.02), hirsutism (modified Ferriman-Gallwey scores) (p<0.001), serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (p=0.02), and plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (p=0.01) compared with placebo. We did not observe any significant effects of taking selenium supplements on other hormonal profiles, nitric oxide (NO), and other biomarkers of oxidative stress. Taken together, selenium supplementation for 8 weeks among PCOS women had beneficial effects on reproductive outcomes, DHEA, hs-CRP, and MDA levels. Supporting Information for this article is available online at

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / pathology*
  • Reproduction / drug effects*
  • Selenium / pharmacology
  • Selenium / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Selenium