Effect of Selenium Supplementation on Recurrent Hyperthyroidism Caused by Graves' Disease: A Prospective Pilot Study

Horm Metab Res. 2016 Sep;48(9):559-64. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-110491. Epub 2016 Jul 8.


The effect of selenium supplementation on recurrent hyperthyroidism caused by Graves' disease is unclear. Our study aimed to assess the efficacy of selenium supplementation therapy on recurrent Graves' disease. Forty-one patients with recurrent Graves' disease were enrolled in this study. All patients received the routine treatment using methimazole (MMI), while patients allocated to the selenium group received additional selenium therapy for 6 months. The influence of selenium supplementation on the concentrations of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), anti-TSH-receptor antibodies (TRAb), free thyroxine (FT4), and free triiodothyronine (FT3) were assessed. The remission rate was also compared between 2 groups. There was no obvious difference in the demographic data and the levels of serum FT4, FT3, TSH, and TRAb between the 2 groups at baseline. Both FT4 and FT3 decreased more at 2 months in the selenium group than the controls, while the TSH level increased more in patients receiving selenium supplementation (p<0.05). The TRAb level was significantly lower in patients receiving selenium supplementation (2.4 IU/l vs. 5.6 IU/l, p=0.04). The percentages of patients with normal TRAb level at 6 months was also significantly higher in the selenium group (19.0 vs. 0%, p=0.016). Kaplan-Meier survival curve showed patients receiving selenium supplementation had a significantly higher rate of remission than controls (Log-rank test p=0.008). In conclusion, selenium supplementation can enhance the effect of antithyroid drugs in patients with recurrent Graves' disease. Randomized trials with large number of participants are needed to validate the finding above.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Graves Disease / complications*
  • Humans
  • Hyperthyroidism / diet therapy*
  • Hyperthyroidism / etiology
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction
  • Selenium / administration & dosage*
  • Survival Rate


  • Selenium