Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease Are Associated with Decreased Serum Selenium Concentrations and Increased Cardiovascular Risk

Nutrients. 2016 Dec 1;8(12):780. doi: 10.3390/nu8120780.


The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and associated oxidative stress is increasing. The antioxidant mineral selenium (Se) was measured in serum samples from 106 IBD patients (53 with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 53 with Crohn's disease (CD)) and from 30 healthy controls. Serum Se concentrations were significantly lower in UC and CD patients than in healthy controls (p < 0.001) and significantly lower in CD patients than in UC patients (p = 0.006). Se concentrations in patients were significantly influenced by sex, body mass index (BMI), the inflammatory biomarker α-1-antitrypsin, surgery, medical treatment, the severity, extent, and form of the disease and the length of time since onset (p < 0.05). Se concentrations in IBD patients were positively and linearly correlated with nutritional (protein, albumin, prealbumin, cholinesterase and total cholesterol) and iron status-related (hemoglobin, Fe and hematocrit) parameters (p < 0.05). A greater impairment of serum Se and cardiovascular status was observed in CD than in UC patients. An adequate nutritional Se status is important in IBD patients to minimize the cardiovascular risk associated with increased inflammation biomarkers, especially in undernourished CD patients, and is also related to an improved nutritional and body iron status.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; influencing factors; nutritional and biochemical markers; selenium; ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / blood
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / physiopathology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / therapy
  • Crohn Disease / blood
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / physiopathology
  • Crohn Disease / therapy
  • Deficiency Diseases / complications
  • Deficiency Diseases / diet therapy
  • Deficiency Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Health Transition
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / complications
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Risk
  • Selenium / blood
  • Selenium / deficiency*
  • Selenium / therapeutic use
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • SERPINA1 protein, human
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin
  • Selenium