Selenium Intake and Metabolic Syndrome: A Systematic Review

Clin Nutr. 2019 Apr;38(2):603-614. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.02.021. Epub 2018 Mar 2.


Background & aims: Metabolic syndrome is a multi-causal disease. Its treatment includes lifestyle changes with a focus on weight loss. This systematic review assessed the association between Selenium intake and metabolic syndrome.

Methods: Data were collected mainly from four databases: PubMed, CENTRAL (Cochrane), Scopus and Web of Knowledge. Keywords related to metabolic syndrome, selenium, as well as metabolic syndrome features were searched. This review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Statement. A systematic review protocol was registered at PROSPERO (n. 42016046321). Two reviewers independently screened 2957 abstracts. Six studies were included to perform data extraction with standardized spreadsheets. The risk of bias was assessed by using specific tools according to the design of the relevant studies. An assessment was carried out based on the appropriateness of the study reports accordingly to STROBE and the CONSORT-based checklist for each study design.

Results: Three studies found no association between Selenium intake and metabolic syndrome; two of them found an inverse association; and one study found a direct association between Selenium intake and metabolic syndrome. One study also showed an inverse association between Selenium intake and the prevalence of high waist circumference, high diastolic blood pressure, and hyperglycaemia in women.

Conclusions: Overall, based on the argumentation and results of this study, it is possible to conclude that Selenium intake and metabolic syndrome are not clearly associated in adults and elderly.

Keywords: Cardiovascular diseases; Dietary supplements; Food intake; Metabolic syndrome x; Selenium.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Selenium / administration & dosage*
  • Selenium / blood*


  • Selenium