Selenium and Selenoproteins in Immune Mediated Thyroid Disorders

Diagnostics (Basel). 2018 Oct 4;8(4):70. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics8040070.


Selenium is an essential micronutrient that is required for the synthesis of selenocysteine-containing selenoproteins, processing a wide range of health effects. It is known that the thyroid is one of the tissues that contain more selenium. The "selenostasis" maintenance seems to contribute to the prevention of immune mediated thyroid disorders. Prospective, observational studies, randomized, controlled studies evaluating selenium supplementation, and review articles that are available in Medline and PubMed have undergone scrutiny. The differences concerning methodology and results variability have been analyzed. Several authors support the idea of a potential efficacy of selenium (mainly selenomethionine) supplementation in reducing antithyroperoxidase antibody levels and improve thyroid ultrasound features. In mild Graves' orbitopathy, selenium supplementation has been associated with a decrease of the activity, as well as with quality of life improvement. Future research is necessary to clearly understand the selenium supplementation biologic effects while considering the basal selenium levels/biomarkers, selenoprotein gene polymorphisms that may be involved, underlying comorbidities and the major clinical outcomes.

Keywords: Graves’ disease; Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; autoimmune thyroid diseases; essential trace element; selenium; selenoproteins; supplements.

Publication types

  • Review