Effect of selenium supplementation on antioxidant markers: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Hormones (Athens). 2019 Dec;18(4):451-462. doi: 10.1007/s42000-019-00143-3. Epub 2019 Dec 10.


Aim: The aim of this study is the systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trial studies to assess the antioxidant effects of selenium (Se) supplementation.

Methods: The systematic review and meta-analysis were performed according to the previously published protocol. The PubMed, Web of Sciences, and Scopus databases were meticulously searched for relevant data, without time or language restriction, up to June 1, 2017. All clinical trials which assessed the effect of Se supplementation on antioxidant markers, including oxidative stress index (OSI), antioxidant potency composite (APC) index, plasma malonaldehyde (MDA), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), catalase (CAT)), and total antioxidant plasma (TAP), were included. The effect of Se supplementation on antioxidant markers was assessed using standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI). The random-effect meta-analysis method was used to estimate the pooled SMD.

Results: In total, 13 studies which assessed the effect of Se supplementation on antioxidant markers were included. The random-effect meta-analysis method showed that Se supplementation significantly increased GPX (SMD = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.21-0.87) and TAC (SMD = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.13, 0.66) levels and decreased MDA levels (SMD = - 0.54, 95% CI = - 0.78, - 0.30). The effect of Se supplementation on other antioxidant markers was not statistically significant (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: The findings showed that Se supplementation might reduce oxidative stress by increasing TAC and GPX levels and decreasing serum MDA, both of which are crucial factors for reduction of oxidative stress.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Selenium; Supplementation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Selenium / administration & dosage
  • Selenium / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Selenium