The effects of dietary selenium supplementation on inflammatory markers among patients with metabolic diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2021 Jun 9;20(1):1051-1062. doi: 10.1007/s40200-021-00821-3. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Purpose: Selenium (Se) is a trace element having significant effects on human metabolism. Recent studies suggest that Se supplementation have a pivotal effect on the inflammatory markers. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of Se supplementation on plasma inflammatory markers including C-reactive protein (CRP) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and nitric oxide (NO) as a stress oxidative index, among patients with metabolic diseases.

Methods: To assess the effects of Se on the inflammatory markers, following the PRISMA-P guidelines, we systematically searched ISI/WOS, PubMed/MEDLINE, and Scopus for studies that assessed the effect of Se supplementation on the inflammatory markers. Data extraction was performed by two independent investigators. Using the random effects or fixed-effects model depending on the results of heterogeneity tests was used to estimate the pooled standardized mean difference (SMD). Heterogeneity between studies was assessed using Cochran's Q test and I2 index.

Results: The initial search revealed 3,320 papers. After screening process and considering inclusion criteria, 7 publications were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis results showed that Se supplementation did not significantly affect CRP and hs-CRP concentrations (mean difference (MD) = -0.15; 95% CI: -0.55- 0.23; P = 0.43). Subgroup analysis of CRP type showed that Se supplementation significantly decreased hs-CRP level (pooled SMD = -0.44; 95% CI: -0.67-0.21). Moreover, no significant change was observed in NO level by continuing to take Se supplementation, (pooled SMD: 0.003, 95%CI: -0.26, 0.26).

Conclusions: This study revealed that Se supplementation would have desirable effects on cardio-metabolic indicators through affecting the levels of inflammatory markers. Given the importance of concerns, more attention should be given to more prospective studies with longer follow-up.

Keywords: Inflammation; Inflammatory markers; Selenium; Supplementation; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review