An Extensive Review of the Role of Selenium in Thyroid Homeostasis

Selenium and the thyroid: a close-knit connection.

Duntas LH

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Dec;95(12):5180-8. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

The recent recognition that the essential trace element selenium is incorporated as selenocysteine in all three deiodinases has decisively confirmed the clear-cut link between selenium and thyroid function. It has additionally been established that the thyroid contains more selenium than any other tissue and that selenium deficiency aggravates the manifestation of endemic myxedematous cretinism and autoimmune thyroid disease.

Evidence in support of selenium supplementation in thyroid autoimmune disease was evaluated, the results herein presented demonstrating the potential effectiveness of selenium in reducing the antithyroid peroxidase titer and improving the echostructure in the ultrasound examination. However, considerable discord remains as to who should comprise target groups for selenium treatment, who will most benefit from such treatment, the precise impact of the basal antithyroid peroxidase level, and the effect of disease duration on the treatment outcome. Clearly, further in-depth studies and evaluation are required concerning the mechanism of action of selenium as well as the choice of supplements or dietary intake. Maintenance of “selenostasis” via optimal intake not only aids preservation of general health but also contributes substantially to the prevention of thyroid disease