Effect of selenium supplementation on recurrent hyperthyroidism caused by Graves’ disease: a prospective pilot study.
Reviewed by: Alan Gaby, MD
Author: Wang L, et al
Reference: Effect of selenium supplementation on recurrent hyperthyroidism caused by Graves’ disease: a prospective pilot study. Horm Metab Res 2016;48:559-564.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Participants: Forty-one patients with recurrent Graves’ disease who had been receiving antithyroid medication (methimazole) for at least 2 years. Patients treated with radioactive iodine or thyroidectomy were excluded.
Study Medication and Dosage: Selenium (100 µg twice a day, as sodium selenite) or no selenium (control group) for 6 months.
Primary Outcome Measures: Thyroid function tests and remission rate.
Key Findings: At 2 months, mean values for free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine had decreased to a significantly greater extent, and the mean value for thyroid-stimulating hormone had increased to a significantly greater extent, in the selenium group than in the control group. During a median follow-up period of 19.5 months, the remission rate was higher in the selenium group than in the control group (52% vs. 25%; p = 0.07).
Practice Implications: Selenium has been reported to have a number of different beneficial effects on thyroid disease. In some, but not all studies, selenium supplementation decreased anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody levels in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis. In addition, selenium supplementation improved quality of life, reduced ocular involvement (orbitopathy), and slowed disease progression in euthyroid patients with mild Graves’ orbitopathy.[i] In the present study, selenium supplementation enhanced the effect of antithyroid drugs in patients with recurrent Graves’ disease.
[i] Marcocci C, et al. Selenium and the course of mild Graves’ orbitopathy. N Engl J Med 2011;364:1920-1931.