Endocrine Abstracts (2005) 9 P173

Incidence of Selenium deficiency in thyroid disease

HG Bohnet, Y Broyer, PA Ebert & N Peters


1Hamburg Institute for Endocrinology, Hamburg, Germany.


In Europe the trace element selenium has been shown to be diminished on farmland and consequently in the food chain. Selenoproteins play a major role in the redox-systems of the body; glutathion-peroxidase is important for the enzymatic reduction of hydroperoxides in the thyroid gland. Furthermore, various forms of dejodases contain selenium, which convert thyroxin into triiodthyronin.

We investigated the incidence and the extent of selenium deficiency in females presenting euthyroid goiter or with Hashimoto's shown by thyroid sonography as well as by elevated antibody titers against thyroxin-peroxidase (greater than 40 IU per liter) . Women with normal thyroid function (TSH smaller than 2.5 IU per ml) and normal thyroid sonographic volume (smaller than 18 ml) served as controls. Selenium was measured in the serum at the same time as thyroid function was assessed. Normal levels were considered to be greater than 1 micromole per liter.

In the controls (n=74) selenium levels averaged 1.06 plus/minus 0,22 SD, but in 20 (27%) they were lower than 1.00. In women with an euthyroid goiter (n=55) serum selenium levels were similar (1.00 plus/minus 0,24 SD); 22 (40%) had levels lower than normal. In 76 (56%) female patients with Hashimoto's (n=135) selenium levels were significantly (p smaller than 0.05) decreased resulting in average levels of 0.90 plus/minus 0,21 SD. Recently (2003) Derumeaux and co-workers demonstrated that even mild selenium deficiency correlated with a higher incidence of Hashimotos. Our results are in line with these findings. It also has been shown that supplementation of 200 micrograms selenium per day results in decreased anti-TPO-titers

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