Selenium Deficiency and Thyroid Disease

  • Margaret P. RaymanEmail author
  • Leonidas H. Duntas


The essential nutrient selenium (Se), which is incorporated as selenocysteine in an array of selenoproteins, is characterised by a wide range of actions that render this trace element indispensable for numerous biological functions and hence for health. Se is particularly important for both thyroid homeostasis and the stability of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, since all three deiodinase enzymes are selenoproteins. Se deficiency has been associated with a variety of thyroid diseases, including myxoedematous cretinism, goitre, thyroid autoimmune disease and cancer. Mutations in the selenocysteine- binding protein 2 (SBP2) gene interfere with the synthesis of selenoproteins thus causing a multisystem selenoprotein deficiency disorder. Given that Se requirements vary according to the iodine status of the region, indications for supplementation should be based on location as well as on measurements of Se status while also taking into account several other factors, among them sex and age.


Selenium Selenoproteins Selenium status Goitre Autoimmune thyroid disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis Graves’ disease Thyroid cancer 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical SciencesUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK
  2. 2.Unit of Endocrinology Diabetes and MetabolismEvgenidion Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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