Map of Selenium Distribution
(image by Cornell University)
More Good News from Mainstream Medicine
A Feb 2013 article in Clinical Endocrinology declares "More Good News!!" on Selenium and the Thyroid.(1) They go on to state,
"In patients with Hashimoto's disease and in pregnant women with anti-TPO antibodies, selenium supplementation decreases anti-thyroid antibody levels and improves the ultrasound structure of the thyroid gland."(1)
Selenium-Deficient Soil Map of US
Regular readers of my blog will know that I have been writing for years about the benefits of selenium in Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I even have several chapters devoted to selenium in my book, Bioidentical Hormones 101, published 3 years ago. It is nice to know that mainstream endocrinology is finally catching up to what we have been doing in the office for many years now.
We live in a selenium-deficient area (see above left map). Our office routine is to test everyone for selenium level and give selenium supplements when found low.
The Iodine in Hashimoto's Controversy
We also routinely test all patients for iodine levels and give supplements in patients found to be low. Iodine supplementation in Hashimoto's patients is controversial and many patients read on the internet that iodine should never be given to a Hashimoto's patient.
This is incorrect, as iodine is an essential mineral and iodine deficiency is associated with many adverse health consequences for the patient.
Full article here.
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2013 Feb;78(2):155-64. doi: 10.1111/cen.12066. Selenium and the thyroid gland: more good news for clinicians. Drutel A, Archambeaud F, Caron P.
The thyroid is the organ with the highest selenium content per gram of tissue because it expresses specific selenoproteins. Since the discovery of myxoedematous cretinism and thyroid destruction following selenium repletion in iodine- and selenium-deficient children, data on links between thyroid metabolism and selenium have multiplied. Although very minor amounts of selenium appear sufficient for adequate activity of deiodinases, thus limiting the impact of its potential deficiency on synthesis of thyroid hormones, selenium status appears to have an impact on the development of thyroid pathologies. The value of selenium supplementation in autoimmune thyroid disorders has been emphasized. Most authors attribute the effect of supplementation on the immune system to the regulation of the production of reactive oxygen species and their metabolites. In patients with Hashimoto's disease and in pregnant women with anti-TPO antibodies, selenium supplementation decreases anti-thyroid antibody levels and improves the ultrasound structure of the thyroid gland. Although clinical applications still need to be defined for Hashimoto's disease, they are very interesting for pregnant women given that supplementation significantly decreases the percentage of postpartum thyroiditis and definitive hypothyroidism. In Graves' disease, selenium supplementation results in euthyroidism being achieved more rapidly and appears to have a beneficial effect on mild inflammatory orbitopathy. A risk of diabetes has been reported following long-term selenium supplementation, but few data are available on the side effects associated with such supplementation and further studies are required.