Selenium Status and Major Trauma Patients

Abnormally low selenium status is characteristic of critical illness and major trauma. The fall in selenium status occurs very rapidly after major trauma and is associated with poor survival odds. For it to be effective, adjuvant treatment with selenium must be initiated as soon as possible.

Serum selenium and selenoprotein P concentrations drop to very low levels very quickly following major traumatic injury. The very low selenium and selenoprotein P levels are associated with poor survival odds [Braunstein].

These findings in a study done at the University Hospital in Munich, Germany, suggest that selenium supplementation may be a meaningful adjuvant treatment strategy for patients who have suffered major trauma [Braunstein].

Selenium and Critical Illness

Lower than normal selenium status is characteristic of critical illness. Low selenium status can affect the course and the outcome of various diseases [Braunstein].

For example, Bomer et al [2019] found that heart failure patients with serum selenium levels below 70 micrograms per liter had poorer quality of life, poorer exercise capacity, and poorer prognosis than heart failure patients with higher serum selenium levels. read more

Selenium Supplementation and Graves’ Disease

Low selenium status is associated with increased risk of Graves’ Disease. Graves’ Disease is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. It is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It often results in an enlarged thyroid.

A 2018 meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials shows that adjuvant selenium supplementation may enhance the restoration of normal thyroid function in patients with Graves’ Disease [Zheng].

Graves’ Disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in adults. It is characterized by below-normal serum TSH levels and increased serum levels of free thyroxine (FT4) and/or triiodothyronine (T3). The basal metabolic status of Graves’ Disease patients is accelerated; the result is an increase in the production of harmful free radicals and reactive oxygen species [Zheng].

Intra-cellular antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione reductase, and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) protect against the cellular damage caused by oxidative stress. read more