Selenium Supplementation and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritic hands
Rheumatoid arthritis patients typically have lower serum selenium status than healthy individuals do. Some studies show that selenium supplementation is associated with reduced swelling and stiffness of the joints and with less severe pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

A meta-analysis shows a significant association between low serum selenium status and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) [Yu 2016].

-The researchers examined the data from 14 case-control studies involving 716 subjects.

-The analysis of the pooled data indicated that patients with rheumatoid arthritis had lower serum levels of selenium than the healthy controls.

-The rheumatoid arthritis patients had significantly lower serum selenium levels than healthy controls did in studies in Europe and in Asia but not in studies in the USA.

Selenium and Rheumatoid Arthritis Studies

Sahebari et al [2019] reported on 13 studies that assessed selenium status in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Adequate Selenium for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints of the hands and feet and leads to disability. read more

Low Selenium Status and At-Risk Pregnancies

Pregnant woman
Low serum selenium status (defined as below 80 micrograms per liter) during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, pre-term births, and other adverse outcomes.

A recent review article presents the evidence that low selenium status in pregnant women may be implicated in the following complications [Duntas 2020]:

  • miscarriage
  • preeclampsia
  • pre-term birth
  • retarded fetus intrauterine growth
  • post-partum hypothyroidism and auto-immune thyroiditis

To ensure an optimal pregnancy outcome, Dr. Leonidas Duntas recommends that physicians take an individualized approach and prescribe dietary and supplemental selenium intakes that are tailored to the pregnant woman’s needs.

Why is Adequate Selenium Important for Pregnant Women?

Selenium is an essential trace element. Its intake and status in the blood plasma can vary considerably according to a number of factors [Duntas 2020]:

  • differences in diet and nutrition
  • differences in soil and plant selenium content
  • ethnic differences
  • genetic differences

Without a blood selenium test, it is not possible to know whether women planning a pregnancy have sufficient circulating selenium. The Mayo Clinic reports that the normal selenium concentration in adult human blood serum in the United States is 70 to 150 micrograms per liter with a population mean value of 98 micrograms per liter. read more