Selenium and Immune Function and DNA Repair

Selenium is a trace element essential for for DNA repair, for  good immune function, and for reduced mortality risk.

DNA double helix
Cell studies, animal models, and human clinical trials suggest that an optimal supply of selenium is required to enhance the process of DNA damage repair.

The Micronutrient Information Center maintained by staff members at the Linus Pauling Institute of the Oregon State University provides reliable information about the vitamins and minerals and trace elements used in nutritional supplements.

Today, I want to summarize the information that the Center provides about selenium and supplement that information with the latest scientific research.

An Introduction to Selenium and Selenoproteins

Selenium is a trace element that is essential that humans need for the proper functioning of selenium-dependent selenoproteins. Free selenium is rare in the body. Instead, the selenium in the body is typically a component of selenomethionine, selenocysteine, and methyl-selenocysteine. read more

Selenium Supplementation and Autoimmune Thyroiditis

Autoimmune thyroiditis is the umbrella term for various types of thyroiditis in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland.

Endocrine glands placement
The thyroid gland is the butterfly-shaped endocrine gland in the lower part of the neck. It plays an essential role in the regulation of our basic metabolism.

The result is often hypothyroidism, the insufficient functioning of the thyroid gland.

The two major types of hypothyroidism are Hashimoto’s disease and atrophic thyroiditis.

Thyroiditis is the medical term for inflammation of the thyroid gland.

Immune system disorder can also cause an overactive thyroid, called hyperthyroidism; Graves’ disease is the most common form.

Selenium Supplementation to Prevent Hypothyroidism

In a 2021 review article, Filipowicz et al assert that many European endocrinologists prescribe selenium supplements to autoimmune thyroiditis patients.

For example, a 2016 survey of 815 doctors (91% endocrinologists) has shown that almost 80% of the surveyed doctors prescribe selenium supplementation to autoimmune thyroiditis patients. The rationale for the selenium supplementation is the delay of the hypothyroidism or a decrease in thyroid antibodies [Filipowicz 2021]. read more