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

Selenium to Raise Anti-Viral Resistance Against COVID-19

COVID-19 Virus Infection
COVID-19 virus infections are accompanied by excessive activation of the innate immune system, by progressive inflammation, and by cytokine storms. A review of the medical journal literature shows that an adequate supply of the micronutrients selenium, zinc, and vitamin D is necessary to strengthen immune function and to reduce inflammation.

Adequate intakes of selenium, zinc, and vitamin D are essential to ensure resistance to viral infections, to promote strong immune function, and to reduce levels of inflammation. A team of Norwegian, Swedish, and Russian researchers recommends the initiation of adequate supplementation with these micronutrients in high-risk areas and in cases of suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2 [Alexander 2020].

Selenium Supplementation to Protect Against the Hyper-Inflammation Associated with COVID-19

The team of researchers concluded from its review of the available medical literature that an adequate selenium intake/status can protect against the hyper-inflammation associated with corona viral infections.

Consequently, individuals at high risk who have a selenium status below 100 micrograms per liter should consider daily supplementation at a dose of 100–200 micrograms of selenium per day [Alexander 2020]. read more

Selenium and Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the person’s immune system mistakenly attacks parts of the person’s own body such as his or her joints or skin. There are as many as 14 common autoimmune diseases. Some attack only one organ; others attack the entire body. Through its role in the maintenance of thyroid function and its role in the antioxidant defense of cells and DNA, selenium may have a critical protective effect in the management of autoimmune diseases. More clinical research is needed.

Selenium is a micronutrient that plays an important role in the oxidative defense of cells and DNA against damage by harmful free radicals.  Selenium is the main component of the selenoproteins that play important roles in reproductive function, immune system modulation, and thyroid hormone synthesis [Sahebari].

Low Serum Selenium Levels and Autoimmune Diseases

Decreased serum selenium levels have been associated with increased incidence of some autoimmune diseases.  Furthermore, low levels of selenium may be a risk factor for systemic inflammation and for the initiation of some autoimmune diseases [Sahebari]:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Behcet’s diseases
  • Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis)

Selenium Supplementation and Autoimmune Diseases

Selenium supplementation has been shown to have beneficial effects in the management of rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma [Sahebari]. read more