Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 141, Issue 1–3, pp 110–118 | Cite as

Supplemental Selenium Alleviates the Toxic Effects of Excessive Iodine on Thyroid

  • Jian Xu
  • Xiao-Li Liu
  • Xue-Feng Yang
  • Huai-Lan Guo
  • Li-na Zhao
  • Xiu-Fa Sun


As excessive iodine intake is associated with a decrease of the activities of selenocysteine-containing enzymes, supplemental selenium was hypothesized to alleviate the toxic effects of excessive iodine. In order to verify this hypothesis, Balb/C mice were tested by giving tap water with or without potassium iodate and/or sodium selenite for 16 weeks, and the levels of iodine in urine and thyroid, the hepatic selenium level, the activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx), type 1 deiodinase (D1), and thyroid peroxidase (TPO) were assayed. It had been observed in excessive iodine group that hepatic selenium, the activities of GSHPx, D1, and TPO decreased, while in the groups of 0.2 mg/L, 0.3 mg/L and 0.4 mg/L supplemental selenium, the urinary iodine increased significantly. Compared with the group of excessive iodine intake alone, supplemental selenium groups had higher activities of GSHPx, D1, and TPO. We could draw the conclusion that supplemental selenium could alleviate toxic effect of excessive iodine on thyroid. The optimal dosage of selenium ranges from 0.2 to 0.3 mg/L which can protect against thyroid hormone dysfunction induced by excessive iodine intake.


Selenium Iodine Type 1 deiodinase Glutathione peroxidase Thyroid peroxidase Mouse 



glutathione peroxidase


thyroid peroxidase


type 1 deiodinase


hydrogen peroxide


normal controls


excessive iodine group

IS groups

selenium groups







We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30771806) and Medical Science Foundation of Guangdong (Nos. A2008623 and A2009607).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian Xu
    • 1
  • Xiao-Li Liu
    • 1
  • Xue-Feng Yang
    • 2
  • Huai-Lan Guo
    • 2
  • Li-na Zhao
    • 2
  • Xiu-Fa Sun
    • 2
  1. 1.Shenzhen Center for Chronic Disease ControlShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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