Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 83–89 | Cite as

Influence of short-term selenium supplementation on the natural course of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: clinical results of a blinded placebo-controlled randomized prospective trial

  • D. Esposito
  • M. Rotondi
  • G. Accardo
  • G. Vallone
  • G. Conzo
  • G. Docimo
  • F. Selvaggi
  • C. Cappelli
  • L. Chiovato
  • D. Giugliano
  • D. PasqualiEmail author
Original Article



The real efficacy of selenium supplementation in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) is still an unresolved issue.


We studied the short-term effect of l-selenomethionine on the thyroid function in euthyroid patients with HT. Our primary outcome measures were TSH, thyroid hormones, thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), thyroglobulin antibody (TGAb) levels and thyroid echogenicity after 6 months of l-selenomethionine treatment. The secondary outcome measure was serum CXCL10 levels.


In a placebo-controlled randomized prospective study, we have enrolled untreated euthyroid patients with HT. Seventy-six patients were randomly assigned to receive l-selenomethionine 166 µg/die (SE n = 38) or placebo (controls n = 38) for 6 months. TSH, free T4 (FT4), free T3 (FT3), TPOAb and CXCL10 serum levels were assayed at time 0, after 3 and 6 months. An ultrasound examination of the left and right thyroid lobe in transverse and longitudinal sections was performed. A rectangular region, the region of interest, was selected for analysis.


TSH, FT4, FT3, TPOAb, thyroid echogenicity and CXCL10 were not statistically different between SE and control groups at time 0, after 3 and 6 months. In the SE group, FT4 levels were significantly decreased (P < 0.03) after 3 months, while FT3 increased (P < 0.04) after 3 and 6 months versus baseline values. In the control group, the FT3 decreased after 3 and 6 months (P < 0.02) compared to baseline.


The short-term l-selenomethionine supplementation has a limited impact on the natural course in euthyroid HT. Our results tip the balance toward the ineffectiveness of short-term l-selenomethionine supplementation in HT.


Hashimoto's thyroiditis  1-selenomethionine  Thyroid function Thyroid echogenicity CXCL 10 levels 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have nothing to declare.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Esposito
    • 1
  • M. Rotondi
    • 2
  • G. Accardo
    • 1
  • G. Vallone
    • 3
  • G. Conzo
    • 4
  • G. Docimo
    • 1
  • F. Selvaggi
    • 1
  • C. Cappelli
    • 5
  • L. Chiovato
    • 2
  • D. Giugliano
    • 1
  • D. Pasquali
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical, Surgical, Neurological, Metabolic and Aging SciencesSecond University of NaplesNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Unit of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri IRCCSUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Pediatric RadiologyUniversity Hospital Federico IINaplesItaly
  4. 4.Division of General and Oncologic Surgery, Department of Anesthesiology, Surgical and Emergency SciencesSecond University of NaplesNaplesItaly
  5. 5.Endocrine and Metabolic Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Clinica Medica, 2nd MedicinaUniversity of Brescia, Spedali Civili di BresciaBresciaItaly

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