Selenium supplementation is useful in treating autoimmune thyroiditis.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, also known as auto immune thyroiditis, is a chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland caused by autoimmune factors. This disorder is believed to be the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in North America. If you are hypothyroid, the chances are that this is why. It is eight times more prevalent in women then in men and its incidence increases with age. A family history of thyroid disorders is fairly common.
Symptoms, signs, and diagnosis:
Recent research suggests that the mineral selenium plays an important role
in both preventing and treating thyroid disease. When blood samples from
patients' suffering from various forms of thyroid disease were analyzed for
selenium levels, all were found to be lower than in normal healthy
people. There are areas of the world where the soil is low in selenium.
As a result locally grown food is low in selenium and selenium
deficiencies are common. People living in these areas are more likely to
develop Hashimoto's disease than in other parts of the world. Two possible
explanations have been put forward. One is that the glutathione peroxidase
enzyme which depends on selenium to work, is less effective. The other is
that several selenium dependent enzymes play roles in modifying the
function of the immune system. Whatever theory is true, it appears that
even mild selenium deficiency may contribute to the development of
autoimmune thyroid disease.
People with autoimmune thyroid disease frequently have other autoimmune diseases. If selenium reduces antibody levels which attack the thyroid, perhaps it will do the same for other autoimmune processes.
1. The Merck Manual Seventeenth Edition page 97-98.