Review finds link between selenium and some cholesterol-lowering benefits

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / shidlovski
Getty Images / shidlovski

Related tags: Mineral, Selenium, Obesity

Gathering data from published human clinical trials, researchers in Iran suggest a link between selenium supplementation and decreased serum levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides.

The researchers analyzed 19 studies that looked at the effects of selenium supplementation on human lipid serum levels, published between 1985 and 2019.

They concluded that, based on what has been published in scientific literature so far, selenium supplementation without any lifestyle modifications may decrease serum levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides significantly, though the magnitude of the reductions do not seem to be clinically important.

“When the dosage of selenium supplementation was 200 μg a day, or when the baseline level of serum total cholesterol was greater than 200 μg per deciliter, selenium supplementation could decrease significantly triglyceride and total cholesterol concentrations, respectively,”​ they noted in their paper, published in Obesity Medicine.

When it comes to the duration of trials and selenium supplement type, the researchers noted no significant effect on lipid profile responses to selenium supplementation.

Additionally, they found no other beneficial effects on other lipid profile levels such as LDL- and HDL-cholesterol.

Study details

The researchers collected published studies from multiple databases including PubMed, Scopus, and the Cochrane library, searching using terms such as “selenium,” “cholesterol,” “trace element,” and so forth.

They only included clinical trials that were randomized, placebo-controlled, and had a parallel design. They did not include studies which combined supplementation of selenium with other supplements and lifestyle modifications, or studies that also included lipid-lowering drugs.

Nineteen published studies met their criteria and were included in the analysis. There was a total of 3,881 participants, 1,951 of which were organized in intervention groups while 1,930 in placebo or other control groups.

The analysis included studies with populations mostly from Iran, but also Germany, Finland, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.

Source: Obesity Medicine
Published online ahead of print,
“Effect of selenium supplementation on lipid profile levels: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials”
Authors: Esmaeil Yousefi Rad, et al.

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