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Selenium is an essential mineral element with important biological functions for the whole body through incorporation into selenoproteins. This element is highly concentrated in the thyroid gland. Selenoproteins provide antioxidant protection for this tissue against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals and contribute, via iodothyronine deiodinases, to the metabolism of thyroid hormones. It is known that oxidative stress plays a major role in carcinogenesis and that in recent decades there has been an increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer. The anti-carcinogenic action of selenium, although not fully understood, is mainly attributable to selenoproteins antioxidant properties, and to the ability to modulate cell proliferation (cell cycle and apoptosis), energy metabolism, and cellular immune response, significantly altered during tumorigenesis. Researchers have suggested that different forms of selenium supplementation may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of thyroid cancer; however, the studies have several methodological limitations. This review is a summary of the current knowledge on how selenium and selenoproteins related to thyroid cancer. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Rui Manuel Rua, Fátima Nogales, Olimpia Carreras, María Luisa Ojeda. Selenium, selenoproteins and cancer of the thyroid. Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS). 2023 Mar;76:127115

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PMID: 36481604

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