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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Nov;97(11):4061-70. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-2121. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Bone turnover and bone mineral density are independently related to selenium status in healthy euthyroid postmenopausal women.

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  • 1Molecular Endocrinology Group, Imperial College London, 7N2a Commonwealth Building, Hammersmith Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, United Kingdom.



Selenium status may have direct effects on bone and indirect effects through changes in thyroid hormone sensitivity.


We hypothesized that variation in selenium status in healthy euthyroid postmenopausal women is associated with differences in bone turnover, bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture susceptibility.


The Osteoporosis and Ultrasound Study (OPUS) is a 6-yr prospective study of fracture-related factors.


The study was comprised of a population-based cohort from five European cities.


A total of 2374 postmenopausal women participated. Subjects with thyroid disease and nonthyroidal illness and those receiving drugs affecting thyroid status or bone metabolism were excluded, leaving a study population of 1144.


There were no interventions.


We measured selenium (micrograms per liter); selenoprotein P (milligrams per liter); free T(4) (picomoles per liter); free T(3) (picomoles per liter); TSH (milliunits per liter); bone turnover markers; BMD; and vertebral, hip, and nonvertebral fractures.


Higher selenium levels were associated with higher hip BMD at study entry (β = 0.072, P = 0.004) and lower levels of bone formation (osteocalcin: β = -0.101, P < 0.001; procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide: β = -0.074, P = 0.013) and resorption markers (C-telopeptide of type 1 collagen: β = -0.058, P = 0.050; N-telopeptide of type 1 collagen: β = -0.095, P = 0.002). Higher selenoprotein P was associated with higher hip (β = 0.113, P < 0.001) and lumbar spine BMD (β = 0.088, P = 0.003) at study entry, higher hip BMD after the 6-yr follow-up (β = 0.106, P = 0.001) and lower osteocalcin (β = -0.077, P = 0.009), C-telopeptide of type 1 collagen (β = -0.075, P = 0.012), and N-telopeptide of type 1 collagen (β = -0.110, P < 0.001).


Selenium status is inversely related to bone turnover and positively correlated with BMD in healthy euthyroid postmenopausal women independent of thyroid status.

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