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Ann Clin Biochem. 1989 Jan;26 ( Pt 1):83-8.

The effect of supplementation with selenium and vitamin E in psoriasis.

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Department of Dermatology, Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton, UK.


Since reduced concentrations of selenium in whole blood, plasma and white cells had previously been observed in psoriasis, 69 patients were supplemented daily with either 600 micrograms of selenium-enriched yeast, 600 micrograms of selenium-enriched yeast plus 600 IU of vitamin E or a placebo for 12 weeks. Before supplementation, the patients' mean concentrations of selenium in whole blood and plasma were reduced compared with those of matched healthy controls but their red cell glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity was normal. After 12 weeks supplementation the patients' mean whole blood, plasma and platelet selenium concentrations, platelet GSH-Px activity and plasma vitamin E concentration had risen significantly from the baseline values but their mean skin selenium concentration and red cell GSH-Px activity remained unchanged. The mean white cell selenium concentration rose only in the group receiving selenium alone. Neither supplementation regimen reduced the severity of psoriasis or produced side-effects. The increase in platelet GSH-Px activity suggests that the supplements were bioavailable and that the patients' selenium status may have been reduced prior to supplementation. The failure of the selenium content of the skin to increase may explain why the patients' psoriasis remained unchanged during supplementation.

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