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Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Feb;57(2 Suppl):236S-239S.

Selenium deficiency, thyroid hormone metabolism, and thyroid hormone deiodinases.

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Division of Biochemical Sciences, Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland.


Much research into the functions of selenium in the cell has concentrated on its role in selenium-containing glutathione peroxidases. However, selenium was recently shown to be an essential component of type I iodothyronine 5'-deiodinase in rats, which converts thyroxin to the more biologically active hormone 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine. Thus, selenium-deficient rats have low tissue deiodinase activities and abnormal thyroid hormone metabolism. The discovery of this function for selenium in thyroid hormone metabolism has important implications for the interpretation of the effects of selenium deficiency, especially in individuals with an adequate vitamin E status.

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