Background: Selenium supplementation may decrease circulating thyroid autoantibodies in patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT), but the available trials are heterogenous. This study expands and critically reappraises the knowledge on this topic.
Methods: A literature search identified 3366 records. Controlled trials in adults (≥18 years of age) with AIT, comparing selenium with or without levothyroxine (LT4), versus placebo and/or LT4, were eligible. Assessed outcomes were serum thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin (TgAb) autoantibody levels, and immunomodulatory effects. After screening and full-text assessment, 16 controlled trials were included in the systematic review. Random-effects meta-analyses in weighted mean difference (WMD) were performed for 3, 6, and 12 months of supplementation in two different populations: one receiving LT4 therapy and one newly diagnosed and LT4-untreated. Heterogeneity was estimated using I2, and quality of evidence was assessed per outcome, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) guidelines.