Research: PERETZ and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 72


PERETZ and colleagues, Rheumatology, CHU Brugmann, Institute of Pharmacy, Free University of Brussels, Belgium,, investigated the effects of selenium supplementation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Selenium is an essential trace element with antioxidant properties. Trials with selenium have been conducted in RA to correct impaired selenium status and increase defences against deleterious oxidant species.


In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study, 55 patients with moderate RA received capsules containing selenium-enriched yeast (200 g/day) or placebo over 90 days.


Visual analogue scales scores, Ritchie index, the number of swollen and painful joints, and morning stiffness all decreased significantly with time in both the active and placebo treatment groups (p<0.001). No difference between groups was identified. Selenium-treated patients showed significant improvements on qualify of life measures (arm movements and health feeling ) (p<0.01).


The authors reported that selenium treatment for 90 days did not show a clinical benefit in RA . [However, selenium treatment did appear to benefit patients on some quality of life measures.] The results demonstrated a significant placebo effect of the intervention trial.


Peretz A et al. Selenium supplementation in rheumatoid arthritis investigated in a double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 30 (4): 208-12. 2001.

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