Research: STRAIN and colleagues, Hu

Listed in Issue 22


STRAIN and colleagues, Human Nutrition Research Group, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland studied the relationship between thyroid hormone levels and toenail selenium concentrations in a case-control study of postmenopausal breast cancer patients.



Participants were 99 postmenopausal breast cancer patients and 105 matched healthy controls.


Compared with controls, plasma triiodothyronine (T3) was significantly lower; a strong inverse relationship with breast cancer was seen in the highest compared with the lowest tertile of T3. Concentrations of plasma thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations were similar in cases and controls. Plasma T3 concentration was positively associated with toenail selenium in breast cancer cases and controls. Toenail selenium concentrations tended to be lower in cases than in controls, but the differences were not statistically significant. It may be that selenium status may be influencing T3 levels via changes in the activity of the selenoenzyme type 1 iodothronine deiodinase.



Strain JJ et al. Thyroid hormones and selenium status in breast cancer. Nutr Cancer 27(1): 48-52. 1997.

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