No effect of modest selenium supplementation on insulin resistance in UK pregnant women, as assessed by plasma adiponectin concentration

Thumbnail Image
File version

Version of Record (VoR)

Mao, Jinyuan
Bath, Sarah C
Vanderlelie, Jessica J
Perkins, Anthony V
Redman, Christopher WG
Rayman, Margaret P
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
File type(s)

Concern has been expressed recently that Se may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but this has not been tested in a randomised-controlled trial (RCT) in pregnant women. We took advantage of having stored plasma samples from the Se in Pregnancy Intervention (SPRINT) RCT of Se supplementation in pregnancy to test the effect of Se supplementation on a marker of insulin resistance in UK pregnant women. Because our blood samples were not fasted, we measured plasma adiponectin concentration, a recognised marker of insulin resistance that gives valid measurements in non-fasted samples, as diurnal variability is minor and there is no noticeable effect of food intake. In SPRINT, 230 primiparous UK women were randomised to treatment with Se (60 μg/d) or placebo from 12 weeks of gestation until delivery. We hypothesised that supplementation with Se at a nutritional level would not exacerbate the fall in adiponectin concentration that occurs in normal pregnancy, indicating the lack of an adverse effect on insulin resistance. Indeed, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the change in adiponectin from 12 to 35 weeks (P=0·938), nor when the analysis was restricted to the bottom or top quartiles of baseline whole-blood Se (P=0·515 and 0·858, respectively). Cross-sectionally, adiponectin concentration was not associated with any parameter of Se status, either at 12 or 35 weeks. It is reassuring that a nutritional dose of Se had no adverse effect on the concentration of adiponectin, a biomarker of insulin resistance, in pregnant women of modest Se status.

Journal Title

British Journal of Nutrition

Conference Title
Book Title




Thesis Type
Degree Program
Publisher link
Patent number
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement

© The Authors 2015. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Item Access Status
Access the data
Related item(s)

Animal production

Food sciences

Nutrition and dietetics

Persistent link to this record