Alopecia areata: A close look at selenium and zinc

What are the most common abnormalities of serum trace elements in alopecia areata?


New data confirms a role for zinc and emphasizes an interesting potential role for selenium.

A study from China set out to investigate the alterations of serum level of trace elements and AA using a meta-analysis of ten published articles involving 764 subjects. Overall, lower serum levels of zinc and selenium were identified compared to healthy controls. However, there was no significant difference between the AA patients and controls in the levels of serum copper, ferritin, magnesium. and copper. 

These studies point to a potential role for selenium and zinc in alopecia areata. This warrants further study.


Jin W, et al. J Dermatol. 2017. Changes of serum trace elements level in patients with alopecia areata: A meta-analysis.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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