Issue #291 March 23, 2015
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
Today, the topic is supplements. There is so much conflicting information about if they are safe or effective. I take all but one of the vitamins and supplements listed below. (I don’t take L-Carnitine because I am hypothyroid.)
My advice is to buy from a reputable company and pay attention to how your body reacts to each supplement you add. For example, when I added selenium, I had fewer migraine headaches. Who can argue with that?
5 Vitamins and Supplements for Thyroid Health
By Alana Marie Burke
The thyroid is largely responsible for the body’s metabolism that allows cells to create energy from food. Thyroid hormones also assist in the regulation of body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and the functioning of vital organs such as the liver and brain. Thyroid disease can cause the thyroid to malfunction. In addition to medical treatments, there are vitamins and supplements that may support thyroid health.
According to the American Thyroid Association, the disease afflicts an estimated 20 million people in the United States with varying degrees of the condition. An additional percentage of people may not be aware that they have the disease because they do not understand the symptoms. “Undiagnosed thyroid disease may put patients at risk for certain serious conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and infertility.”
Hypothyroidism is the underproduction of thyroid hormones and hyperthyroidism is the overproduction of hormones. Both conditions are treatable with medications, diet, and exercise.
People with thyroid disease should consult with their physician before taking vitamins and supplements purported to support thyroid health. While some naturopaths and healers recommend certain supplements, others in the field of medicine caution against using them.
Here are 5 vitamins and supplements that may assist with thyroid health:
1. Omega-3 fatty acids: University of Maryland Medical Center suggests omega-3 fatty acids can help “decrease inflammation and help with immunity” for thyroid support. In addition, some studies have indicated that omega-3 fatty acids can increase thyroid hormone uptake.
2. Selenium: According to a study in the National Institutes of Health, “The thyroid is the organ with the highest selenium content per gram of tissue.” Researchers found that “selenium status appears to have an impact on the development of thyroid pathologies.”
3. Antioxidants and vitamins: Progressive Health recommends a number of vitamins for thyroid health. Vitamin A contains carotenes that the thyroid needs for normal functioning and low levels can affect the production of hormones. B vitamins are important with an emphasis on B12. One study found that “40 percent of the hypothyroid patients were also experiencing vitamin B12 deficiency.” Vitamin C, an antioxidant, can reduce “oxidative stress placed on the gland either by foreign toxins and harmful free radicals or from the reactive oxygen species produced during the syntheses of thyroid hormones.” Vitamin D is recommended for its role in “preventing autoimmune thyroid diseases” and also vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant. However, selenium supplementation is recommended at the same time as vitamin E because the vitamin can cause an increase in the metabolism of selenium.
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