Five best supplements for thyroid regulation
Dr. Manoj KutteriJune 26, 2022
The thyroid gland is the most underrated organ of our body around the windpipe that secretes hormones essential for metabolism, growth, and all the body’s basic functions. When the “mother of all glands” disrupts, the basic functions of the body either slow down or escalate, depending on whether it produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) or doesn’t produce enough (hypothyroidism). This gland requires a few nutrients, without which the production, transportation, and distribution get stalled. When the fuel (nutrients) to the engine (thyroid gland) drains, the vehicle (body) gets stumbled and loses control over its functions. Hypothyroidism is the most common dysfunction out of all types of thyroid disorder. It results from low thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4) with varied etiology and manifestations. It is divided into two types: primary and secondary. Primary hypothyroidism happens when the gland itself cannot synthesize adequate hormones. In contrast, secondary hypothyroidism is caused due to pituitary or hypothalamus (endocrine gland that governs the thyroid gland) dysfunction.
In the case of a primary issue, nutrient availability plays a significant role. So, here are the top five nutrient supplements that help with thyroid regulation. Before getting to know about the supplements needed, one has to understand the classification of hypothyroidism and signs that show your thyroid is weak.
CLASSIFICATION OF HYPOTHYROIDISM:
- Subclinical hypothyroid or functional hypothyroid: It is caused by nutritional deficiency, obesity, fatty liver, or high cortisol level.
- Autoimmune thyroid: immune system produce some molecules called autoantibodies that attack our own thyroid gland and decline its functions. This can also happen when there are undetected gut issues.
People with hypothyroidism show mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. It is indispensable to stay connected with the body to comprehend the warning it shows when the thyroid gets weak. Commonly, people find themselves low in mood and lethargic. Constipation, gradual weight gain, menstrual irregularities, hair loss, dry skin, and joint pain are significant symptoms discerned in hypothyroidism.
Ashwagandha is a plant known as an adaptogen, used prevalently to combat stress. It is also called Indian ginseng or winter cherry. Research has proven that ashwagandha improves thyroid functions by increasing the production of hormones. The study attributes its effect on thyroid hormone levels to its control over cortisol levels and TSH (a hormone secreted from the pituitary gland to produce T3 and T4). It also helps in enhancing the mood by nullifying the reverse T3 (rT3) hormone that competes with T3 for the receptors and blocks it. The adaptogenic herb wards off the stress and the free radicals responsible for the inflammation produced due to chronic stress. Ashwagandha may interact with thyroid medication, so discussing your desire to add this supplement to your routine with a medical expert is important.
Zinc is crucial for proper thyroid hormone metabolism. Its deficiency may result in decreased thyroid hormone levels. How does zinc help in alleviating hypothyroidism? There are two types of thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. T4 converts into T3 for consumption by the cells. Zinc acts as a catalyst that helps convert the inactive thyroid to its active form and allows it to enter the cells. Zinc plays a dual role in fixing the thyroid issue. It not only helps in thyroid metabolism but also repairs the leaky gut, which is considered to be the sole reason for autoimmune thyroid disorders, by tightening the gut junctions by diminishing the inflammation. A study has shown that consuming 30 mg of zinc may help enhance thyroid function.
Selenium is a micronutrient, part of an enzyme that converts T4 to T3. With this discussion about thyroid hormones, I would like to shed light on reverse T3 (rT3), which is metabolically inactive form of T3. This dormant form binds to a cell the same way T3 does, except it does nothing at the cellular level when it binds. Long story short, rT3 is harmful. Stress, free radicals, infection, and inflammation enhance the chance of conversion of T4 into rT3. Selenium acts as an antioxidant to eliminate the free radicals released during conversion. It is also a constituent of an enzyme that destroys rT3. Thus, supplementation of this micronutrient may have an impact on the evolution of thyroid disease.
4. VITAMIN D:
There are certain vitamins that help fight underlying causes of thyroid disorder, such as inflammation and autoimmune processes. Out of all, vitamin D got a massive hand in it. We are all well aware that vitamin D is best for our immune system. In a study published in the Indian Journal of endocrinology, it is mentioned that vitamin D supplementation improved the levels of thyroid hormone as well as it has got its control over the autoantibodies. It is a versatile vitamin that works at the cellular level and plays a significant role in modulating the immune system, enhancing the innate immune response. People suffering from autoimmune thyroid like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis would benefit from consuming vitamin D supplements after analyzing its levels in the body.
Anemia is a global health issue that impairs thyroid metabolism. As mentioned earlier, normal thyroid status is dependent on the presence of these trace elements, viz. iron, iodine, zinc, and selenium. Iron helps in the transportation of thyroid hormones. Iron deficiency impairs the transport as well as the synthesis by interfering with the oxygen transport or reducing the enzyme called thyroid peroxidase, an iron-dependent enzyme that utilizes the iodine for the production of thyroid hormones. It is crucial to check the iron levels before treating hypothyroidism.
Including these nutrients, there are also other most significant elements needed for the functioning of the thyroid, like iodine, vitamin C, E, and A. The moment one gets diagnosed with hypothyroidism, they have always been advised to take up thyroid medication religiously every morning. But what a point in fixing the superficial crisis without addressing the actual cause of it. Suppose you wish to find and understand the reason why your thyroid function is declining and help you with remedies that are purely natural with no side effects. In that case, we recommend taking advice from the expert doctors and including the Natural supplements alongside your diet, formulated by Atmantan Naturals in the name “Thyrocare,” containing all necessary nutrients for your thyroid to be working properly.
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