Hypothyroidism – Supplements that can give a Boost

In last week’s post, we talked about foods that can help heal low thyroid. A lot of the supplements I’ll discuss this week are similar but I’ll explain a little further.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common in people with autoimmune thyroiditis as well as in people who have antithyroid antibodies. I would recommend that you have your vitamin D levels checked. If you are one of those people who live where there is a cold winter season and do not get enough sun, if you burn easily and either stay out of the sun or use a strong sunscreen, chances are very high that your vitamin D level is low. For most people, I recommend at least 3-5 thousand units but this depends on the individual. Vitamin D also helps alleviate SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and mild depression.

Copper and Zinc – it’s hard to talk about one without the other. Copper and zinc must be kept in balance; an imbalance in these two elements can result in hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone regulates blood levels of copper by adjusting the copper transport protein ceruloplasmin and thereby changing the level of copper inside and outside of cells. Even if you have sufficient copper in your diet, you may have trouble absorbing copper. Serum levels of both copper and selenium may indicate thyroid resistance.

Zinc is important for the conversion of T4 to T3 and supplementation has been shown to raise free T3, decrease reverse T3 and lower TSH. It is necessary to stimulate the pituitary and make the proper amount of TSH and is must be taken in the correct proportion with copper, since taking too much zinc may interfere with copper absorption. Generally 20 mg of zinc with 2 mg of copper is a safe combination.  If you’re not sure what I mean by all these tests, please see the first post about what the thyroid is.

Selenium is important to the enzymes that protect your thyroid from damage by free radicals, which are the molecules with odd or unpaired electrons that may damage your DNA and accelerate aging. Selenium supplementation appears to reduce immune overactivity, as measured by autoimmune antibodies to the thyroid and to improve mood and well-being in selenium-deficient people. Only take selenium if you are deficient and have autoantibodies to the thyroid.

B vitamins, especially riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and pyridoxine (B6) are all necessary for normal thyroid hormone manufacture. I would recommend a good B Complex with 50 mg of each B vitamin.

Vitamin C is a wonder vitamin in my opinion. It’s an amazing immune booster, helps to fight off colds, calms down allergies, protects against cancer by combatting free radicals, lowers LDL cholesterol and protects the heart. I generally recommend 2-4 grams a day for vitamin C, divided throughout the day. It’s a water soluable vitamin so you won’t develop toxicity from it, but too high of a dose may interfere with thyroid function.

Rather than self-diagnosing and self-medicating, please see your doctor, get blood tests as I mentioned before, then go see a holistic nutritionist for help in restoring health to your thyroid.  And yes … I am available to consult with.

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