Did you know your thyroid has the highest concentration of selenium? Selenium concentrates in the thyroid as this nutrient is extremely important for proper thyroid function.
In fact, researchers report adequate selenium within the thyroid is essential not only to prevent thyroid disease but to also maintain overall health.
Top 4 Reasons Selenium Supports Thyroid Health
Selenium Teams Up With Zinc to Assist Conversion of T4 to T3.
Zinc and selenium need each other as they work together to assist the enzyme that converts thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3). This is a very important pathway to support as under conversion of T4 to T3 leads to low T3 which is associated with a range of low thyroid symptoms.
Selenium Safeguards The Thyroid From Environmental Damage
These days it’s almost impossible to completely avoid exposure to hazardous environmental chemicals. They are in the air, water and the food we eat.
Selenium is highly active in the thyroid to help defend the thyroid against harmful environmental assault. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why selenium concentrates in your thyroid.
Selenium Safeguards The Thyroid If Iodine Intake is Too High
Research has shown that when selenium is low supplementing with an excessive amount of iodine increases your risk of experiencing an autoimmune flare up. For this reason, it’s important for those with a diagnosed autoimmune thyroid disorder avoid taking iodine well above what is recommended. It’s a trace nutrient, and for this reason only small quantities are normally required.
The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the US National Institutes of Health have both set the recommended safe upper level of intake at 1,100 micrograms per day.
It’s important to know this is the equivalent of 1.1 milligrams when assessing iodine supplements, or thyroid health formulas. For example, you will see some iodine supplements advertised that contain 12.5 milligrams per tablet which is an extremely high dose.
Research Reveals Selenium Can Assist in Reducing Raised Thyroid Antibodies
Selenium supplement has been shown in clinical trials to reduce thyroid antibodies by up to 50%.
In these studies, women with a diagnosed autoimmune thyroid disorder were given 200 to 250 micrograms of selenium per day. Over time they saw a marked reduction in their thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibody levels.
As you may already know, the TPO antibody test is the most sensitive test for detecting autoimmune thyroid disease. Due to these findings there are healthcare practitioners now prescribing 250 micrograms of selenium daily to assist with autoimmune hypothyroid disorders.
How Much Selenium Is Safe To Take?
Firstly, it’s good to know that this nutrient is generally considered safe when taken as recommended.
For adults, the safe upper level of intake is set at 400 micrograms daily. This maximum level is based on current research, and reflects the current data on selenium toxicity. It’s therefore wise not to take more than is recommended as selenium does have the potential to build up in the body.
In some circumstances healthcare practitioners may prescribe 200 – 250 micrograms of selenium per day. This is normally done after considering your individual health circumstances.
Selenium plays multiple roles to support ongoing thyroid health. The nutrient is involved in thyroid hormone synthesis, it may help protect the thyroid from the detrimental effects of environmental chemicals, it may assisting in reducing raised TPO levels, and it may safeguard the thyroid from excessive iodine intake.
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