You probably already know there are some key vitamins and minerals that support proper thyroid function. This article looks at the top nutrients to assist thyroid health.
The Top Nutrients To Assist Thyroid Health
First, and foremost iodine is essential for proper function of the thyroid.
But it’s time to clear the confusion. Iodine is a trace element, and your thyroid only requires small amounts of this nutrient
The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) provide important guidelines on iodine intake. They advise that adults generally need 150 micrograms of iodine per day, while pregnant and breastfeeding women need around 220 micrograms of iodine daily.
The NHMRC also set the safe upper level of intake of iodine at 1,100 micrograms per day. This is the equivalent of 1.1 milligrams.
In line with this guidelines Australian approved nutritional supplements do not recommend more than 300 micrograms of iodine per day.
Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) is a leading natural source of iodine with top quality Bladderwrack products providing a standardised amount of iodine per capsule, or tablet.
Zinc is essential to good health as it supports many of the major metabolic pathways of the body.
Most importantly, when it comes to thyroid health zinc teams up with selenium to support activity of the iodothyronine deiodinase enzymes. These enzymes spark conversion of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3). Under conversion of T4 to T3 is common and leads to low ‘free T3’.
Optimal ‘free T3’ can really make a difference to how you feel. T3 is your most biologically active thyroid hormone. T3 is the thyroid hormone that helps kick your metabolism into a higher gear. Adequate T3 activity helps reduce many of the symptoms commonly associated with a low thyroid.
The thyroid has the highest concentration of selenium compared to any other organ of the body. Selenium concentrates in the thyroid for two reasons;
- Selenium assists conversion of T4 to active T3. Adequate free T3 can make a difference to how you feel.
- Selenium plays an important role in protecting the thyroid from environmental damage. Selenium aids glutathione production, a specialised antioxidant with the power to help protect the thyroid from harmful environmental toxins. In fact, this is a key reason selenium concentrates in your thyroid.
Off all the nutrients selenium is the most important when you have a diagnosed autoimmune thyroid disorder.
Research confirms selenium may be beneficial in protecting the thyroid from damage due to autoimmune attack. In fact, in areas where selenium is depleted in the soil there’s a higher incidence of autoimmune thyroid disease. Researchers propose that this is due to decreased activity of selenium-dependent glutathione activity within the thyroid.
Did you know the most common autoimmune hypothyroid disorder is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?
+ B group Vitamins
During periods of stress there can be an increased demand for a range of nutrients, particularly B group vitamins.
B group vitamins offer a wide range of health benefits. B complex vitamins support cellular energy production, and can help support cognitive health and mental performance. These vitamins can also help relieve nervous tension, stress and mild anxiety.
It’s clear B group vitamins are all-round nutrients that can help you get the most out of every day. For this reason, it’s best to take a nutritional supplement that includes a comprehensive range of B vitamins as these vitamins are closely related, and therefore work together.
Active Folate Has Advantages Over Synthetic Folic Acid
Folate is a generic term used to describe folate found in both food, and nutritional supplements. Nutritional supplements most commonly contain one of three forms of folate; folic acid, or the more natural forms known as folinic acid, and L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF).
Top quality nutritional products don’t use folic acid. Rather, they contain an active form of folate known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). This is an absorbable form of folate which is an important point of difference when it comes to folate supplements.
5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) is the primary biologically active form of folate, and the predominant form used by the body. You may be interested to learn that this form of folate works well with methylcobalamin, the biologically active form of B12.
The Best Thyroid Supplement: A Naturopath Explains
When it comes to assessing the quality, and potential effectiveness of a thyroid supplement you may find it hard to choose the right one. In order to clear some confusion I have listed my top five tips to help you find the best thyroid supplement here.
Australian Thyroid Foundation (ATF). www.thyroidfoundation.com.au.
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National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA. Medline Plus. Herbs and Supplements. Iodine monograph. Updated 02/15/2015. Link
National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA. Office of Dietary Supplements. Selenium Fact Sheet For Consumers. Updated November 22, 2013. Link
National Institutes of Health. (NIH), USA. Office of Dietary Supplements. Zinc Fact Sheet For Consumers. Updated September 20, 2011. Link
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