Essential Nutrients to Support Thyroid Function
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits near the base of the neck.
The thyroid hormone helps control the speed of your metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body burns at rest.
Several nutrients important for optimal thyroid health are :
- Iodine : It is required for the synthesis of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), two thyroid hormones that play key roles in human metabolic functions and processes. It is derived mainly from diet, and is dependent on concentrations in soil and water as well as supplementation If you don’t have enough iodine in the body, you cannot make enough thyroid hormones, in particular FT4, which can lead to hypothyroidism.
Iodine plays a significant role in the liver’s ability to convert FT4 to the active thyroid hormone FT3. When the body doesn’t convert enough FT4 to FT3, this can also lead to hypothroidism.
Zinc is needed for TSH production and for the conversion of FT4 to FT3. It’s also needed to create proper amounts of stomach acid, which enables the body to utilize the nutrients in your food.
Sources of Zinc include nuts and seeds, lentils, oyesters.
Selenium is important for the conversion of FT4 to FT3 in the liver. It also helps to support the thyroid in making thyroid hormones. Studies have also shown that selenium can help reduce TPO antibodies and support the immune system. Sources of Selenium are brazil nuts, chicken, cottage cheese, eggs.
Sources of iron inThe body needs iron to make TPO (thyroid peroxidase), which is then used to make the thyroid hormone FT4. When the body is deficient in iron, FT4 levels can drop, putting the body in a hypothyroid state. Iron converts FT4 to the active FT3, so low levels of iron can cause a decrease in FT3. This can lead to weight gain, low energy, etc. Sources of iron include spinach, pulses, legumes, beetroot, dates, pomegranate and nuts and seeds.
Tyrosine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body from another amino acid called phenylalanine. The thyroid combines tyrosine and iodine to make thyroid hormones, so it’s essential for proper T4, FT4, T3 and FT3 production. In fact, the “T” in the thyroid hormones stands for “tyrosine”. Sources or Tyrosine are eggs, dairy, chicken, pork, soaked almonds and lima beans.
Keeping hypothyroidism in check can be seen as a combined effort of medication and lifestyle. It is necessary to maintain one’s diet, while ensuring that the required medicines are being consumed. Keeping one’s thyroid levels within the normal range is essential to maintaining good health.
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