If you consistently feel sleepy and sluggish, depressed, forgetful, or are experiencing weight gain, depression, or constipation, there may be an underlying reason why. An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ in the neck that releases hormones to control your metabolism or, in other words, the way your body provides energy. These hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), and they shouldn’t become unbalanced. Here are the top supplements you should take to maintain your thyroid health.
A Quick Note About Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease
Before we dive into our curated list of vitamins, let’s discuss why your thyroid levels may be low. Hypothyroidism occurs when there are not enough hormones produced. This can lead to feeling tired, depressed, or cold, or having forgetfulness, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, weight gain, joint pain, a slower heart rate, irregular menstrual cycles, or fertility problems. Hashimoto’s disease is a form of hypothyroidism in which the immune system attacks the thyroid and slows it down. Luckily, taking vitamins can help get your thyroid issues under control.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that boosts thyroid hormone levels and helps your body handle stress. A study by the Journal of Alternative and Contemporary Medicine evaluated the effectiveness of ashwagandha root extract. Compared to the placebo group, subclinical thyroid patients who took 600mg daily showed higher levels of T3 and T4 after eight weeks.
Bacopa monnieri is another herb with adaptogenic properties. Taking high doses has been proven to boost levels of T4 by up to 41% and fight hypothyroidism. Its recommended uses are for treating poor cognition and a lack of concentration.
Curcumin and Turmeric
Some people may refer to turmeric and curcumin as the same thing, but they have slight differences. Turmeric has many natural substances, one being curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinct yellow color, flavor, and medical properties. Turmeric and curcumin contain anti-inflammatory properties beneficial in fighting autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s disease. In fact, one study found that taking 1000 mg/day of curcumin for 8 to 12 weeks can reduce pain and inflammation.
Iodized salt came about in the 1920s as an inexpensive and effective route of ensuring people have enough iodine in their diet. Today, iodine is also present in dairy and some bread doughs. Since this mineral is necessary for thyroid hormone production, a deficiency leads to hypothyroidism. Plus, without sufficient iodine, goiter develops, which is the enlargement of the thyroid gland.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that the body naturally produces and is an essential precursor to thyroid hormones. It actually works alongside iodine. Once iodine is oxidized in the body, it attaches to tyrosine, and together they create the thyroid hormone precursors T1 and T2. These then combine to form the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, essential for regulating the body’s metabolism.
A vitamin-like carbohydrate naturally produced in the body is myo-inositol. Since its chemical structure is similar to glucose, it can help people with metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes regulate their blood glucose and insulin distribution. Myo-inositol can also be effective for people with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), one of the most common causes of female infertility. Taking this supplement may decrease testosterone levels, improve ovarian function, balance blood glucose levels, and lower triglycerides, a type of fat found in the blood.
While T4 is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland, it’s largely inactive. The body converts T4 to the active form T3. This process is essential to reducing symptoms of hypothyroidism, and yet a deficiency in selenium inhibits the ability of T4 to convert to T3. One study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism evaluated the effect of a daily selenium supplement in patients with Hashimoto’s disease. They saw a 40% decrease in the concentration of thyroid antibodies, and 9 of the 36 patients saw a complete normalization of their thyroid antibodies.
The pituitary gland in the brain makes more thyroid-stimulating hormones, also known as TSH, when thyroid levels are low. Vitamin A regulates metabolism and reduces the production of TSH. A four-month trial found that premenopausal women who took vitamin A had a significant reduction in TSH, and supplementing with vitamin A may reduce hypothyroidism in premenopausal women.
Research shows that approximately 40% of hypothyroid patients have a vitamin deficiency in B12. This vitamin is needed for the proper formation of red blood cells. An insufficient amount of healthy red blood cells can lead to anemia, when less oxygen is carried to body tissue, making people feel tired and weak. Since vitamin B12 is water-soluble, any excess will pass through the body. Yet, if you are deficient, you can gain energy by taking this vitamin.
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, and a deficiency could mean symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness. Taking vitamin D can also help those with Hashimoto’s disease. In one study, 85% of patients tested with Hashimoto’s disease had low levels of vitamin D. Over the course of four months, these patients took vitamin D every day, which lowered their levels of anti-thyroid antibodies.
Zinc is a mineral that affects the production of hormones. Like selenium, zinc plays a role in converting T4 into the active T3. Both are beneficial in improving hormone levels and thyroid function. Zinc can reduce levels of inflammation in the body, helping to slow the progression of Hashimoto’s disease.
Find Supplements for Thyroid Health at WellRabbit
By providing your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs, you can produce healthy levels of thyroid hormones. Luckily, finding these supplements online is easy with WellRabbit. We only list vetted products from carefully screened manufacturers to give you peace of mind. Check out our vitamins for thyroid health and be on your way to a speedy recovery! For any questions on how to get started, contact us today!