A Comprehensive Guide to Thyroid Supplements- Part 2

Megan Essential Oils & Supplements, Health & Nutrition 17 Comments

I am not a doctor. Please consult your practitioner before changing your supplement or healthcare regimen. Thank you for supporting this site with purchases made through links in this post. 

Welcome to Part 2 in the series on supporting the thyroid with supplements. Read Part 1 here. And read the original article, Top 5 Supplements for Hashimoto’s, here. All three posts together give us a near-complete look at the supplements functional practitioners are currently recommending for those of us with hypothyroid (or under-active thyroid).

Frankly, there are a lot of supplements to consider!

Personally I have found measurable improvement since I began this series, by adding in two new supplements! None of us wants to be taking a handful of pills. But if adding in one or two new ones helps us to feel a whole lot better, they are worth considering.

Ask your doctor. Have lab work done. What is your body missing that will allow your thyroid, and the complex network surrounding it, to function more effectively?

Tyrosine

T4 and T3 are synthesized in the thyroid gland from iodine and tyrosine.

Tyrosine is also used to synthesize neurotransmitters in the brain. Mood, fatigue, and stress receptors are affected by the functionality of the neurotransmitters, and having tyrosine as a building block. Energy levels are also affected by adequate tyrosine levels. (source)

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid, so found in protein foods; but it can also be made by our bodies from phenylalanine (an essential amino acid that must be consumed through one’s diet or in supplement form). Those with a protein-deficient diet, such as vegetarians, or those who prefer to eat little meat, may find themselves with a sluggish thyroid. Adding more protein to one’s diet is an excellent way to increase tyrosine, and thus thyroid function. (source)

As for supplementing with tyrosine, this brand is great, with no added ingredients.

Sulfur

Sulfur is a mineral that comprises one fourth of the human body, but must continually be replenished. In supplement form it is usually labeled MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). This vital compound supports detoxification and healthy tissues. (source)

60% of T4 to T3 conversion takes place in the liver. About 20% of T4 to T3 conversion takes place in the GI tract. Both the GI tract and the liver require sulfur for that conversion to occur. The best ways to improve this conversion are through the correct probiotics and sulfur supplementation.

(Regarding probiotics, I recommend Saccharomyces Boulardii and Prescript Assist in Top 5 Supplements for Hashimoto’s.)

It is common for people to think they are allergic to sulfur, when in fact they are sensitive to synthetic compounds containing sulfides or sulfites.

Sulfur increases the synthesis of two other thyroid supplements I’ve discussed in this 3-part series: glutathione and N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC).

(Sulfur is also involved in making healthy hair and skin. Sulfur supports the immune system and is recommended for joint pain. Sulfur activates enzymes that help to break down food and turn it into energy.)

Here is MSM with no added ingredients. If you take a thyroid supplement or an iodine supplement, it’s recommended to take your sulfur supplement 30 minutes prior. (source)

Iron

To properly assess one’s iron levels, it is ferritin that needs to be measured. It judges the stored precursor to your body’s iron.

Low Ferritin levels are common for those with decreased thyroid function. Ferritin levels need to be within range for cells to absorb and process thyroid hormone. (source and source)

Iron is required for T4 to T3 conversion, and to prevent the formation of reverse T3. It’s also required for proper adrenal function, a related area of deficiency for most patients with thyroid disorders. (source)

I use this gentle and easy to absorb iron supplement, 1 capsule daily.

Adrenal Support

As thyroid function decreases, the adrenals have to work harder to compensate. That’s why it’s almost impossible to have a thyroid patient that doesn’t also have adrenal fatigue. (source)

Adrenal supplements like this one contain contain B vitamins and glandular extract. They’re the best remedy for acute cases of adrenal fatigue, providing almost immediate energy and repairing damaged glands.

Increasing one’s sea salt intake also helps to nourish the adrenals.

Adaptogenic herbs like this one can be used to support the adrenal glands, helping the body to tolerate stress levels. (source) Adaptogens can help to quell anxiety and improve sleep significantly.

A Comprehensive Guide to Thyroid Supplements- Part 2

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to reduce oxidative stress on the thyroid. It also helps with the manufacturing of collagen in our bodies. Collagen production supports a healthy gut lining, which in turn helps to prevent the autoimmune response.

Vitamin C supports the adrenal glands, helping to keep in balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which in turn supports thyroid function.

In this study concentrations of T4, T3, and TSH all improved in Hashimoto’s patients through supplementation with vitamin C.

750 mg is recommended daily. (Get 10% off this whole vitamin C by using discount code BEAUTIFUL10 at checkout.)

Curcumin

Supplementation of curcumin not only helps to reduce inflammation. Curcumin also improves the liver’s function. Improving one’s liver function is one of the best ways to increase T3 levels! (source)

Phosphatidylserine

Patients with high serum morning cortisol levels, anxiety, brain fog, and sympathetic nervous system tendencies (do you always need to be doing something?) may benefit from phosphatidylserine. These patients may also experience a racing heart or heart palpitations in the middle of the night.

For those who are deficient in phosphatidylserine, this supplement can be a game-changer, helping to bring calm and reduce stress, improving brain function including focus, memory and the ability to communicate well, and bringing a sense of contentment and happiness. Here’s a non-GMO, soy-free phosphatidylserine.

MCT Oil or Extra-Virgin Raw Coconut Oil

Energy and improved thyroid function! Find my full post on this topic here. This is the MCT oil I recommend.

Herbal Supplements

Let’s look at some final ingredients that can assist the body in T4 to T3 conversion, detoxification, reduction of inflammation and give a boost of energy:

  1. Guggul– Derived from the myrrh tree, guggul is a gum resin. It’s been used as an Ayurvedic remedy for thousands of years to improve energy, showing itself to flush out reverse T3 and to help in the production of active T3. It also improves the intake of iodine and protein.
  2. Ginseng- There are two varieties of ginseng, Indian and Korean, both of which have been shown to increase T4 and T3 production. They have also been shown to increase hand and foot temperatures, for those who struggle with cold extremities. They’re calming herbs, helping to reduce stress. 500 mg is the recommended dosage for each. Indian ginseng is also known as ashwagandha, about which you have probably heard! Korean ginseng can be found here. (Get 10% off ashwagandha by using discount code BEAUTIFUL10 at checkout.)
  3. Japanese Knotweed, which contains the compound resveratrol, is known for its antioxidant qualities. Alongside curcumin it helps to reduce inflammation, regulate T cells, and increase energy levels. (source)
  4. Supplements like Kyo-Green have helped many with low-functioning thyroids to regain full energy levels and functionality. Kyo-Green contains kelp, which is a natural source of iodine. It contains greens that aid the body in detoxification. And it contains a prebiotic, which promotes healthy gut and colon function.

OTHER TIPS

  • Reduce exposure to toxins and plastics.
  • Eliminate stress, as much as possible.
  • Practice good nutrition, including a gluten-free diet.
    • Avoid soy. Avoid sugar, alcohol, processed foods, pesticides. Dairy can be problematic for some, (but I do great personally with raw A2 milk).

Which of these supplements has been helpful to you? I’d love to hear.

 

Other Sources

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/hypothyroidism/print.html

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/40/1/26

http://thyroid.about.com/cs/shames/a/supplements.htm

http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/topsupplements.htm

https://www.hashimotoshealing.com/hashimotos-the-liver-and-the-thyroid-an-important-relationship /

  • Renee Kohley

    I’ve got a few of these written down to discuss with my FM dr at my next visit. I just had my full panal done again last week so I’m curious to see what we find! She’s checking a lot of iron/ferritan/B vit related stuff because she thinks i look pale and a lot of my symptoms right now are low B/iron related symptoms.

  • Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

    Some of these are new to me, I didn’t know anything about tyrosine. I want to look into the MCT oil that you recommend. I’m thinking that I need to follow through with getting a full lab panel done and see where my body is and what I’m needing. Thanks for sharing all of this information Megan! It’s such a helpful resource.

  • Great list and descriptions, Megan!

  • linda spiker

    Just got the MCT oil I ordered from your other post today! I will be bullet proofing my criobru!

  • Anya | Prepare & Nourish

    I’m aware of most of these but some of them are new to me. Excited to finally try that MCT oil.

  • Megan Stevens

    Oh great, Anya. It’s one with which we really notice a difference! 🙂

  • Megan Stevens

    Delicious, Linda!! So glad, enjoy!

  • Megan Stevens

    Thank you. I’m happy it’s helpful.

  • Megan Stevens

    You’re welcome, Emily. Yes, for some of these it’s easy to try them out; and for others the lab tests offer great insight!

  • Megan Stevens

    Great, Renee. I hope you zero in on a few areas to target and see improvement!

  • Devon McMillen

    I see so many people dealing with thyroid issues these days and I do think that the link between adrenal fatigue and poor thyroid function is profound. I am glad to see you recommend adrenal support!

  • Great info. I am planning to find the MCT oil locally ~ with any luck. If not, will order through your link to an American friend’s address.. Japanese Knotweed.. Interesting — the different possibilities with this one. Grows ‘uninvited’ in my back yard.. popping up a will ! Thanks Megan!

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Devon. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have the combination. Certainly I have dealt with both myself.

  • Megan Stevens

    Wow, Carol! Interesting about the Japanese Knotweed in your back yard. There are very few providers of the tincture. Perhaps you could make your own.

  • I do make it. It’s a small amount, but yup.. it’s a part of my apothecary.

  • jacomina hofmeester

    Great info on a safe and natural approach to hypo/hyper thyroidism. You didnt mention iodine and for good reason, https://drknews.com/iodine-and-hashimotos/ And glad you mentioned sulfur in it’s role in the conversion of T4 to T3. This company is Canadian based and shipping the purest sulfur out of Vanccouver, BC http://www.organicsulfurcrystals.ca

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