Taking specific supplements for thyroid support can be very helpful while on a thyroid-healing protocol.
Before I walk through the supplements, let’s first get a quick 30K ft. overview of the thyroid, various forms of thyroid disease, and some common root causes.
The thyroid is a small organ located at the front of your neck and looks a bit like a butterfly. Your thyroid creates and produces hormones such as T4 and T3 that play a very important role in metabolism and the development of the human body.
There are various forms of thyroid disease:
1. Hypothyroidism is most often diagnosed when TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels are elevated, FT4 (free T4) levels are low and/or FT3 (free T3) levels are low. But, oftentimes a doctor will diagnose a patient with hypothyroidism when they see just high TSH levels. The most common reason for hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s (see #3).
2. Hyperthyroidism is most often diagnosed when TSH levels are low and FT4 and FT3 levels are high. Basically, the thyroid is overproducing thyroid hormones.
3. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid tissues. Hashimoto’s is most often diagnosed when TPO (thyroid peroxidase) antibodies and/or TgAb (thyroglobulin antibodies) are elevated. These antibodies can be present even when TSH, T4, T3, FT4, and FT3 levels are normal.
4. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition in which the antibody TSI (thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin) is elevated, and often FT4 and FT3 levels are also elevated. There is often an excess amount of thyroid hormones circulating in the body, which leads to hyperthyroidism.
Common root causes of thyroid disease:
Dental infections or dental work
Viral or bacterial infection
To read more about root causes of thyroid disease, click here.
When it comes to thyroid disease, I like to use a tool like supplementation to help support the root causes, imbalances, and deficiencies. The list below has some of my go-to supplements that I use for the clients at my practice that I’ve seen create the biggest impact.
Here are my favorite whole food supplements for thyroid support:
1. Thytrophin PMG – This supplement supports the thyroid at the cellular level and is incredibly helpful for any kind of thyroid issue. It is a unique profile of minerals, nucleotides, and peptides that support the tissues.
2. Cataplex E – If you’re looking for a good selenium and vitamin E supplement, this is a great choice.
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. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is helpful to support proper thyroid function.
Cataplex E also supports cell signaling and regulation of gene expression.
3. Prolamine Iodine or Iodomere – Iodine is present in every organ and tissue in the body. It’s not only necessary for proper thyroid hormone production, but it’s also needed for fetal development, the health of the salivary glands, proper immune system function, hormone balance, healthy breast tissue, the prostate, ovaries, and skin.
If you don’t have enough iodine in the body, you cannot make enough thyroid hormones, in particular FT4, which can lead to hypothyroidism.
Additionally, 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 hypothyroidism.
Iodine deficiency can also cause goiter and contribute to thyroid cysts and nodules.
If you have elevated FT4 or FT3, then you should talk to your nutritionist about the right amount of iodine-rich foods that your body needs. Or, if you have Hashi’s and you’re concerned that it may cause negative symptoms, this article, and this video, will help clear things up for you.
4. Thyroid Complex – This supplement contains Bladderwrack, Ashwagandha and Bacopa to support healthy thyroid function. It can also help assist the body in achieving normal basal metabolism through supporting healthy thyroid function.
The combination of herbs in Thyroid Complex contains many compounds, including trace minerals (like iodine), polyphenols, steroidal compounds (including withanolides), triterpenoid saponins such as bacosides, alkaloids, and flavonoids.
5. Drenamin – While this is known as an adrenal supplement, the health and balance of the adrenals and HPA-axis plays a big part in thyroid balance. Drenamin can be a fantastic way to support both the adrenals and thyroid.
How Drenamin helps the body:
- Supports adrenal function
- Maintains emotional balance
- Encourages a healthy response to everyday environmental stresses and supports immune system response function
- Maintains energy production
- Supports a balanced mood
- Excellent source of riboflavin and niacin
- Good source of vitamin B6 and antioxidant vitamin C
6. Cod Liver Oil – is a great source of vitamins A, D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Vitamin A is a very important fat-soluble vitamin for the thyroid. It helps balance the correct levels of thyroid hormones in the body, and is also needed for proper liver function (which plays a part in thyroid hormone balance).
Vitamin D is necessary for iodine to be used to create thyroid hormones. Without adequate vitamin D, you will often see a decrease in FT4 and/or FT3, leading to hypothyroidism.
Several clinical studies have reported low vitamin D in those with Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease, indicating an association between vitamin D deficiency and thyroid autoimmunity.
Impaired vitamin D signaling has been reported to encourage thyroid tumorigenesis.
Vitamin D deficiency has been strongly associated with higher TSH levels (aka hypothyroidism).
Vitamin D regulates insulin and balances blood sugar. When blood sugar is imbalanced, this can cause thyroid hormones to go off balance.
7. Cataplex B – B vitamins such as Thiamin, Riboflavin, and B12 help support the entire endocrine system. B6 and B12 are especially calming for the nervous system, which helps support the adrenals and, in turn, the thyroid. B vitamins also work with iodine to produce T4 and T3.
Cataplex B is my go-to and is an excellent source of thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6.
Cataplex B supports:
A healthy heart
The central/peripheral nervous systems
Energy production in all cells
Healthy cholesterol levels already within a normal range
Healthy homocysteine levels
8. Zinc – 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.
Zinc Chelate is a good choice for short-term zinc supplementation. Remember, zinc and stomach acid work synergistically together, so if you find you’re continually deficient in zinc, ensure your body is making enough stomach acid.
9. Magnesium – This is an essential mineral for thyroid function and for the conversion of T4 to T3. Studies have shown that low magnesium is associated with a higher risk of increased TgAB, and increases the prevalence of Hashimoto’s.
E-Z Mg is an organic, plant-based magnesium and is ideal because it contains a collection of various forms of magnesium. This helps take the guesswork out of which kind of magnesium to take!
10. Betafood – The health of the liver is very important so the body can convert FT4 to FT3. Betafood is a great supplement to help support the liver’s natural detoxification process to maintain healthy FT3 levels.
Note: This purpose of this article is to share some whole food supplements that can be helpful to support the thyroid and body. These supplements do not treat any kind of disease and I always recommend talking to your practitioner before you take any kind of supplementation.