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Thyroid Supplements

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About Thyroid Supplements

The thyroid gland is located beneath the Adam's apple, with the protective cartilage covering visible on the throats of lean men. The gland synthesizes thyroid hormones, which regulate cellular and metabolic activities. When the thyroid gland is underactive and does not synthesize enough thyroid hormones, the metabolic rate significantly drops resulting in a number of signs and symptoms. Poor peripheral conversion of T3 to T2 and T4 to T3 can also contribute to or create these unwanted signs and symptoms.

Indicators of Hypothyroidism

  • Low mood.
  • Fatigue.
  • Low Body Temperature.
  • Aversion to Cold.
  • Constipation.
  • Dry Skin.
  • Puffy Face.
  • Muscular Weakness.
  • Poor Memory.

Each of these indicators may be caused by a range of factors, and does not necessarily diagnose hypothyroidism. For example, constipation may be caused by a low fiber diet and dry skin by an omega 3 fatty acid deficiency. It is possible to have many indicators of hypothyroidism, yet with normal thyroid hormone levels. If you have many of these signs and symptoms, this indicates an increased probability of thyroid hormone disturbance, yet still requires a need for testing and diagnosis.

There are many thyroid hormones, the most well known is T4 (thyroxine). T3 (Triiodothyronine) is more potent than T4 and can be converted to T2 in the peripheral tissues. Importantly, iodine is necessary for the synthesis of all thyroid hormones. The number after each "T" indicates how many atoms of iodine are located in the structure of the molecule. For example, the T3 thyroid hormone contains three iodine atoms, while T2 contains two iodine atoms. Tyrosine residues are prevalent within the protein structure of thyroid hormones, indicating a heavy reliance on this conditionally-essential amino acid for their production.

Adequate quality dietary protein is essential for optimal thyroid hormone synthesis, especially to provide tyrosine and phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is the essential amino acid required for the synthesis of tyrosine. Other nutrients, such as selenium and zinc are crucial as well. Selenium is required as an important cofactor for the deiodinase enzymes, responsible for the conversion of T4 to T3. Selenium is concentrated in the thyroid gland more than any other area of the body and may assist in preventing autoimmune thyroiditis, as reported in the International Journal of Endocrinology, 2017.

Thyroid hormones are important for the breakdown of dietary carotenoids, such as beta carotene and alpha carotene. Beta carotene is composed of two retinol (Vitamin A) molecules joined, and is an important source of Vitamin A for vegetarians and especially vegans, who do not consume retinol directly through diet. An underactive thyroid gland may adversely impact carotenoid breakdown, leading to lower vitamin A status and hypercarotenemia (orange tinged skin).

A normal biosynthesis of thyroid hormones is essential for good health, vitality and an optimistic outlook on life. Supplements may assist in increasing your metabolic rate if your thyroid hormone levels are low, the two most important of which are iodine and tyrosine. An underactive thyroid may be a purposeful biological reflex mechanism, in which the human body creates the sensation of fatigue to ensure rest. Though this is a theory, adequate rest and good overall nutrition may prove beneficial in cases of hypothyroidism.