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Essential Nutrients for Thyroid Function

There are many nutrients needed in the proper function of the thyroid gland. When the thyroid is imbalanced one or multiple of these nutrients could be deficient in your body. When the thyroid gland isn’t properly functioning we can see diagnosis’s like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hashimoto’s, cellular hypothyroidism, or graves’ disease.

Using the right balance of nutrients can help improve thyroid function and balance hormones no matter the diagnosis. Below you will find a list of nutrients to help you improve your thyroid function. 

DISCLAIMER: This article and all information on this site is meant for informational purposes only. Please consult your health care provider before supplementing with any nutrients found in this article and throughout the site. Supplementing with minerals, isolated vitamins, etc. can lead to further imbalance within the body. We advise to get proper testing to know where you need to supplement. In this article you will find recommendations of foods that are high in each nutrients, these are not medical recommendations and are mentioned for informational purposes to better educate our community on how to nourish their body further through whole food sources.

Iodine

Iodine is 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. 

Key Functions of Iodine for the Thyroid:

  • Known to control thyroid function
  • Plays a significant role in the production of free T4 [1]
  • Plays a significant role in the liver’s ability to convert free T4 to the active thyroid hormone free T3
  • Lowering the risk of goitre, which results in enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Averting the occurrence of thyroid cancers and other autoimmune conditions like Graves’ disease

Iodine is not made by the body, so it is essentials that it is apart of your diet.

Food Sources of Iodine:

  • Sea vegetables, such as kelp, dulse, nori and wakame
  • Wild seafood
  • Unprocessed, organic dairy, such as raw milk, raw cream, cultured yogurt, etc. 
  • Pastured/organic eggs

Supplementation of Iodine:

I believe supplementing with Iodine should under supervision of a practioner. Iodine is one of those nutrients that can cause great harm in the body if not properly supplemented with. 

If you feel you need supplementation, I always recommend consulting with a practitioner who is well-versed in nutrition to help you figure out the best dosage for your body. Here are at Naturally Holistic Wellness, we can provide you with proper guidance and supervision. View our services to see how we can further support you with supplementation.

Tyrosine

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that the body can produce, but it requires the assistance of phenylalanine, an essential amino acid that must be obtained through food. When the body does not have enough phenylalanine, it loses the ability to produce tyrosine. 

Tyrosine plays a role in dopamine production, epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones, and thyroid hormones.

Key Functions of Tyrosine for the Thyroid:

  • Essential for proper T4, free T4, T3 and free T3 production
  • Averting the occurrence of thyroid diseases, thyroid cancers and other autoimmune conditions like Graves’ disease

Food Sources of Tyrosine:

  • Pastured meats (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc.)
  • Pastured eggs
  • Raw dairy
  • Wild fish
  • Cultured yogurt
  • Soaked almonds and lima beans

Supplementation of Tyrosine:

I believe supplementing with Tyrosine should under supervision of a practitioner. Tyrosine should only be supplemented with if you are deficient.  Work with a practitioner to do proper testing to see if you need to supplement with Tyrosine.

If you feel you need supplementation, I always recommend consulting with a practitioner who is well-versed in nutrition to help you figure out the best dosage for your body. Here are at Naturally Holistic Wellness, we can provide you with proper guidance and supervision. View our services to see how we can further support you with supplementation.

Zinc

Zinc is required for numerous functions within the body including; gene expression, enzymatic reactions, immune function, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, wound healing, stomach acid production, growth and development [2]

Key Functions of Zinc for the Thyroid:

  • Needed for TSH production and for the conversion of free T4 to free T3
  • Zinc is Required for Thyroid Nuclear Binding to the DNA Receptor [3]
  • Averting the occurrence of thyroid diseases, thyroid cancers and other autoimmune conditions like Graves’ disease

Food Sources of Zinc:

  • Oysters
  • Pastured meats (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc.)
  • Organic eggs
  • Cultured dairy

Supplementation of Zinc:

I believe supplementing with Zinc should under supervision of a practitioner. Zinc is a popular supplement but it is rarely talked about how zinc can deplete other minerals such as copper.

If you feel you need supplementation, I always recommend consulting with a practitioner who is well-versed in nutrition to help you figure out the best dosage for your body. Here are at Naturally Holistic Wellness, we can provide you with proper guidance and supervision. View our services to see how we can further support you with supplementation.

Selenium

Selenium is an essential component of various enzymes and proteins, called selenoproteins, that help to make DNA and protect against cell damage and infections; these proteins are also involved in reproduction and the metabolism of thyroid hormones.

Key Functions of Selenium for the Thyroid:

  • Important for the conversion of free T4 to free T3 in the liver
  • Can help reduce thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies and support the immune system [4]
  • Averting the occurrence of thyroid diseases, thyroid cancers and other autoimmune conditions like Graves’ disease

Food Sources of Selenium:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp
  • Pastured beef
  • Liver

Supplementation of Selenium:

Selenium is another one of those that you want to be cautious with. Too much selenium can cause issues within the body. I recommend working with a practitioner that has can order you HTMA test to see where your selenium levels are at.

If you feel you need supplementation, I always recommend consulting with a practitioner who is well-versed in nutrition to help you figure out the best dosage for your body. Here are at Naturally Holistic Wellness, we can provide you with proper guidance and supervision. View our services to see how we can further support you with supplementation.

Iron

Iron is a micronutrient that plays a role in many bodily functions, including DNA synthesis, oxygen transport, and energy creation.

Key Functions of Iron for the Thyroid:

  • The body needs iron to make thyroid peroxidase (TPO) [5], which is then used to make the thyroid hormone FT4. 
  • Needed to convert free T4 to the active free T3
  • Averting the occurrence of thyroid diseases, thyroid cancers and other autoimmune conditions like Graves’ disease

Food Sources of Iron:

  • Liver
  • Pastured beef
  • Chicken
  • Game meats
  • Oysters
  • Pastured eggs

Some vegetables contain iron such as, spinach. But this iron is not the most bioavailable source. In order to get the most bioavailable of iron (heme iron) is through consuming animal foods.

Supplementation of Iron:

When looking to supplement with iron you need to be sure you’ve been tested properly. Ferritin is not a proper indicator of your heme iron status. I recommend working with a practitioner who will run a Full Monty Iron Panel that looks at all the nutrients needed for your iron production and recycling system within your body such as, Ceruloplasmin, Copper, Ferritin, Hemoglobin, Iron & TIBC, Magnesium RBC, Transferrin, Vitamin A (Retinol), Vitamin D, and Zinc. When one or many of these nutrients are low you may not need iron supplementation but other supplement to get your body’s iron system back on track. 

It is important to not supplement iron blindly. Iron can get stuck and built up in our tissues resulting in oxidation leading to chronic disease. If you want to learn more about this I recommend visiting The Root Cause Protocol website and learning from their founder Morley Robbins. 

If you feel you need supplementation, I always recommend consulting with a practitioner who is well-versed in nutrition to help you figure out the best dosage for your body. Here are at Naturally Holistic Wellness, we can provide you with proper guidance and supervision. View our services to see how we can further support you with supplementation.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin. Beta Carotene is the bio-unavailable source of vitamin A that we get through plants. Beta Carotene is what gives carrots their bright orange color.

The body converts beta carotene into retinol (bioavailable source of vitamin A ). The conversion and absorption of carotene takes 6-7 hours after ingestion; approximately 1/3 of carotene in food is converted into provitamin A.

Vitamin A is needed for vision, healthy skin, proper function of liver, kidney, heart, other organs and for oral health.

Key Functions of Vitamin A for the Thyroid:

  • Thyroxine (T4) is needed in the conversion of beta carotene into retinol
  •  It helps balance the correct levels of thyroid hormones in the body
  • Needed for proper liver function (which plays a part in thyroid hormone balance).

Food Sources of Vitamin A:

Supplementation of Vitamin A:

If you have a thyroid condition it is wise to consume animal products to get in your daily source of vitamin A (retinol). As stated above the conversion of beta carotene found in plants to the bio available versions on vitamin A (retinol) cannot be done properly when thyroid function is weak.

For supplementional, we advise sticking to grass fed liver capsules, other organ meats, and cod liver oil to boost your daily vitamin A.

If you feel you need supplementation, I always recommend consulting with a practitioner who is well-versed in nutrition to help you figure out the best dosage for your body. Here are at Naturally Holistic Wellness, we can provide you with proper guidance and supervision. View our services to see how we can further support you with supplementation.

Magnesium

Magnesium has over 3000 key functions within the body. It is also one of the first minerals used in times of stress. Making us relatively all magnesium deficient.

Key Functions of Magnesium for the Thyroid:

  • Needed for basic thyroid function 
  • Needed for the conversion of T4 to T3
  • Low magnesium is associated with a higher risk of increased TgAB, and increases the prevalence of Hashimoto’s [6]

Food Sources of Magnesium:

  • Fatty fish
  • Cooked leafy greens
  • Seeds, legumes and nuts
  • Avocado

Supplementation of Magnesium:

My recommendations are to go slow and start out with a topical magnesium options. Such as, epsom salts, magnesium chloride bath flakes, or magnesium spray.

When you feel ready to move onto oral supplementation of magnesium I personally reccomend magnesium glycinate, malate, L-threonate,or taurate.

If you feel you need supplementation, I always recommend consulting with a practitioner who is well-versed in nutrition to help you figure out the best dosage for your body. Here are at Naturally Holistic Wellness, we can provide you with proper guidance and supervision. View our services to see how we can further support you with supplementation.

B Vitamins

B vitamins especially, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), and B12 are needed to support a healthy endocrine system that include the reproductive organs, thyroid & parathyroid gland, adrenal glands, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and pancreas.

Key Functions of B Vitamins for the Thyroid:

  • B6 and B12 calm the nervous system, which helps balance the adrenals and, in turn, the thyroid
  • B Vitamins are needed to convert T4 to T3

Food Sources of Vitamin B:

  • Pastured poultry and beef
  • Fish
  • Pastured eggs
  • Cultured dairy
  • Soaked legumes
  • Dark leafy greens

Supplementation of Vitamin B:

I believe supplementing with B vitamins should under supervision of a practitioner. B Vitamins should only be supplemented with if you are deficient.  If you feel you are deficent in b vitamins, up your vitamin intake by including high vitamin b foods or work with a practitioner to do proper testing to see if you need to supplement with B Vitamins.

If you feel you need supplementation, I always recommend consulting with a practitioner who is well-versed in nutrition to help you figure out the best dosage for your body. Here are at Naturally Holistic Wellness, we can provide you with proper guidance and supervision. View our services to see how we can further support you with supplementation.