Monday, November 08, 2004

Top Five Supplements for Thyroid Support

For those of you who are reading this, and feel you only have one minute to spare, here's the short version for supplementing your diet to support your Thyroid:

Be sure to take a strong multivitamin with minerals, (Shaklee Vita-Lea), along with Vitamin C, (Shaklee Sustained Release Vita-C) each day. This has to be high-quality, such as can be purchased from Shaklee, as opposed to some of the larger national drug store brands in the same category as Centrum or Centrum Silver. Most nationally-advertised multiple vitamins sold in drugstores do not have the potency nor the bioavailability that thyroid sufferers need.

Other supplements to consider for Thyroid support are:

Iodine - Shaklee Vita-Lea

The first, of course, is iodine, which is very much a double-edged sword for thyroid sufferers. You absolutely need it, but not too much of it. The latest study, to look at this more carefully, was a 1999 report in Nutritional Review, by Lee, Bradley, Dwyer. These researchers tell us that the size of the population with iodine deficiency is now close to 10% of men, and 20% of women.

However, the other 80-90% do not need extra iodine, and for many of this majority, additional iodine can become a thyroid problem.

What to do? If you are a person who never consumes fast food, avoids salt like the plague, doesn't eat much seafood, and feels that sea vegetables are for fish, and especially if you live more than 100 miles from any coast, then you might well consider supplementation with iodine, the key mineral in thyroid hormone production.

If you are not in this category, you would probably do well to not take extra iodine, as you're likely to be getting more than enough from other sources, such as iodized salt and the natural sources of fish and sea vegetables.

This iodine dilemma is the major nutritional problem facing everyone. Worldwide, iodine deficiency diseases account for incalculable suffering in the form of goiter, miscarriage, infertility, and terrible sickness affecting over one billion people on the planet. This is a significant percentage of the human race.

However, in the US, the problem has been thought eliminated by the widespread distribution of iodine, first in bread dough, and in salt. Recently however, there has been resurgence of iodine deficiency, even in our country. It is a problem for specific people.

Researchers are presently working to develop a reliable and effective test for iodine, but at this point, we are not convinced that the available tests are up for the task. In light of all this, some thyroid specialists are suggesting that you hedge your bets and simply ingest each day an amount of iodine that will help if you are too low, but won't hurt if you are already sufficient.

This amount appears to be about 100 mcg (micro-grams) per day. However, if you find that you feel sick after eating iodized foods, you may want to avoid this nutrient.

Selenium - Shaklee Vita-E Complex

As you can see, the minerals may be more important for thyroid production than the vitamins, because the next two items on the list are the minerals selenium and zinc. Selenium is crucial in both the production of T-4 thyroid hormone (thyroxin) in the thyroid gland, as well as in the conversion of T-4 to T-3 thyroid hormone, the active form (thyroxin). Zinc is needed both before and after these production and conversion processes. Zinc is necessary for the TRH hypothalamus hormone to stimulate the pituitary gland, which signals the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone.

Zinc - Shaklee Zinc Complex

Moreover, zinc is needed at the intracellular level to help the thyroid nuclear receptors attach and drive the reading of the DNA genetic code. Keep in mind that the main function of thyroid hormone is to help put the genetic code into action.

Regarding selenium, we suggest 200 mcg (micro-grams) per day. This is, again, more than is contained in the common multiple mineral products. For zinc, we believe you can take at least 10 mg per day; please keep in mind that when taking 10-25 mg. of zinc, you need to balance that with one mg copper for the zinc-copper ration so useful for thyroid patients. Therefore a good product would contain 1-2 mg of copper in addition to the zinc.

Vitamin D - Shaklee Super Cal Mag Plus

In addition to these minerals, vitamin D is necessary for thyroid hormone production in the pituitary gland, and possibly in the early stages of T-3 (thyroxin) binding to its receptor. Vitamin E is part of the necessary supporting apparatus that enables the deiodinase enzyme to convert T-4 (inactive thyroid hormone) into T-3 (the active type).

It now appears that the amount of vitamin D people need has been grossly under-estimated, nor is it as toxic as first was thought. We recommend at least 800 IU of Vitamin D daily.

Vitamin E - Shaklee Vita-E Complex

The amount of vitamin E needed has likewise been undersold; we recommend 400-800 IU daily. This turns out to be more than is provided in most multiple vitamins, yet it allows for excellent antioxidant protection as well as helping menopausal women avoid hot flashes without resorting to estrogen.

There you have it - the 5 most essential nutrients for feeding the thyroid gland. Keep in mind, however, that these researchers based their studies, for the most part, on fairly healthy individuals. If you have had a thyroid problem of some duration, or if you have some other illness, in addition to your thyroid problem, then other recommendations apply to you.

These include:

Antioxidants - Shaklee CarotoMax & FlavoMax
A full-symphony antioxidant, not just the C and E, but especially 5000 - 10,000 IU of Vitamin A, which is usually present in most multiple products. The other antioxidants, such as lipoic acid, pygnogenol, etc. are often omitted in a multiple vitamin with minerals, but are indeed present in an antioxidant combo. We suggest, for people in this category, very strong anti-oxidant supplementation.

Essential Fats - Shaklee Essential Omega-3 Complex
Moreover, to have your thyroid get to where it needs to go, you are likely to need high doses of the essential fatty acids (EFA) in a 2:1 mix of Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Amino Acids - Shaklee Soy Protein
Finally, long-time sufferers would do well to take extra amino acids. Recall that thyroid hormone is basically the amino acid tyrosine with some iodines attached. Amino acid metabolism is crucial for thyroid function, but it is not just tyrosine that is needed. In fact, far better if full-symphony, free-form amino acids, a couple of grams per day

There you have it. Optimal thyroid nutrients can make an incredible difference, whether you are taking natural and/or synthetic medicines for your condition. Shaklee products are not only effective but they are also safe to use over the long run. In fact, that is when they will perform at their very best!

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