5 Best Thyroid Supplements for Hypothyroidism
Figuring out which thyroid supplements to take for hypothyroid can be confusing. Most people can go a lifetime without knowing that they have an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
According to world-renowned thyroid expert and author of the book Why do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?, Dr. Datis Khazzarian, over 90 percent of hypothyroidism cases are autoimmune in nature. In fact, a person could have autoimmunity for years before experiencing symptoms of an underactive thyroid.
The reason for this is that the immune system gets confused and creates antibodies that attack healthy thyroid tissue. When enough thyroid tissue is destroyed and insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones are produced, this is when symptoms of a low-functioning thyroid appear.
The good news is that there are thyroid supplements that you can take to balance and support the immune system as well as the thyroid to put the attack on the thyroid into remission. Having a good diet and avoiding certain foods is also key. This article reviews the latest research on some supplements that can act as an integral part of hypothyroidism therapy. Of course, it goes without saying to consult your doctor or functional medicine practitioner in order to assess if these supplements are right for you.
Best Thyroid Supplements for Hypothyroidism
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Most people that eat today’s highly processed diet are exposed to high levels of oils (like genetically-modified corn and soy) that are high in omega-6 fatty acids. The problem with this is that when omega-6 fatty acids out-number omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, increasing levels of inflammation are seen. This sets the stage for an array of diseases that include autoimmune thyroiditis, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
When it comes to autoimmunity, the role of omega-3 fatty acids is well documented. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and studies have found that their use in autoimmune disease is significantly beneficial as Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation decreases disease activity and lowers the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Omega-3 fatty acids found from fish oils seem to be the most beneficial when it comes to fighting inflammation. Naturally, the best way to guarantee that you are getting optimal amounts of fish oil is to consume wild-caught fatty fish like salmon and mackerel three to four times per week. Fish and seafood not only contain omega-3 fatty acids, but they also contain important vitamins and minerals that act like antioxidants.
Another option is to supplement with fish oil. As fish oils are highly volatile and can be easily oxidized when exposed to heat (like when you consume it), it is important to find fish oil supplements that are blended with antioxidants. Studies have found omega-3 fatty acids mixed with olive oil extracts to be effective in combating inflammation.
Selenium is a multi-faceted trace mineral when it comes to thyroid health. Studies have found that taking selenium supplements every day can decrease thyroid antibodies. 3
Selenium is also a crucial ingredient needed to form thyroid hormones. A selenium deficiency cannot only decrease the amount of thyroid hormones that are formed, but it can exacerbate an autoimmune condition. This is because selenium is responsible for clearing the hydrogen peroxide that is formed with iodine (the inactive form) is turned into iodide (the active form). If large amounts of hydrogen peroxide are formed, this causes inflammation and signals the immune system to clear it. If this process becomes dysfunctional, a lack of selenium can be a very real trigger of autoimmune thyroiditis.
Dr. Isabella Wentz, an expert in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and author of the books, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Hashimoto’s Protocol, recommends taking selenium along with vitamin E and thyroid medication on an empty stomach in the morning.