Tag Archives: Selenium

Inadequate Thyroid Hormone Regulation

ThyroidHormoneRegulationJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



Small in stature but vital in importance, the thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate numerous biochemical processes including metabolism, body temperature, heart rate, the nervous system, respiration, body weight, menstrual cycles and muscle strength just to name a few. While the thyroid produces body cell-dependent hormones — well known T3 (tri-iodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) and the lesser known T2 (di-iodothyronine) — it is itself dependent on the communication between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to signal the release of these hormones to maintain homeostasis. This highly efficient, yet highly sensitive network of communication, known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, ideally doles out just the right amount of hormones to keep the body running smoothly.

When thyroid hormones are in balance, the body functions like a well-oiled machine. However, when the thyroid cannot properly regulate hormone production, the body cannot be in homeostasis and overall wellbeing is threatened. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), thyroid disease is more common than both heart disease and diabetes. While it is estimated that 30 million Americans — the majority of them women — suffer from thyroid health issues, as many as 10 million remain undiagnosed. A wide range of symptoms, such as atypical depression, anxiety, rapid heartbeat and dysmenorrhea, can mask a thyroid imbalance. Fatigue, insomnia, mood imbalances and unexplained weight gain or loss may all be symptomatic of a thyroid dysregulation.

When the thyroid is underactive and hormone production is insufficient, hypothyroidism, a condition often linked to iodine insufficiency, can result. Because many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are vague and can overlap with other disorders, a diagnosis of thyroid fatigue can be overlooked. Hypothyroidism slows metabolism, resulting in symptoms such as sensitivity to cold, weight gain, and overall fatigue, which may more often than not be attributed to other causes, delaying diagnosis and treatment sometimes for years. When an over-stimulated thyroid produces excess hormones, putting the body into overdrive and speeding up bodily processes, it can cause hyperthyroidism with physical symptoms that include rapid heartbeat, sensitivity to heat, hyperactivity, anxiety, weight loss, insomnia and dysmenorrhea.

Abnormal thyroid function can also result in thyroiditis, an inflammatory condition that can render the thyroid incapable of producing enough hormones to maintain normal metabolism and energy production. One cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition in which the immune system slowly and methodically destroys the thyroid gland. Graves’ disease, another autoimmune disorder with a strong genetic link, is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. If you are experiencing symptoms relating to thyroid hormone dysregulation, see your healthcare provider for an exam and diagnostic tests.

Physical activity and nutritional factors play key roles in supporting proper thyroid function. Eating for chronic disease prevention, by emphasizing vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats and high fiber foods, can help prevent or manage not only thyroid disease but other chronic diseases associated with thyroid disorders, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. While exercise is good for everyone’s overall health, for those with thyroid disorders physical activity may help with weight gain, fatigue, depression and sleep disturbances. Regular exercise is believed to support healthy thyroid hormone production and increase the sensitivity of bodily tissues to thyroid hormones. Adequate sleep gives the body a chance to rest, regenerate and restore and helps to reduce the effects of physiological stress.

Dietary nutrients that support thyroid hormone function include:

Iodine – Essential to thyroid function, most Americans get a sufficient amount of iodine from the use of iodized salt, along with fish, dairy and grains. As both deficiency and excess of iodine carry risks, supplementation is best undertaken under the watchful eye of a healthcare provider.

Vitamin D – Deficiency in vitamin D is linked to both Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease. As many people worldwide are vitamin D deficient, be sure to get adequate amounts of vitamin D through sensible sunlight exposure, vitamin D-rich foods such as mushrooms and fatty fish, and supplementation.

Selenium – The thyroid gland typically has a high concentration of selenium, which has been shown to be integral to thyroid function, immune health, fertility and cognitive function. Selenium-rich foods include shellfish and brazil nuts.

Vitamin B12 – Studies have shown that those who have thyroid disease are often deficient in vitamin B12. Necessary for nutrient metabolism, red blood cell formation and healthy nerve cell function, B12 can be found in fatty fish, organ meats and dairy.

As some supplements, such as chromium picolinate, calcium and fiber, can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medications, always check with your healthcare provider before embarking on any supplemental program.  

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products designed to support healthy thyroid function:

Thyrosol by MetagenicsThyrosol® by Metagenics – This targeted nutritional formula provides specific vitamins, minerals and herbs that support healthy thyroid function, promote healthy thyroid hormone levels and support the enhanced conversion of thyroid hormones that control energy usage. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.


Iodoral 12.5 mg by Optimox Corporation

Iodoral® 12.5 mg by Optimox Corporation – Iodoral® provides high potency elemental iodine/potassium iodine in support of optimal thyroid function. This product is meant to be used under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.


Thyrocsin (Thyroid Cofactors) (SF765) (SF784) by Thorne ResearchThyrocsin by Thorne Research – Thyrocsin provides supportive nutrients along with an adaptogen in support of healthy thyroid function and the conversion of thyroid hormones in bodily tissues. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation. This product is contraindicated for those taking MAO inhibitor antidepressant medication.


Thyroid Synergy by Designs for HealthThyroid Synergy™ by Designs for Health – This product supplies nutritional, botanical and adaptogenic support for enhancement of thyroid hormone production and peripheral thyroid hormone conversion. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


Iodine Plus by Nutritional FrontiersIodine Plus by Nutritional Frontiers – Iodine Plus provides a synergistic blend of iodine, L-tyrosine and selenium in support of proper thyroid function, hormone production and maintenance. Gluten, soy and dairy free, vegetarian formulation. Consult your healthcare provider before taking this product if you are taking medications or have hyperthyroidism.

Could You Have a Thyroid Problem? http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/diagnosing-thyroid-problems-women
Thyroid Gland Overview. http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-thyroid
How does the thyroid work? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072572/
Thyroid Gland, How it Functions, Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism. http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid-nodules/thyroid-gland-controls-bodys-metabolism-how-it-works-symptoms-hyperthyroi
About Your Thyroid. http://www.thyroidawareness.com/about-your-thyroid
Thyroid Disease and Diet – Nutrition Plays a Part in Maintaining Thyroid Health. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/070112p40.shtml

Essential Selenium

Selenium2JacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

Small amounts of selenium, a trace element naturally found in the soil and food products, are nutritionally essential for human health. In the body, selenium clusters known as selenoproteins play a critical role in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, immune support and DNA synthesis. In its function as an antioxidant, selenium plays an important role in oxidative damage protection and infection prevention. Selenium is required for the proper activity of glutathione peroxidases, a group of enzymes that provide protection from oxidative stress and facilitate the recycling of vitamins E and C, helping to optimize the performance of the antioxidant system. They also play a key role in the body’s detoxification system, aiding in the elimination of heavy metal toxicity symptoms.

Chronic low selenium intake is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, cancer and depressed immune function. Those most susceptible to selenium deficiencies include those with rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, inflammatory conditions and those with certain types of cancer. Others who may have low levels of selenium include those who smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, take birth control pills or have digestive health issues such as celiac or Crohn’s disease that prevent absorption of the mineral.

In addition to potent antioxidant activity, selenium stimulates the immune system and shows promise in cancer prevention by its ability to inhibit tumor growth. Because of its antioxidant properties and its positive effects on DNA repair and the endocrine and immune systems, the importance of selenium in cancer prevention is the basis of ongoing scientific studies. A substantial amount of research indicates that selenium plays a role in regulating cytokines, cell signaling molecules that stimulate the immune response, while deficiencies are associated with impaired immune function.

Selenium can be found in the highest concentration in the thyroid gland. Much like iodine, selenium has important roles to play in thyroid hormone synthesis and thyroid gland function. The transformation of a less active thyroid hormone known as thyroxine (T4) into the more active triiodothyronine (T3) is one way that selenium partners with iodine to keep thyroid function strong and consistent. While selenium supports efficient thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism, it also protects the thyroid from the damaging effects of excessive iodine exposure.

Although true selenium deficiency is rare in the U.S., selenium intake and blood concentrations can vary by region depending on soil content and amounts found in local foods. The amount of selenium a plant food contains is dependent on the soil content, soil pH, the health of the soil, the amount of organic material in the soil and whether the plant is able to extract the selenium from the soil. The soil also affects the amount of selenium in an animal’s diet, so amounts found in dietary animal products can fluctuate. Good food sources of selenium include brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, organ and muscle meats, whole grains, cold water fish, shellfish, dairy and cruciferous vegetables. Eating a diet rich in whole foods is preferable to processed foods, as processing destroys much of the nutrient content. Most refined and processed foods, which often make up a large percentage of many American’s diets, are very low in selenium.

Making sure your selenium intake is optimal may boost both thyroid and immune function. While the importance of selenium in the diet is well documented, you can have too much of a good thing. While most adults average less than 100 mcg per day from foods, exceeding the recommended daily allowance of 400 mcg is not recommended.

Here are some great recommendations for selenium supplementation:

Selenium (Selenomethionine)
Selenium (Selenomethionine) by Pure Encapsulations – This easily assimilated supplement provides 200 mcg of selenium per capsule in a hypo-allergenic, gluten and soy free formula.
Aqueous Selenium
Aqueous Selenium by Biotics Research – This product provides supplemental selenium in an easy to take liquid formula. One drop provides 95 mcg of elemental selenium.
 Reacted Selenium
Reacted Selenium by Ortho Molecular – This gluten and soy free supplement provides 200 mcg of selenium per natural vegetable capsule.
Selenium by Innate Response Formulas – Crafted exclusively from 100% whole food nutrients, this non-GMO, gluten and soy free formula provides 50 mcg of selenium per tablet.