The thyroid is responsible for secreting hormones and keeping your energy levels right where they should be; basically, it acts as the “leader” of the endocrine system. So, it goes without saying, if you keep your thyroid healthy, your body will thank you. But, remember the thyroid is vulnerable to environmental toxins like BPA and pesticides, among other nasties.
4 Tips for Supporting Your Thyroid
While there are some endocrine disruptors in our environment that you absolutely can’t avoid 100% of the time, there are a few measures that you can take to stack the deck in your favor. Here are just a few of the simple steps you can take to protect your thyroid health.
1. Drink Fluoride-Free Water
Fluoride was once prescribed as a remedy for an overactive thyroid.  It only takes a low dose (2 to 5 mg per day over a few months) to lower function, and that’s about as much fluoride already in the water supply we drink. Drinking fluoride-free water could lower your chances of developing an underactive thyroid by as much as 30 percent. 
2. Avoid Endocrine Disrupters
Phthalates are some pretty nasty toxins used to make plastic flexible, but they’re also used in some personal care products. As endocrine disruptors, phthalates can sabotage thyroid function. But pollution from phthalates can also be an issue, according to a recent study from China. Researchers in the study found two common phthalates in drinking water. While avoiding endocrine disruptors is key, studies suggest adding turmeric to your diet could help the thyroid by soothing the irritation caused by them.  A liquid extract could provide an especially strong punch.
3. Go Gluten Free
Gluten contains a protein called gliadin. Since this protein isn’t found in our bodies, the immune system can attack it. Now, when someone has a gluten intolerance or worse thyroid issues can develop because, to the body, gliadin looks a lot like a necessary enzyme called transglutaminase.  Used to form chemical bonds, this enzyme is already found in high concentrations in the thyroid, so the immune system’s antibodies can actually attack the gland.  Eating a gluten-free diet could be a huge step in helping thyroid health.
4. Get Enough of the Right Nutrients
A starving thyroid is not a healthy thyroid. Consuming the right amount of the right nutrients is an absolute indisputable necessity for thyroid health. The two most important nutrients for your thyroid are iodine and selenium.
To properly regulate your body’s metabolic functions, your thyroid secretes hormones T4 and T3. Iodine is a crucial building block your thyroid needs to produce these hormones. Be sure to consume plenty of iodine-rich foods. You can find iodine in seaweed, seafood, and plain yogurt. 
Selenium is involved in a few bodily processes including DNA synthesis, cellular repair, and reproduction, but the greatest bodily concentration of this trace element is found in your thyroid. Selenium plays a crucial role in metabolism and hormone synthesis. Most people should be able to get all the selenium they need from food sources. It can be found in seafood, eggs, dairy, and organ and muscle meats. Plant sources include breads, grains, and spinach. Brazil nuts are an excellent source—they actually contain the highest selenium concentration of any food. 
Iodine and selenium are essential to your health. If you can’t get proper amounts of these nutrients from food, consider supplementation. If you do need a thyroid supporting supplement, consider our complete Thyroid Health Kit™. It combines essential nutrients iodine and selenium, with some health-boosting B12 added for good measure.
Lifestyle is Key
Good thyroid health isn’t the result of just one thing; it’s a combination of good lifestyle choices and nutrition, and the 4 tips above should help you on the way to a healthy thyroid. Exercise and sleep are two excellent free methods that will help regulate thyroid health. Be sure to consume a healthy diet, mostly raw, to ensure intake of all vitamins and minerals essential for thyroid function.
What do you do to keep your thyroid healthy? Tell us about it in the comments.
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Galletti P, et. al. Effect of fluorine on thyroidal iodine metabolism in hyperthyroidism.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology. 18 (10).
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- Li, N. et al. Dibutyl Phthalate Contributes to the Thyroid Receptor Antagonistic Activity in Drinking Water Processes. Environmental Science & Technology. 44 (17).
- Jurenka, J. S. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Alternative Medicine Review. 14 (2).
- Griffin M. et al. Transglutaminases: nature’s biological glues. The Biochemical Journal. 368 (Pt 2).
- Naiyer, A.J. et al. Tissue transglutaminase antibodies in individuals with celiac disease bind to thyroid follicles and extracellular matrix and may contribute to thyroid dysfunction. Thyroid. 18 (11).
- “Iodine.” National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements, USA.gov, 24 June 2011. Accessed 7 Sept. 2016.