Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies Common In Thyroid Conditions
Many people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. In this article Im going to discuss five common nutrient deficiencies found in people with these conditions. So this includes people with hypothyroidism and Hashimotos Thyroiditis, as well as people with hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease.
1. Vitamin A. Vitamin A has many important roles in the body. It helps to maintain the health of the epithelial tissues, plays an important role in immune system function, vision, and other sources. While many people will supplement with beta-carotene, the problem is that some individuals might have problems converting beta-carotene into vitamin A. While it can be challenging to determine if someone has a deficiency in vitamin A, some of the common signs and symptoms of a moderate to severe vitamin A deficiency include night blindness, a decrease or loss of appetite, and being more susceptible to infection.
With regards to thyroid health, thyroid hormone is involved in the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A . As a result, if someone has hypothyroidism, then this can potentially lead to a vitamin A deficiency. And if you attempt to correct this by giving the person beta-carotene then this very well might not correct the deficiency since the body will have problems converting it into vitamin A. So in this situation one would want to take the entire vitamin A complex in the form of a whole food supplement.
Other Benefits Of Vitamin B12
Sufficient intake of vitamin B12 is essential for our overall health and wellbeing.
Now that we have established healthy levels of the vitamin have a positive influence on thyroid functioning, especially for hypothyroid individuals, lets see some other health benefits linked with this micronutrient. They are:
The Most Common Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency In People With Hashimotos Are:
Problems with short-term memory
Feeling down or depressed
Low blood levels of vitamin D are often found in people diagnosed with Hashimotos , and can cause problems with focusing and memory, resembling early stages of Alzheimers .
Vitamin D is important in fighting off inflammation, one of the main reasons for problems with memory and focus. Research has shown that Hashimotos patients have an increased level of inflammatory molecules circulating in their bodies and causing inflammation in different parts of the body . Vitamin D is known to block these molecules from causing inflammation, but only when vitamin D levels are high enough .
Vitamin D deficiency often coexists with higher TSH and TPO levels, as well as higher TG antibodies. Whether low vitamin D causes an increase in TSH remains to be researched, but it shows a connection between vitamin D and TSH . Its unknown if low vitamin D levels is a cause or a consequence, because a lot of people diagnosed with Hashimotos have other conditions too, and these conditions might affect production or how vitamin D is used in the body .
Making sure your vitamin D levels are in a good range is important the whole year round.
During the summer a part of your vitamin D will come from sunlight-activation in your skin , and during the winter you might need to opt to take vitamin D supplements and vitamin D fortified foods to keep your vitamin D levels in a good zone.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
The symptoms can be very vague such as tiredness and general aches and pains which can often be put down to other things such as being very busy or run down and therefore the problem is often missed. In most cases, the thought of having a vitamin deficiency never occurs. However, if the deficiency is allowed to progress, more symptoms show themselves.
The Interplay Between Vitamin D And Thyroid Hormones
Vitamin D does many good things in the body. Vitamin D helps the body maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. That’s why many people think of vitamin D and its impact on bone health, since calcium and phosphorus are vital to healthy bones and teeth. Some researchers today, however, believe that vitamin D may have an even more important role in maintaining health. This includes the link between vitamin D deficiency, thyroid and endocrine health.
Dr. Theodore Friedman, a noted thyroid expert and endocrinologist, published a paper entitled Vitamin D and Thyroid Disease. In this paper, Dr. Friedman summarizes over 20 years of studies pointing to low vitamin D levels in thyroid patients, particularly hypothyroid patients. Vitamin D interacts with the body’s complex biochemistry to help or hinder thyroid production. Patients may have a potential genetic condition in which their intestines are unable to absorb vitamin D, or perhaps their bodies cannot use vitamin D properly. The result is that the body has too little vitamin D at its disposal, even if the patient is taking in the RDA for the vitamin.
Other studies support Dr. Friedman’s assertions. The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists a paper on vitamin D and thyroid hormones that also suggests the possible complex interaction between this essential vitamin and the thyroid gland. Too little circulating vitamin D may hinder the body’s ability to produce and regulate thyroid hormones.
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How To Boost Vitamin D
Sunshine. Expose your skin to 20 to 60 minutes of sun per day. If your skin is dark or you live at a northern latitude you need the higher amount of time. The more skin you expose, the more D you produce.
Food. Include salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, and egg yolks in your diet.
Supplement. Vitamin D has two forms, D2 and D3.
Vitamin D2 is seen on mainstream vitamin labels, however, vitamin D3 is twice as effective at raising vitamin D in the body.
Mainstream dosage advice is based on bone density and not preventing chronic health conditions.
Take vitamin D in an oil-based soft gel capsule or liquid form with a meal that includes fat.
For Hashimotos management, take 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day. Some people take higher doses if their genetics hamper absorption. Test your levels every three to six months.
What Causes A Vitamin D Deficiency
Limited exposure to the sun
You may look out your window and see the sun shining and think that you are safe from this deficiency, but that is not always the case. Even in sunny climates, there is an increased prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. We have all heard about the dangers of skin cancer and the need for sunscreen to protect us from this disease. This knowledge and the preventive actions we take have significantly decreased our vitamin D levels. Sunscreen protects so well against UV-B rays that an SPF of 30 decreases vitamin D synthesis in the skin by more than 95%. On top of this, we tend to spend more time indoors. One study found that it took Caucasians exposure of more than 30% of their body every day in the summer to make the optimal amounts of vitamin D. Most adults work indoors and wear more clothing during the workweek, which leaves only about 10%-15% of their body exposed to UV for short periods, so they cannot meet their vitamin D needs through the sun alone. Even if you do have some exposure to the sun, the total amount of vitamin D you can produce is affected by the season, time of day, ozone amount, latitude, and the number of clouds in the sky.
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Vitamin B12 Brief Overview
Lets start with a simple overview to get to know this vitamin a little bit better.
Vitamin B12, whose formal name is Cobalamin, is just one of eight B complex vitamins.
Generally, B complex vitamins help the body convert carbohydrates into glucose or fuel for energy.
These vitamins also help the body use proteins and fats. As you are already aware, all vitamins from B complex are vital for overall health and wellbeing.
Vitamin B12 is water-soluble. Basically, the vitamin dissolves in water and then travels through the bloodstream in order to deliver its health benefits.
This micronutrient is particularly important for maintaining nerve cells health and functioning. Vitamin B12 also participates in production of genetic material i.e. DNA and RNA.
Together with vitamin B9 , vitamin B12 works to improve efficacy and functioning of iron and to produce red blood cells.
Functioning of the brain and nervous system and metabolism of every cell in your body require sufficient levels of vitamin B12.
While your body produces millions of red blood cells every minute, they cannot function adequately or multiply without this vitamin. Since cobalamin has a significant influence on our entire body, does it also play a role in thyroid health?
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Most of us are familiar with how vitamin D partners with calcium to keep bones healthy, but what about vitamin Ds relationship with the thyroid? Researchers have discovered a strong link between low levels of vitamin D and thyroid disorders, known to cause symptoms like brain fog, constipation, hair thinning, weight gain, and infertility, in some cases.
You may be low on vitamin D and not even know it.
Even if you eat a vitamin D-rich diet and take a supplement, there are two often overlooked reasons for a common vitamin D deficiency:
Theres still hope if youre struggling with vitamin D deficiency. You can take a supplement with healthy fats to improve uptake, like avocado or milk kefir. You can also address the root of the problem by healing a leaky gut that is inhibiting vitamin D absorption: Support daily gut health and strengthen the gut lining by eating fermented vegetables and taking a Digestive Care Multi packet at each meal.
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Vitamin D Deficiency And Gd
GD, known as diffuse toxic goiter, is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, and its pathogenesis is complex and unclear. Two groups have demonstrated that vitamin D inhibits the pathogenesis of GD through the following immunomodulatory mechanisms: vitamin D inhibits the differentiation and maturation of DCs, decreases the secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-2, IL-23, and IL-12 by DCs, and blocks hyperthyroidism caused by autoimmune responses vitamin D can directly act on Th1 and Th2 cells, and inhibit the occurrence of autoimmune responses by inhibiting Th1 cells, and by upregulating the activity of Th2 cells and the level of cytokines they secrete and vitamin D inhibits B cell proliferation, plasma cell differentiation, immunoglobulin secretion, and memory B cell production, and is associated with the onset of GD.
What Vitamin D Does For Your Body
Vitamin D is actually a hormone. Like thyroid hormone, every cell in your body needs D as it regulates many different pathways:
Bone density. Vitamin D helps prevent breakdown of bone and increases the strength of the skeletal system.
Mood regulation. Low vitamin D is linked to a 14 percent rise in depression and a 50 percent rise in suicide. Raising vitamin D helps improve anxiety and depression.
Brain health. Vitamin D3, the biologically active form, has neuroprotective effects, including the clearance of amyloid plaques of Alzheimers Disease.
Reduced cancer risk. Good vitamin D levels are linked with lower rates of breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.
Sleep. Good vitamin D levels improves sleep.
Immune regulation. Vitamin D plays a key role in dampening inflammation.
This is especially important in dampening autoimmune Hashimotos low thyroid.
Research shows more than 90 percent of people with autoimmunity have a genetic defect that causes vitamin D deficiency and therefore need to take more.
A common thread in all chronic illnesses, inflammation is shown to be reduced by adequate vitamin D levels.
How Do You Know If Your Vitamin D Levels Are Okay
The most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is the vitamin D blood test.
Super high levels of vitamin D might not help, and might even be counterproductive in a long term.
You can track vitamin D in BOOST Thyroid app.
Amer M, et al. Relation between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and C-reactive protein in asymptomatic adults, 2012
Perez-Lopez FR, et al. Vitamin D and aging: beyond calcium and bone metabolism, 2011
Sommer A, et al. Vitamin D regulates cytokine patterns secreted by dendritic cells to promote differentiation of IL-22-producing T cells, 2015
Annweiler C, et al. Vitamin D and cognition in older adults: updated international recommendations, 2015
Eyles DW, et al. Distribution of the vitamin D receptor and 1 alpha-hydroxylase in human brain, 2005
LeMoult J, Gotlib IH. Depression: a cognitive perspective, 2018
Scanlan JM, et al. Cognitive impairment, chronic disease burden, and functional disability: a population study of older Italians, 2007
Ovesen L, et al. Geographical differences in vitamin D status, with particular reference to European countries, 2003
Kennel KA, et al. Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults: When to Test and How to Treat, 2010
Bakr HG, et al. Relevance of 25 vitamin D deficiency on Hashimotos thyroiditis, 2017
Nalbant A, et al. Association of vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency with thyroid artery Doppler ultrasonography in patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis, 2017
Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency, 2007
Association Of High Vitamin D Status With Low Circulating Thyroid
et al.Wei HeTao Yang
1Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China
2Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, The Affiliated Jiangyin Hospital of Southeast University Medical College, Jiangyin, Jiangsu 214400, China
Vitamin D is recognized to be an essential element for bone metabolism and skeletal health however, its deficiency can cause rickets in children as well as an increased propensity for osteoporosis . In addition, it may also affect extraskeletal health. Indeed, vitamin D deficiency has been identified as a risk factor for diabetes mellitus , cancers , multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases , atherosclerosis , and infectious diseases .
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Study Subjects
From June to December 2011, we recruited a total of 9,982 Chinese living in Gulou, Nanjing. The study was approved by the ethics committee of the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University. All patients provided informed consent and completed a standardized questionnaire. Blood samples were collected and stored at 80°C.
Further exclusion criteria included overt hypothyroidism < 8.5pmol/L) and overt hyperthyroidism . A total of 1,424 participants were included in our study.
2.2. Laboratory Measurements
2.3. Statistical Analysis
3.1. Clinical and Laboratory Characteristics
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Vitamin D Deficiency And Thyroid Disease
There’s increasing evidence to suggest that low levels of vitamin D may play a role in thyroid disorders. For instance, research has suggested a possible link between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune thyroid disorders, namely Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the most common cause of hypothyroidism , and Grave’s disease, characterized by an overactive thyroid.
In one study, 72% of subjects with autoimmune thyroid disease were deficient in vitamin D, whereas just under 31% of healthy subjects had low levels of vitamin D. Similarly, a study of people in Greece with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis revealed that more than 85% of them had low levels of vitamin D, as well as high levels of anti-thyroid antibodies.
Vitamin D supplementation also has shown promise as a way to help treat thyroid disease. In the same Greek study, for example, the Hashimoto thyroiditis patients who were deficient in vitamin D took 1,200 to 4,000 international units of vitamin D every day for four months, after which time they had significantly lower levels of anti-thyroid antibodies.
In yet another study, people with hypothyroidism who took extra vitamin D supplements for 12 weeks had improvements in blood levels of thyroid stimulating hormone .
Aleksandra Jankovic / Stocksy United
Supplements For General Thyroid Health
If you walk down the supplement aisle of your favorite health food store, youll likely see a section dedicated to thyroid health.
Due to the prevalence of thyroid conditions, many supplement companies have started making supplements that are designed to support thyroid health.
Although some of these products are harmless, certain thyroid supplements may lead to negative side effects and can even harm your thyroid.
Before addressing why thyroid-specific supplements may not be the best choice for everyone, its important to explain what nutrients the thyroid needs for optimal functioning. Here are some of the most important nutrients for thyroid health:
- Selenium. Selenium, a mineral needed for thyroid hormone production, helps protect the thyroid from damage caused by oxidative stress. The thyroid contains high amounts of selenium, and a deficiency can lead to thyroid dysfunction .
- Iodine. Iodine is critical for thyroid function. In fact, currently, the only known role of iodine is to support thyroid hormone production. Triiodothyronine and thyroxine are thyroid hormones that contain iodine. Iodine deficiency causes thyroid disease .
- Zinc. The mineral zinc is required for thyroid hormone production. An optimal concentration of zinc is needed for healthy levels of T3, T4, and thyroid-stimulating hormone .
- Iron. The thyroid needs iron to convert T4 into T3, the active form of thyroid hormone. Iron deficiency is associated with thyroid dysfunction .
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