If you want high energy levels and a healthy body weight, you need an efficient thyroid gland. If you want a sharp brain and good mood, that is also largely dependent on your thyroid health. Far too many people have an under functioning thyroid gland which is severely impairing their quality of life. Thyroid problems are becoming increasingly common, especially in women.

The most common thyroid condition is hypothyroidism. This means the thyroid gland is under active and can no longer produce sufficient levels of hormones. It’s one of the most common causes of inability to lose weight, as well as depression, fluid retention, constipation and a disrupted menstrual cycle. In the vast majority of cases, the thyroid becomes under active because of the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Why does a person develop a thyroid problem?

Several factors increase the risk of developing a thyroid problem: iodine deficiency, leaky gut syndrome, dysbiosis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, gluten intolerance, stress and vitamin D deficiency are just some of them. Something your doctor may not have considered is selenium insufficiency. Along with iodine, selenium is the most important mineral for a healthy thyroid gland. Not getting enough selenium in your diet can increase your chance of developing a thyroid problem, or it can make an existing thyroid problem worse.

The soils of many parts of the world are low in selenium; therefore most foods are not a good source of this mineral. Brazil nuts can contain selenium, but it depends on where they were grown. Like all nuts, they contain phytic acid, which binds with minerals and inhibits their absorption. Relying on Brazil nuts to supply your body with adequate selenium is usually not effective.

People with poor digestion or a digestive disease such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease are much more prone to selenium deficiency than the general population. Even irritable bowel syndrome will reduce how much selenium you’re able to absorb from food, particularly from Brazil nuts, since many people find nuts to be irritating to their intestines.

Many studies have shown that being selenium deficient raises the risk of developing Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, while supplementing with selenium can halt the production of the antibodies that cause the disease. This is significant because reducing auto-antibody production can stop the destruction of the thyroid gland, and if caught early enough, the thyroid may be able to recover. Other research found that giving 200mcg of selenium each day to patients with autoimmune thyroid disease reduced the levels of thyroid peroxidase antibodies even in individuals who weren’t selenium deficient. Selenium is a very effective remedy for all autoimmune conditions, and we’ve definitely noticed that the bulk of our patients feel much better while taking it.

Your body requires selenium for the conversion of T4 thyroid hormone into its active state, T3. This is important to know if you are taking supplemental thyroid hormones. Unless you are taking Armour thyroid, porcine thyroid or other compounded thyroid extract, your body must first activate the thyroid hormone tablet you take each morning. Ensuring you get optimum selenium in your diet or through a supplement can help you experience greater benefits from your thyroid medication.

The optimal selenium level

The selenium content of food is directly related to how much selenium was in the soil where the food was grown.  Normally selenium is found in organ meats, seafood, Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, garlic, kelp, onions and medicinal mushrooms (reishi and shitake). Because selenium levels in the soil are unreliable, it is virtually impossible to obtain enough selenium through diet alone if you have a thyroid condition. Most clinical trials of selenium have used a dose of 100 or 200 mcg daily. This is a beneficial dose that can be taken long term. Selenium supplements can safely be taken by individuals on thyroid hormone replacement.





The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.