Vitality Herbs and Clay Vital Health News Archives Health Foods that Lower Thyroid Function
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 19:07

Health Foods that Lower Thyroid Function

& What You Can Do For Your Thyroid

by Michael King

No Audio version available.

The most common foods which reduce thyroid hormone production (when consumed in excess, especially if raw) belong to the mustard family of cruciferous vegetables known as brassicas (kale, maca, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) due to their higher than usual levels of sulfur-containing compounds (which provide the pungent taste characteristic of the mustard family).

Sulfur compounds, when taken in excess, and not counterbalanced by iron-rich or iodine-rich foods, lead to a reduction in thyroid hormones. Other non-brassica foods also lower thyroid function (both are listed toward the bottom of this article) like estrogen promoting soy products, and peaches, strawberries, spinach, etc.

The largest food group with thyroid lowering influences are the brassicas which offer both benefits and detriments to overall body health depending on the existing mineral balance in your body at the time of consumption.

Sulfur in Brassicas
Brassicas contain a sulfur compound called isothiocyanates (mustard oil) which block the production of thyroid peroxidase (TPO), the enzyme that transfers iodine to the thyroid hormones and to mother’s milk. The net effect is a reduced production of thyroid hormones due to the absence of the fundamental building block for thyroid hormones – iodine (which may have its benefits in hyperthyroid conditions).

Brassica isothiocyanates have also shown to disrupt signaling across the thyroid cell membranes thereby reducing hormone transportation to other parts of the thyroid.

Isothiocyanates, (as members of the glucosinolate family of compounds) are associated to poor fertility in animals. Poisoning/BRASSI_1.htm

Brassicas also contain a sulfur amino acid, SMCO. The sulfur in brassicas compete for iron leading to goiter and anemia. Reduced iron leads to a reduction in oxygen to the cells and thereby a disruption in the production of cellular ATP (required for energy). Feelings of lethargy and chronic fatigue are the common result.

Iron deficiency impairs selenium utilization, yet selenium is essential for the proper utilization of iodine. Zimmerman MB and Kohrle J. The impact of iron and selenium deficiencies on iodine and thyroid metabolism: biochemistry and relevance to public health. Thyroid 2002;12:867-78.

High sulfur levels in brassicas (also in eggs, onions, garlic and Black Salt/Pink Sulfur Salt) will compete for iron and iodine and thereby reduce the absorption of selenium in the body which is iron dependent. Yet these conditions exist only where an insufficient mineral/nutrient support exists in sufficient quantities to offset the iodine/iron drain from the brassica sulfur compounds. Seaweeds (in Thyroid Balance and Earth & Sea Greens) for iodine and Sacred Clay for iron provide usable forms of offsetting nutrients required for optimal functioning of the thyroid when consuming moderate amounts of brassicas and other sulfur-rich foods.

While an excess of sulfur can cause anemia, a proper balance of sulfur, iron, selenium and iodine (along with numerous other mineral ratios that depend upon each other in relationship to these) can provide the body with powerful health-building properties. Only whole earthen resources, like sea vegetables and clay, have the ability to feed the body with such refined balances of 60-70+ minerals required by the body for optimal health.

Benefits of Sulfur in the Production of Glutathione
A proper amount of sulfur in the body is essential for the production of glutathione, instrumental in the detoxification of heavy metals, radiation, environmental chemicals and various toxic compounds that are the byproduct of normal metabolism in the body. Sulfur-containing glutathione plays a role in the detoxification of numerous foreign compounds, both organic and inorganic.

Glutathione is an essential component of the human immune response to oxidative stress (toxins). Glutathione is considered the most important antioxidant produced by the body. Low levels of glutathione potentially lead to a very long list of life-threatening health conditions due primarily to the buildup of toxic substances normally neutralized by glutathione.

For example, if the liver’s capacity to synthesize glutathione is reduced through toxic overload or disease, a rapid toxic buildup takes place followed by diminished health and an early death. Glutathione is utilized in the liver to convert body waste and toxic compounds prior to enclosing the waste in bile fluids for delivery out of the body through the intestines.

"No other antioxidant is as important to overall health as glutathione. It is the regulator and regenerator of immune cells and the most valuable detoxifying agent in the human body. Low levels are associated with hepatic dysfunction, immune dysfunction, cardiac disease, premature aging, and death." The Immune System Cure, Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe & Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D.

While brassicas in moderate amounts may help the body produce glutathione, the highest known sources of bioavailable glutathione are actually found in raw milk whey and asparagus.

Clay & Sea Vegetables Offset the Sulfur Compounds from an Excess Intake of Brassica Foods
Sufficient quantities of earthen sources naturally high in bioavailable iron and iodine, like Sacred Clay, nettle leaf & sea vegetables (in Earth & Sea Greens and Thyroid Balance) assist in maintaining a proper balance in the sulfur-iron-iodine ratios, thereby insuring maximum benefits from the sulfur, iron and iodine present in the body. With sufficient quantities of plant-based or clay-based iron & iodine, energy levels lowered from a sulfur excess will naturally, and rapidly, climb back to normal levels.

I can personally vouch for this having spent a time of consuming an excess of Pink Sulfur Salt (Black Salt). I entered a phase of chronic fatigue not knowing how I was causing the loss of my usual energetic state. During research I understood the iron-sulfur relationship and went immediately to the cupboard to get Sacred Clay and Earth & Sea Greens. One tablespoon of each was consumed in water and within 30 minutes I went from hardly wanting to walk to 110% of my usual energy – and it was 10PM! I simply overwhelmed the sulfur presence in my body with iron-rich earthen sources and energy levels returned to normal.

Health Benefits of Brassicas
Brassica plants also contain many health benefits due to the high phytonutrient (plant-based) content of some (like kale). The same compounds that harm at high levels of intake, also seem to provide tremendous benefit at lower levels of consumption. The same isothiocyanate compounds that cause problems in excess also assist in the reversal of abnormal cell growths and provide the well-known antibacterial properties characteristic of mustard oil (the pungent flavor in mustard leaf, horseradish, daikon radish, & rocket arugula, and found to a much lesser degree in kale, cabbage, collards, broccoli, etc.).

Moderation is the key here. The list below provides an insight into some of the more common ways health foodists lower their health without realizing what is causing the problem. Raw foodists are more susceptible to low thyroid effects of the foods listed below – unless they consume large amounts of sea vegetables and iron-rich earthen mineral sources to offset the effects of the iodine/iron stealing isothiocyanates.

Effects of Cooking Brassicas
Cooking will reduce the brassica enzymes responsible for blocking iodine, and the increased use of sea vegetables in the same meal will add beneficial iodine back to the system. As an example, in Japanese cuisine seaweeds are commonly served with iodine-blocking soy products (which are typically used in far less quantities in Japan than in soy-fad America). Miso soup with seaweed & tofu is one example.

Cooking will also eliminate the beneficial properties of the sulfur-bearing isothiocyanate compounds on cell division and infections, so individual discretion is in order as to quantity, frequency and whether to consume brassicas cooked or raw.
Adding seaweeds, clay and iron-rich greens to the daily diet is a smart practice for numerous reasons beyond just their sulfur balancing effects. Hundreds of additional nutritional compounds included in these health foods build health in many other ways as well.

A Wise Precaution in a Radiation Impacted World
At a time in human history when radiation is at an all-time high, it is simply a wise precaution to reduce foods that steal iodine from the thyroid as you increase the sea vegetable content in the diet to increase iodine in the body. It is also wise increase iron-rich clays and plants to counter the effects of sulfur compounds, build adrenal/hormonal strength and facilitate detoxification of radiation from the body (clays and sea vegetables are Nature’s most effective radiation detoxifiers). (also see Nature's Most Powerful Protections from Radiation Exposure)

Sea Veggies or Iodine Drops?
When consuming sea vegetables for your iodine, iodine drops are not required. Iodine drops (even the best on the market) lack the complete earthen mineral profile of 70+ minerals (found in sea vegetables) that belong with any iodine intake for proper utilization and balance in the body. Why settle for 1 or 2 nutritional compounds in iodine drops when you can achieve superior results from the hundreds of nutritional compounds provided by sea vegetables?

List of Cruciferous Brassica Foods:
Canola Oil (rapeseed)
Kai-lan (Chinese Broccoli)
Brussels Sprouts,
Chinese Cabbage (Pe-tsai, Celery Cabbage/Mustard, Napa Cabbage, Bok Choi, Tatsoi, Choi sum, etc.)
Ornamental Cabbages (some have edible parts)
Collard greens
Mustard sauce, seeds and leaves
Rocket arugula
Hanover Salad

Non-Brassica Foods that Lower Thyroid Function:
Gluten grains (implicated in some thyroid autoimmune conditions – due primarily to the GMO properties of most gluten grains today.)

Soy products (isoflavones in soy also deprive the thyroid of iodine.) Fermentation reduces the isoflavones, but fermented soy will still over-estrogenate the body.) An excess of estrogen in the blood (which reduce the liver's ability to clear excess estrogen), can result in hypothyroid symptoms by decreasing levels of active T3.

Other Thyroid-reducing Foods Include:
Bamboo Shoots
Sweet Potatoes
Cassava Root from which Tapioca is made, (the cyanogenic glycosides in Cassava can, in high doses, can lead to cyanide poisoning and thyroid disturbances.)

Stimulants and the Thyroid
Stimulants like coffee, black & green teas, caffeinated cola drinks, and chocolate or cacao surprisingly acts on the thyroid as a suppressant. "Caffeine, Calcium and the Thyroid Nutritional Linkages to Thyroid Disease and Thyroid Drugs".

OK, so what foods serve to build balanced thyroid function?

Sea Vegetables (Earth & Sea Greens & Thyroid Balance)
Chard (and excellent substitute for kale)
Mineral-rich herbs like nettle and alfalfa
Earthen mineral sources like Sacred Clay, Ancient Mineral Blend, Vitallite, Ormalite, Friendly Flora, etc.
Nutrient-dense superfood blends (like Earth & Sea Greens) that do NOT contain vegetables (especially brassicas)
Bee pollen
Licorice Root powder
Sesame seeds
Lima beans
Herbal formulas that support the HPA axis:
(hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal axis is the regulator of thyroid hormones) Kidney Adrenal Builder, Adaptogen & Mushroom Blend, Rejuvenation for Women/Men, Earth & Sea Greens and Thyroid Balance.

So, there you have it. A little wisdom in how we eat can go a long way to preserving and building health.

Many blessings of health & success.
Enjoy the simple gifts from Nature


 Complete Clay & Herbal Formula Product List

All Products listed in this article can be found here: 


Thyroid Balance ~ Earth & Sea Greens ~ Rejuvenation for Women/Men ~ Adaptogen & Mushroom Blend ~ Kidney & Adrenal Builder ~ Friendly Flora ~ Ormalite ~ Vitallite ~ Ancient Mineral Blend ~ Sacred Clay ~ Pink Sulfur Salt ~





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