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Your Thyroid – Health Foods & Life Events that Diminish or Optimize Thyroid Function

August 29, 2020 22 min read

The most common foods and environmental influences that affect thyroid performance, and what you can do to build thyroid power

    To begin with, it is important to note that overall body constitution plays a bigger role in thyroid health than foods alone.

    Some people are energetic by nature and some people are more sedate by nature. Everyone tends to swing between these states for a variety of reasons, not just the condition of the thyroid and basic metabolism, as is suggested by many health professionals.

    Basic constitutional strength from birth on plays a central role in what is being termed "metabolism" today. Diet and environmental influences play significant roles as well.

    Other factors that influence the productive capacity of your thyroid include:

    • performance from the entire endocrine system (especially the adrenal glands)

    • levels of chemical, heavy metal, and radiation toxicity in the body

    • the amount of time spent around electronic devices

    • one's general outlook on life (optimistic, pessimistic, etc.)

    • the effectiveness of one's immune system

    • digestive powers

    • addictions (food, beverage, chemical, and attitudinal habits)

    • your unique percentage of soul presence in the body

    • and many other factors play a role in thyroid health and foundational constitutional strength 

    Food plays a role as well, but is not the only factor to look at when focused on building or balancing thyroid productivity. 

    The Health Field's Greatest Failure When Addressing Thyroid Restoration

    The biggest mistake made by health professionals today when attempting to upgrade, replace, or modify hormones produced by the thyroid is to micromanage the levels of T3 and T4 with hormonal substitutes (whether natural or chemical) and surgery.

    If the above mentioned influences are not taken into consideration and addressed first, no amount of chemical or surgical micromanagement will produce a true restoration of thyroid activity. 

    So this article is about food and life events, yet it comes with a caveat. The same foods listed here that will diminish the energy levels of one person with a slower constitution, will often calm an overactive person toward a greater state of balance. 

    So use your own discretion with respect to how much of any of these foods and beverages you consume. Let your personal intuitive sense be your guide, for what does not feel good for you today, may well be the best thing for you tomorrow.

    Foods that Calm or Lower Thyroid Influences on the Body

    The most common foods that calm hyperthyroid, and aggravate low 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, mustard, etc.). This is due to their higher than usual levels of sulfur-containing compounds (which provide the pungent taste characteristic of the mustard family).

    Brassica foods also have health benefits for the immune system and with detoxification due to these very same sulfur compounds, yet sulfur compounds, when taken in excess, as in large amounts of kale or other brassicas in a daily green juice, and not counterbalanced by iron-rich or iodine-rich foods, lead to an excess or reduction in thyroid hormones. 

    Balance and mineral sufficiency here is the key concept to take away from this conversation.

    Other non-brassica foods and environmental influences also disrupt thyroid function (listed below) like stimulants, alcohol, concentrated sugars, certain grains, and various common foods, due to their tendency to compete with iron and iodine, deplete minerals, or disrupt hormone reception in the body in general.

    Of course, today, with the broad application of gut flora-destroying, hormone disrupting Roundup on crops, and the use of the toxic, penetrating oil known as Canola Oil in a very high percentage of dressings, sauces, fried foods, etc., thyroid hormone production stands little chance of retaining normalcy among participants of conventional (and some organic) foods from restaurants and grocery stores.

    Aside from the chemical invasion on our food supplies, the largest food group with thyroid lowering influences are the brassicas, which offer both benefits and detriments to overall body health, depending, of course, on the existing mineral balance in your body at the time of consumption and the quantity consumed.

    Here is what you need to know in order to balance the good and bad among a few of the common health foods in your diet today:

    Sulfur in Brassicas

    Brassicas contain a sulfur compound called isothiocyanates (mustard oil) which inhibit 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 (in contrast, this very characteristic may actually have its benefits in hyperthyroid conditions).

    Isothiocyanates, (as members of the glucosinolate family of compounds) are associated to hyperplasia (enlargement due to increased cellular replication) and hypertrophy (enlargement due to increased cellular size) of the thyroid gland inruminantanimalsby inhibiting the uptake of iodine

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

    Brassicas also contain a sulfur amino acid, SMCO. The sulfur in brassicas, when consumed in excess, 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.

    Nutrients that are Essential for Balanced Thyroid Production

    The Laboratory for Human Nutrition of Zurich, Switzerland points out that iron deficiency impairs selenium utilization, yet selenium is essential for the proper utilization of iodine and the production of glutathione peroxidase, whose main role is to protect the body from oxidative damage.

    Yet iodine has to be sufficiently abundant for selenium to work properly.  (What is not mentioned in the study is the impact of sulfur excess or deficiency on this chain of mineral interactions.) The importance of mineral balance is the point being made here.

    Several minerals and trace elements are essential for normal thyroid hormone metabolism, e.g., iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc. Coexisting deficiencies of these elements can impair thyroid function...

    The normal thyroid gland retains high selenium concentrations even under conditions of inadequate selenium supply and expresses many of the known selenocysteine-containing proteins. Among these selenoproteins are the glutathione peroxidase, deiodinase, and thioredoxine reductase families of enzymes...

    Adequate selenium nutrition supports efficient thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism and protects the thyroid gland from damage by excessive iodide exposure. In regions of combined severe iodine and selenium deficiency, normalization of iodine supply is mandatory before initiation of selenium supplementation in order to prevent hypothyroidism.

    A meta analysis of factors affecting thyroid production revealed:

    The roles of iron, zinc and copper in the thyroid are less well defined but sub- or supraoptimal [too little or too much] dietary intakes of all these elements can adversely affect thyroid hormone metabolism...

    Abnormal hormone levels signal the need for investigations of basic causes such as zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium, glutathione or iodine deficiencies.

    Other nutrients that are known to impact thyroid production include Vitamin A and Vitamin D. 

    Bottomline, nutrient sufficiency and mineral balance play central roles in the proper utilization of iodine, which then plays a central role in balanced thyroid hormone production.

    The best way to obtain a broad spectrum and balance of the mineral nutrients referenced above is through the consumption of nutrient-dense herbs, sea vegetables, and foods grown in mineral dense soils modified by clay, sea vegetable additives, and beneficial soil microbes to insure adequate uptake of these minerals into the plants you are consuming. 

    Yet chemical farming interferes with microbe presence in the soils, resulting in mineral deficiencies in your food. 

    It is for this very reason that I recommend deriving your nutrition from sea vegetables, clays, and nutritive herbs, and not rely on nutrition from your stores or farmers, unless you know first hand that their soils are cared for properly. 

    The bulky foods we commonly eat, unless grown yourself in a certain way, are in our diets more for entertainment than solid nutrition.

    The chemical sprays on conventional fields, plus wind blown chemicals on organic produce, make eating bulky foods from the stores and restaurants risky in that sense alone, especially due to the hormone-disrupting influence of most chemicals.

    How to Offset Sulfur Excess in the Diet

    Consumed in excess, the 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 support (iron, iodine, selenium, zinc, magnesium, copper, and others) exists in sufficient quantities to offset the iodine/iron drain from the brassica sulfur compounds.

    Here are a few ways to counter sulfur excesses in the diet with balanced mineral and whole food sources:

    • Sea vegetables provide iodine, selenium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, copper, and a broad spectrum of trace minerals and amino acids in a perfect natural balance. They also contain vitamin A (from carotenoids), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin E, and B vitamins.

      Regular seaweed consumption is one of the keys to the health and long life of the Japanese. 

      Products high in sea vegetables include: Sea Vegetable Blend plus Moringa, Thyroid Balance, Earth & Sea Greens, and Vital Cleanse & Nutrify

    • Sacred Clay provides iron, macro & trace minerals in usable forms for offsetting the sulfur in brassicas and other sulfur-rich foods, like garlic, onions, eggs, pine nuts, etc.

      Vegetarian sources of iron include beans and lentils, teff, amaranth, einkorn, sea vegetables, mushrooms, thyme, turmeric, cumin, paprika.

    • Ancient Mineral Blend provides a rich source of formerly plant-based minerals calcium & magnesium, with a spectrum of trace minerals (and with a moderate laxative effect that is dose dependent).

    • Vitamin D from common medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, maitake, morel, oyster & lion's mane mushroom, etc. provide excellent sources of storable vitamin D. The liver stores D2 for 3+ months and delivers it to the kidneys for conversion to D3 when needed.

    • Glutathione is found in whey, asparagus, avocados, okra, and spinach. Turmeric enhances the production of glutathione, as do most of the other nutrients on this list, especially selenium and sulfur, and is conserved by the actions of fruits high in vitamin C (Herbal C) that perform a similar antioxidant function. 

    • Selenium is found in Brazil nuts, mushrooms, potatoes, beans, lentils, soybeans, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, einkorn wheat, potatoes, asparagus, eggs, and whey.

    • Zinc is found in sea vegetables, mushrooms, potatoes, beans, lentils, soybeans, citrus peels, avocados, whey, einkorn, eggs, poppy seeds, fennel, basil, cumin, turmeric, coriander, thyme, dill, curry powder, garlic, onion

    • Vitamin A is found in sea vegetables, carrots, and orange colored produce, and adequate in most instances when consumed regularly in a vegetable drink, preferably with the pulp intact so as to benefit from the nutritional benefits of the vegetable fiber.

      Vitamin A from vegetable sources is preferable to fish liver oils due to the rampant quantity of dioxins, trichlorobenzenes, the oil soluble PCBs, mercury, and other chemicals that fish livers commonly contain and is held largely in the oils, being impossible to extract.

      The potential rancidity of the fish liver oils is another serious concern.

    • Magnesium is derived from sea vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, beans, beets & beet greens, squash, purslane, poppy seeds, fennel, cumin, turmeric, coriander, thyme, dill, basil, cardamom, ginger, black pepper.

    • Copper is found in mushrooms, sea vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, lentils, soybeans, avocados, apricots, pears, peaches, plums

    While an excess of sulfur can cause anemia (due to its competition with iron), a proper balance of sulfur with iron, selenium, magnesium, zinc, and iodine (along with numerous other mineral ratios that depend upon each other in relationship to these) can provide the body with powerful thyroid-building properties.

    Only whole earthen resources, like sea vegetables, clay, and properly grown foods have the ability to feed the body with the naturally refined ratios of 60-70+ minerals required by the body to maintain overall nutrient balance necessary for optimal thyroid health.

    Benefits of Sulfur in the Production of Glutathione

    A proper amount of sulfur in the body is essential for the production of glutathione, which is 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, PhD.

    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.

    My personal Experience Discovering How Clay & Sea Vegetables Offset the Sulfur Compounds from an Excess Intake of Sulfur and Brassica Vegetables

    Sufficient quantities of earthen sources naturally high in bioavailable iron and iodine, like Sacred Clay, nettle leaf & sea vegetables (in Sea Vegetable Blend plus Moringa, Thyroid Balance, Earth & Sea Greens, or Vital Cleanse & Nutrify) 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 love the flavor it adds to soups, beans, and salads. After several weeks of consuming larger than normal amounts (a teaspoon or so per meal 2-3 times per day), I entered a phase of chronic fatigue not knowing how I was causing the loss of my usual energetic state.

    During research on the thyroid I began to understand the iron-sulfur counterbalancing relationship and went immediately to the cupboard to get Sacred Clay and Earth & Sea Greens. One tablespoon of each was consumed in water.

    Within 30 minutes I went from hardly wanting to walk to 110% of my usual energy – and it was 10 PM!

    I had simply overwhelmed the excess sulfur in my body with iron & iodine from natural earthen sources. Energy levels then returned to normal.

    I frequently get calls from individuals who complain of chronic fatigue. I have two questions regarding their diet (and others regarding their mercury, antibiotic, and vaccine exposure); the first being how many nuts are being consumed, and the second being, how many brassicas are being added to the green drink. 

    It is common to find that at least one, if not both, are contributing to their chronic fatigue due to an excess of consumption. Yet, on the brassica side of this, when consumed in moderation, brassicas have some profound benefits. 

    Health Benefits of Brassicas

    Brassica plants also contain many health benefits due to the high phytonutrient (plant-based) nutrients of some (like kale), so they are not to be discontinued, just used with discretion.

    The same isothiocyanate compounds that cause problems in excess also assist in the reversal of abnormal cell growths and provide the well-known antimicrobial properties characteristic of mustard oil (the pungent, biting flavor in mustard leaf, horseradish, onions, garlic, 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 compromise their health without realizing what is causing the problem.

    Due to the volume of veggies commonly juiced, raw foodists, vegans, and vegetarians are more susceptible to low thyroid effects from 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 blocking isothiocyanates.

    Effects of Cooking Brassicas

    Cooking will reduce the brassica compound 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, or in combination.

    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 earthen sources protect 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 to increase iron-rich claysand 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.

    Iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and selenium are just a few of the important minerals needed for proper iodine utilization. 

    Why settle for 1 or 2 nutritional compounds in iodine drops when you can achieve superior results from over a hundred nutritional compounds provided by sea vegetables?

    It is for this very purpose that Sea Vegetable Blend plus Moringa was formed.

    Another benefit to taking in sea vegetables everyday is due to the fact that in addition to iodine, they also contain selenium, iron, a full spectrum of amino acids, minerals, fatty acids, proteins, and hormone supportive compounds.

    Sea Vegetables and an iron-rich clay provide the ability to consume cruciferous vegetables in larger quantity. I can vouch for this, as I have traditionally avoided brassica foods due to the drop in energy I feel immediately upon eating them.

    Yet when consuming Sacred Clay or Mineral Manna, and seaweeds or the Sea Vegetable Blend plus Moringa, this aversion diminishes. 

    What follows is a list of cruciferous family vegetables with sulfur-bearing properties so you can decide for yourself if or when these may be beneficial to your health in the moment.

    List of Cruciferous, Brassica, Mustard Family Foods:

    • Maca
    • Canola Oil (rapeseed)
    • Kale
    • Broccoli
    • Broccolini
    • Kai-lan (Chinese Broccoli)
    • Brussels Sprouts,
    • Cabbage
    • Chinese Cabbage (Pe-tsai, Celery Cabbage/Mustard, Napa Cabbage, Bok Choi, Tatsoi, Choi sum, etc.)
    • Komatsuna
    • Mizuna
    • Ornamental Cabbages (some have edible parts)
    • Cauliflower
    • Collard greens
    • Mustard sauce, seeds and leaves
    • Horseradish
    • Radishes,
    • Watercress
    • Rocket arugula
    • Colza
    • Hanover Salad
    • Mizuna
    • Rapini
    • Kohlrabi
    • Rutabaga
    • Turnip
    • Wasabi

    Non-Brassica Foods that Lower Thyroid Function:

    Other potential thyroid-reducing foods are reported to include the following (but only when consumed in excess). They are each beneficial in moderate amounts. Listen to your body.

    If you feel slightly drained when consuming them, then you know your body is telling this is not the right time, or that there is not enough iron, selenium, iodine, or other nutrients present in your body in sufficient amounts to be able to tolerate them well.

    On the other hand, if you are drawn to them, it is possible they are right for you in the moment.

    Moderation and listening to your body is the key here:

        •    Spinach

        •    Parsley

        •    Peaches

        •    Strawberries

        •    Watercress

        •    Peanuts

        •    Lima beans (beneficially, these are among the highest sources of potassium)

        •    Millet

        •    Pine Nuts (I lost my voice one eating too many pine nuts, a sign of thyroid deficiency)

        •    Bamboo Shoots

        •    Sweet Potatoes

        •    Cassava Root from which Tapioca is made, (the cyanogenic glycosides in Cassava can, in high doses, lead to cyanide poisoning and thyroid disturbances.)

        •    Flax seed (contains cyanide which transforms into thiocyanate and competes for iodine receptors).

    Sugars

    Concentrated Sucrose, Glucose & Fructose Sugars place undue strains on the pancreas and adrenals due to their concentrated nature. High sugar levels in the blood wreck hormone havoc in several ways:

    • Sugar concentrates deplete the mineral reserves used for sugar regulating purposes (due to excessive demands and low mineral presence or availability in our foods)

    • Sugar concentrates include agave, all natural crystal sugars (including organic dried cane juice and coconut sugar), maple syrup, stevia drops and white powder extracts (not the green powder leaf), conventional sugars, and artificial sweeteners

    • Sugar excesses lead to pancreatic & adrenal exhaustion

    • The adrenals produce over 50 hormones, some of which indirectly affect the regulation of thyroid hormones

    • Sugar concentrates lead to spleen imbalances. The spleen stores iron and plays an important role in nutrient assimilation (among many other splenic functions). Iron depletion or unavailability, due to the stress sugar places on the spleen, can result in anemia, and the inability for the thyroid to utilize iodine

    • High sugar levels lead to yeast overgrowth, also known to disrupt hormone production

    • The consumption of sweets and fats (like in fruits and nuts, or bread and butter, granola, nut butter and jelly on a rice cracker, most desserts, etc.), is a food combining error that also leads to fats blocking sugar metabolism followed by fungal overgrowth and hormone disruption

    Gluten

    Gluten grains are implicated in some thyroid conditions – due primarily to the genetic modifications of grains and traces of RoundUp in most gluten grains today, even the organic ones. It is often the chemicals on the grains that pose the greatest problem with gluten sensitivity, not the gluten itself.

    (While this may not be true for the most gluten sensitive, however, in many cases it is the chemicals in the first place that caused the gluten sensitivity.)

    Gluten sensitive people have been known to go to Europe where less RoundUp is used and have no problem at eating their breads. Not so in America where chemical farming is so prevalent.

    Organic Brown Basmati Rice is a preferred alternative to breads in general, with Einkorn being one possible exception.

    Einkorn grain products tend to be safer for most gluten sensitive people, being that Einkorn is the original wheat before hybrids like Emmer, Spelt, and the eventual Red Wheat (the foundation of most breads today) were developed, thus Einkorn has the simplest and shortest genetic structure, and if grown without chemicals (especially RoundUp) tends to be the least reactive with gluten sensitive individuals. 

    Effects of Monitor Radiation on the Thyroid

    Several people has made note to me that extended periods of time on a computer causes them to loose volume in their voice. I have personally found this to be true as well.

    Writing articles (like this one) that may require numerous hours per day over two or three days, tends to result in a weakening of the voice, even to just above a whisper in extreme cases. Once complete and time is spent away from the computer, the voice returns.  

    Just be aware that monitor radiation, cell phones, and wireless technology (my computers are all wired in with cables), all impact brain & thyroid health. They also affect the eyes and teeth in detrimental ways. 

    My only solution is to counter the effects with adaptogenic herbal formulas, Spleen Builder, Sacred Clay baths, and a daily practice of Qigong to rebuild constitutional strength.

    I have also found the Qigong practices taught by Robert Peng and Jason Quitt to be simple to practice and very effective at building constitutional strength.

    Chlorine & Fluoride in Our Water

    Most industrial chemicals have hormone disrupting properties.

    Something to keep in mind: restaurant water and beverages are not always filtered to remove chemicals. If the restaurant does filter their water, how often do they change their water filter? Old water filters breed bacteria.

    Water quality is critical to overall health. 

    Soy

    Because 95%+ of all soy products today have genetic modifications in the seed stock, soy products need to be questioned, especially when part of a menu in a non-organic restaurant.

    GMO soy, corn, grains, and numerous conventional vegetables are sprayed with RoundUp more than once in a growing season.

    RoundUp is used not only to kill weeds, but to ripen the seeds faster so as to increase the yield per acre, thus the use of RoundUp with soy and grains is nearly ubiquitous.

    The soybean (and many other crops, especially grains) will be coated with RoundUp and will be there on your dinner plate when you eat it.

    Traditionally prepared soy grown without chemicals do have beneficial health properties, and will likely produce quite different results in scientific studies compared to studies performed with GMO soy and other grains.

    Researchers do not distinguish between studies performed on GMO soy and non-GMO chemical-free soy. Nor do allergy tests, by the way, (which I have found to be rather useless in determining foods to avoid or consume). Are the reactions to the food being caused by the chemicals, the GMO influence, or due to a true body aversion? Quite commonly it will be all of the above. 

    Natural soy products include tofu, soy sauce, soy miso, soy milk, soy nuts, soy flour, tamari, tempeh, nattokinase, and soybean oil. Fermented soy is preferable; this includes miso, tamari, tempeh, and soy sauce if they are truly organic and free of harmful additives. 

    Harmful byproducts of soy include soy extracts and isolated chemicals from within the soy bean. For example, soy baby formula:

    Dr. McDougal points out: 

    Soy baby formula is synthesized from pure sugar (corn syrup), oil (safflower), and protein (soy protein isolate) – this is the epitome of "fake food" – especially when considering the potential consequences...

    Manufacturing processes remove the dietary fibers, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and hundreds of other helpful plant chemicals – leaving behind almost pure soy protein.

    Most all isolated extracts from whole foods fall into this category of "fake food", including the vast majority of single nutrient supplements. There are exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, such isolates need to be avoided, with the rare exception of short term therapeutic purposes.

    The chemical-free, non-GMO, whole food forms of soy prepared in traditional ways, and consumed in moderation, do demonstrate health benefits. Your source of soy, its whole food form, and moderate intake, is important to derive those benefits. 

    Alcohol

    Alcohol suppresses the ability of the thyroid to utilize thyroid hormones, therefore deserves to be rather moderate in its use, and not daily. The University of Athens in Greece studied the relationship between alcohol and the thyroid and came to this conclusion:

    Our results indicated a dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis in alcohol dependence with possible implications in the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders associated with alcohol abuse. 

    Stimulants

    Sadly, stimulants like coffee, black & green tea, matcha, guayusa, yerba mate´, and energy drinks overstimulate the nervous system, and thereby push adrenal cortex hormone production into higher gear, increasing cortisol levels for longer periods of time than is normal for the body under stress, thereby exhausting the endocrine glands. 

    Stimulants also push the spleen out of balance resulting in depressed immune function and numerous hormone related dysfunctions, including those of the thyroid.

    Stimulants increase energy and mental sharpness (temporarily) partly due to this cortisol increase, yet are commonly followed by the "crash" and cortisol depletion, with serious side effects on the thyroid. 

    Yes, green tea and other stimulants also have beneficial effects, so there is to be a balance struck based on where you want your overall health to stand. Moderation is key.

    Armed with a deeper understanding of the pitfalls of excess, a greater balance can be struck.

    Here another piece to the story, one that is closer to the underlying cause of thyroid dysfunction than the others previously mentioned.

    Endogenous cortisol produced by the adrenal cortex controls both immunity and inflammation.

    A profound loss of cortisol can lead to a critical state of deranged metabolism and an inability to deal with stress and infections. Cortisol exerts a discriminating regulatory effect on molecular mediators. These mediators trigger activity related to both immunity and inflammation. A normal level of cortisol seems to be required for healthy responses. Cortisol deficiency may result in an unresponsive immune system, whereas too much cortisol—like too much cortisone medication— suppresses [innate] immune responses...

    Elevated estrogen may also directly inhibit thyroid glandular release. Cortisol appears to be involved in the normal transference of T4 to T3, and the entry of T3 into cells. By interfering with cortisol synthesis, estrogen may indirectly impair thyroid function. These combined effects may slow the overall metabolism and interfere with many basic physiologic functions.

    It is for this reason that correcting thyroid dysfunction cannot be accomplished without first correcting adrenal dysfunction, which has direct and indirect influences on the entire endocrine system at large. 

    Adrenal Gland Hormone Sufficiency, the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid Axis (HPT) and Constitutional Strength

    Sugar levels, immune responses, sleep regulation, heart rate, blood pressure, and numerous other functions are dependent on adrenal sufficiency.  

    Nature has produced a number of herbal supports for restoring adrenal powers, the most central being adaptogenic herbs due to their hormone balancing effects.

    Whether the hormone production is too high or too low, adaptogens tend to bring hormone production to the middle where your body functions optimally. 

    Thus the importance of these adaptogenic formulas in addressing thyroid health. One or more can be taken on a regular basis to upgrade overall hormone balance by supporting the hypothalmic-pituitary-thyroid axis:

    Adaptogenic Formulas that Support Hormone Balance and Build Constitutional Strength

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPT) is an internal feedback system designed to regulate the levels of thyroid hormones in the body. The HTP axis is dependent on highly functioning adrenal glands which are, in turn, directly related to the overall constitutional strength of the individual. 

    Constitutional strength is also impacted by levels of toxic exposure, diet, exercise, and one's personal definition of self in relation to all of life everywhere.

    Soul contracts and the percentage of one's soul presence in the body from birth play intrinsic roles in one's constitutional strength as well. The greater the percentage, the stronger the constitution.

    Both mineral deficiencies and mineral excesses (like in the excess sulfur instances mentioned above) can have a negative impact on the production of hormones throughout the endocrine system.

    Minerals are building blocks, along with cholesterol, for hormone construction within hormone producing glands.

    For this reason it is important to eliminate mineral supplements from the diet that are not whole earthen based. Cal-Mag, iodine, magnesium, etc. taken without the 70+ minerals and trace elements required to retain balanced mineral profiles in the body can result in destabilizing influences in hormone production.

    Mineral dense seaweeds, algae, clays (for iron and minerals) and mineral dense herbs like nettle leaf & seed, alfalfa, yellow dock (for iron), along with numerous others are far superior at providing the body with balanced mineral profiles, given that they were made by Nature rather than a laboratory.

    Laboratory-designed mineral compounds or extracts will only make matters worse.

    Even Nature-built mineral sources can have destabilizing influences when consumed in excess (unless balanced by other Nature-made sources), as demonstrated by my Pink Sulfur Salt experience above (which I still enjoy today, just in much more moderate amounts).

    OK, so what herbs & clays serve to build balanced thyroid function?

    1) Sea Vegetables

    2) Mineral-rich & Hormone Balancing Herbs like nettle leaf & seed, yellow dock, horsetail, alfalfa, rosemary, adaptogens, raspberry leaf, etc.

    3) Earthen Mineral Sources

    4) Nutrient-Dense Superfood Blends (like Earth & Sea Greens and Vital Cleanse & Nutrify) that DO NOT contain vegetable concentrates. I consider vegetables in powder form to be an unwise use of space in a superfood blend, given that herbs, algae, clays, and seaweeds are more potent nutritionally, providing greater benefit to the body per tablespoon.

    5) Herbal Formulas that nutritionally support the HPT axis. The hypothalamic/pituitary/thyroid axis is the primary regulator of thyroid hormones – all three glands being dependent on a highly functional and properly balanced set of adrenal glands!

    So, there you have it. Combine the above with a common sense diet.

    A little wisdom in how we eat and supplement can go a long way to maintaining health in such a critical organ as our thyroid.

    Moderation and balance is the key!

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

    ------  ---  ------

    Related Articles:

    The Pros and Cons of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
    and Glandular Extracts

    Seven Ways to Improve Thyroid Function (without HRT)

    Comments or questions?
    Go here to email us or call the office at 541-482-9633

    Michael King
    Michael King

    Michael King is a Life Enrichment Consultant, a natural intuitive, a researcher of Nature's most powerful healing resources the world over, the author of "Detoxify, Nourish & Build – Three Essentials for Vibrant Health", the Vital Health News Updates – a periodic newsletter documenting the most life-building natural resources on the planet, and the co-author of Life Chats with Oversoul – an ongoing dialogue designed to gain clarity and direction while navigating the immense changes going into the New Era. Michael is also an advocate of sustainable gardening, environmental responsibility, and an architect of ways to increase global food production.



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