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Nutrients to Support Thyroid Function

Updated: Mar 20

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. The thyroid helps set your metabolism—how your body gets energy from the foods you eat.

Millions of people in the U.S. have thyroid diseases. Most of them are women. If you have a thyroid disease, your body uses energy more slowly or quickly than it should. A thyroid gland that is not active enough, called hypothyroidism, is far more common. It can make you gain weight, feel fatigued, and have difficulty dealing with cold temperatures.

Some symptoms of poor thyroid hormone function in the body include:

  • Fatigue

  • Mental depression

  • Sluggishness

  • Feeling cold

  • Weight gain

  • Dry skin and hair

  • Constipation

  • Menstrual irregularities

  • Poor concentration

Thyroid hormone production and conversion is very rooted in nutrient balances in the body. Keeping this is mind, science demonstrates. that nutritional interventions can promote healthy thyroid hormone production and conversion. Promoting intake of these key nutrient can help many people who have symptoms of hypothyroidism but are told that their labs are "normal."

Vitamin D

Vitamin D and thyroid hormones bind to similar receptors. According to Richard Shames, MD, “Vitamin D is so crucial to thyroid function that its status has now been elevated by researchers to co-hormone. We now know that the variability of thyroid to work or not work in the body is dependent upon the presence of Vitamin D, making it not just of benefit, but absolutely essential.”

There is a documented association between Vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune thyroid conditions. Emerging evidence demonstrates that low Vitamin D levels play a significant role in the onset of thyroid cancer

Gina's Pick of Vitamin D.


Guggul is an extract of the oleo-resin of the Commiphora mukul tree, native to India. Guggul has demonstrated biological effects on thyroid homeostasis and lipid lowering properties. Guggul is used as a thyroid stimulant in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. It has been shown to improve both thyroid function and structure in melatonin induced hypothyroidism in mice. Studies have identified a ketosteroid present in the oleo-resin of C. mukul (Z-guggulsterone) which has strong thyroid stimulatory activity. In vivo, administration of Z-guggulsterone increased iodine-uptake by the thyroid and increased activities of both thyroid peroxidase and protease. Guggulsterone also seems to increase T3 synthesis by increasing the conversion of T4 to T3 and significantly decrease hepatic lipid peroxidation. Since serum thyroxine (T4) is converted to T3 in the liver, researchers concluded that hormone levels and peroxidation are related. It is believed that Guggul’s effect on thyroid regulation is responsible for the therapeutic effects seen in cholesterol levels.

Gina's Pick for Guggul.

Rosmarinic Acid

Rosmarinic acid is found in several members of the Lamiaceae family plants such as rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), bugleweed (Lycopus virginicus), and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and has medicinal uses in several cultures. Its physiological functions and medicinal properties are well characterized. Based on in vivo research, rosmarinic acid is hypothesized to prevent TSH effects on receptor sites, block immunoglobulin effects on TSH receptors, and inhibit peripheral conversion of thyroxine to T3. These findings suggest that rosmarinic acid may be beneficial in Graves’ disease. Rosmarinic acid has been shown to be capable of inducing T cell apoptosis of only actively proliferating T cells,direct T cell activity, inhibit T cell activation and proliferation and modulate T cell promotion of pro-inflammatory cytokine release, suggesting potential application in autoimmune disorders.


Selenium, a constituent of selenoproteins, has been implicated in the autoimmune thyroiditis by increasing the duration and exacerbating disease severity. It is possible that this is due to reduced activity of the selenoprotein glutathione peroxidase leading to increases in hydrogen peroxide production. Iodothyronine selenodeiodinases D1 and D2, are another class of selenoproteins which produce active T3 through deiodination in peripheral tissues.

Gina's Pick for selenium.

Potassium iodide

Iodine is a crucial constituent of thyroid function and is a component of thyroxine and T3. It is well established that the highest prevalence of thyroid disorders is seen in populations where iodine deficiency is prevalent. Autoimmune hypothyroidism is not commonly seen in mild to moderate iodine deficiency. However, thyrogloblin antibody is more common in iodine deficiency, suggesting that thyroid globulin antibodies are generated in response to thyroid globulin release from an iodine deficient thyroid.

In the case of autoimmune thyroid conditions, caution must be taken when considering iodide supplementation. Discussion with a healthcare professional is recommended in this situation.


Mackawy, A. M., Al-Ayed, B. M., & Al-Rashidi, B. M. (2013). Vitamin d deficiency and its association with thyroid disease. International journal of health sciences, 7(3), 267–275.

Vassalle Cristina, Parlanti Alessandra, Pingitore Alessandro, Berti Sergio, Iervasi Giorgio, Sabatino Laura. Vitamin D, Thyroid Hormones and Cardiovascular Risk: Exploring the Components of This Novel Disease Triangle. Frontiers in Physiology, (12) 2021

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