Metabolism and the Thyroid

Dr. Group
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

A woman is stretching in exercise attire. People with thyroid issues may have a slower metabolism which can lead to weight gain.Often referred to as the “master gland,” the thyroid manages important body processes, including protein creation, energy levels, and metabolism. Because metabolic output is often related to body mass, proper thyroid function is instrumental when you’re trying to regulate your body weight. Thyroid deficiencies can lead to weight gain or problems such is hypothyroidism, which is a lack of thyroid hormones and commonly is preceded by iodine deficiency. [1]

 

Thyroid, Hormones, and Metabolism

The thyroid manufactures two very important hormones, T3 and T4, which are critical to controlling the body’s metabolic rate and the key ingredient in these hormones iodine.  When the body suffers from an iodine deficiency, production of these hormones ceases, your metabolism crashes, and weight gain is inevitable.  This offers insight into why persons who suffer from hypothyroidism have a difficult time losing weight.  They lack the energy to exercise, and even with proper diet, their metabolism may be too slow to burn fat. Thyroid hormone levels and body weight have a relationship that quickly becomes cumulative and can easily spiral out of control. Spain’s Hospital Regional Universitario Carlos Haya reported decreases in thyroid hormones when body mass increases. They surmised the change in hormone levels are influenced by increased body mass, rather than vice versa. [2]

Iodine is to the Thyroid as Gas is to a Car

Boosting iodine levels in the body may help stimulate the thyroid and support proper thyroid function.  There are two simple methods to getting enough iodine. Eat foods that are rich in iodine; or invest in a high quality, natural iodine supplement.  Across the board, research strongly supports iodine supplementation for those with thyroid problems. Italy’s Department of Internal Medicine and Diabetes Center at the Catholic University arranged a study to examine the relation of thyroid function and insulin sensitivity following bariatric surgery. BPD increases the prevalence hypothyroidism which can hinder iodine absorption. Iodine supplementation was recommended for patients who reported thyroid discrepancies. [3]

Iodine Intake Must be Adequate and Planned

There are a number of foods that will naturally boost the body’s level of iodine.  Organic yogurt (Greek is best), which has exploded in popularity in recent years, is also an excellent source of probiotics.  Strawberries and cranberries are also rich in iodine, as are dairy products, though you should be careful here; I commonly recommend avoiding pasteurized milk.  Potatoes and organic navy beans are two vegetables you can integrate into your diet to increase iodine levels; and kelp, an edible sea vegetable, has the highest concentration of iodine on the planet.

In addition to eating more iodine rich foods, iodine supplements can boost the iodine levels in our bodies.  Generally, there are four types of iodine supplements that offer maximum benefit to the thyroid gland: nascent iodine, transformative Nano-colloidal detoxified iodine, Lugol’s solution iodine, and potassium iodine.  I recommend transformative Nano-colloidal detoxified iodine. This does more than just support thyroid function and optimal metabolism.  Since the body uses iodine for much more than hormone production, a high quality supplement supports the body in other ways too,including neurological health. The Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health at Switzerland’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in a meta-analyses of iodine deficient populations, found such populations experience an average reduction in IQ of 12-13.5 points below the norm! [4]

References (4)
  1. Gessl A, Lemmens-Gruber R, Kautzky-Willer A. Thyroid disorders. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2012;(214):361-86. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-30726-3_17. Review.
  2. Soriguer F, Valdes S, Morcillo S, Esteva I, Almaraz MC, de Adana MS, Tapia MJ, Dominguez M, Gutierrez-Repiso C, Rubio-Martin E, Garrido-Sanchez L, Perez V, Garriga MJ, Rojo-Martinez G, Garcia-Fuentes E. Thyroid hormone levels predict the change in body weight: a prospective study. Eur J Clin Invest. 2011 Nov;41(11):1202-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2011.02526.x. Epub 2011 Apr 7.
  3. Gniuli D, Leccesi L, Guidone C, Iaconelli A, Chiellini C, Manto A, Castagneto M, Ghirlanda G, Mingrone G. Thyroid function and insulin sensitivity before and after bilio-pancreatic diversion. Obes Surg. 2010 Jan;20(1):61-8. doi: 10.1007/s11695-009-0005-6. Epub 2009 Nov 3.
  4. Zimmermann MB. The effects of iodine deficiency in pregnancy and infancy. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;26 Suppl 1:108-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2012.01275.x. Review.

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