Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disorder, is the most common form of Hypothyroidism. 90% of those with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
As with other chronic conditions, nutritional deficiencies are very common in people with Hashimoto’s.
Key nutrients to support your thyroid health
The following nutrients are supporting your thyroid by reducing inflammation as well as by influencing epigenetic factors - the modifiable expression of your genes which are based on lifestyle factors such as diet and stress.
Zinc has many functions in your body including the support of the adaptive immune system by balancing T cell differentiation (T cells are helping to fight pathogens). It also balances inflammatory responses and acts as an antioxidant. Zinc inhibits the pro-inflammatory Th17 lymphocytes which may play a role in the development of autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s.
Foods high in zinc: kale, shellfish, legumes, nuts and seeds, egg, poultry, asparagus, turkey, peas.
Vitamins D plays a large role in the body’s immune function. It helps to reduce autoimmune antibodies and inflammation (it contains anti-inflammatory cytokines), it modulates immune cell expression by reducing the pro-inflammatory Th1 cell activity and promotes the balance between Th1 and Th2 immune cells. Furthermore, sufficient levels of vitamin D may decrease the adaptive immune system’s antigen expression, therefore reducing the attack on the thyroid tissues.
Food sources of vitamin D: eggs, oily fish, beef liver, mushrooms
Also, your body synthesises vitamin D from the sun, so spending time outside when it is sunny is a great way of increasing your levels.
The thyroid gland contains the largest amount of Selenium/gram in your body. Selenium is very important for converting T4 (thyroxine) to T3 (triiodothyronine) which is the form that the cells are able to utilise. Selenium also have a protective effect against tissue damage in the thyroid gland and may contribute to the reduction in TPO antibodies which are prevalent in Hashimoto’s.
Selenium rich foods: rice, beans, brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, turkey, chicken, beef
Iodine is an important building block of thyroid hormones.
The body contains about 15 to 20 mg of iodine and 70-80% of it can be found in the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland combines iodine with tyrosine (a type of amino acid) to form the thyroid hormones T4 and T3. This process is regulated by TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).
However, too much iodine can have a negative effect on thyroid health, so it is important to be mindful especially with supplementation.
Iodine sources: Sea vegetables (kelp, wakame, dulse), Sea food (shrimp, scallops, cod, sardines, salmones, tuna), eggs, chicken, beef liver
Vitamin A, a fat soluble vitamin is important in reducing inflammatory responses via the regulation of T and B cell activity. It also regulates TSH secretion and thyroid hormone metabolism. Vitamin A also may decrease the body’s autoimmune reactions.
Vitamin A rich foods: leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin) tomatoes, red bell pepper, beef liver. Oily fish, eggs.
If you would like any support with your nutrition do consider booking with our Nutritional Therapists.