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Before you read the supplement list (click on the hypertext to the left) read the following guidelines about taking nutritional supplements.
SUPPLEMENTING WITH ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS
Taking nutritional supplements is an incredible tool that we have at our disposal. However, this is a tool with the proverbial double-edge. While it's possible to reverse a deficiency, correct an imbalance of nutrients, and thereby restore health, it is also possible to unbalance our body's nutrients and create disease.
You will read in many books on nutrition about the need to keep the B complex vitamins balanced. There are four B vitamins usually mentioned that need to be taken in approximately equal amounts: B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (niacin or niacinamide), and B-6 (pyridoxine). This is very good advice because taking large amounts of some, but not all, of these can eventually create problems.
What most nutritionists and authors of books on nutrition fail to emphasize is that virtually all nutrients need to be kept in balance and that taking any one nutrient for enough time can create an imbalance which creates health problems.
For example, I always had read that vitamin C is wonderful, protects you from a myriad of diseases including cancer, and the more you take the better off you'll be. Linus Pauling, the Nobel prize winning scientist, wrote a book on vitamin C in which he reported keeping terminal cancer patients alive for long beyond expectation by giving them very large doses of vitamin C, sometimes up to 50 grams or more a day. This is a very large amount considering that the Minimum Daily Requirement is less than 100 milligrams and 1 gram is a large amount.
In 1997 on the basis of this information I was taking 10 grams of vitamin C every day and feeling great just as I expected. However, in the middle of feeling great I developed hyperthyroidism, which as you probably know is a very serious disease. In my subsequent studies I found that taking very large amounts of vitamin C can deplete copper. As you will read elsewhere, I feel that copper deficiency is a key factor that causes hyperthyroidism.
Other nutrients seem to work the same way. For example, taking excess vitamin E seems to aggravate hyperthyroidism because it depletes selenium, the mineral that works with vitamin E. Zinc, which is on every nutritionist's "must take" list, can deplete copper if taken in excess without also supplementing copper. The minerals manganese and chromium work as a pair in various functions and taking either one of them without the other can deplete the one not taken. These minerals are important for thyroid health.
Copper and iron work together to form hemoglobin. If you become deficient in either one, you can get anemic--either iron-deficiency anemia or copper-deficiency anemia. Many people have reported to me that they have been found anemic by their doctors and been given large amounts of iron to correct the problem. Usually the anemia failed to improve. One woman took close to 200 mgs of iron per day for a long time and when her anemia didn't improve, her doctor put her in the hospital for an iron-transfusion, a process in which an extremely large amount of iron is given intravenously. Not only did this not help, but she became extremely ill and was ill for days.
When these people who told me about these experiences had thyroid disease, my first guess was that they were deficient in copper and not iron. When they began supplementing with copper, their anemia improved. I believe that taking the extra iron without copper further depleted their copper and worsened their thyroid health.
It's possible to go on and on through the list of essential nutrients and discovering more and more relationships between nutrients in which taking excess amounts of one can cause deficiencies of others to worsen. I can't think of any nutrient that this principle doesn't apply to.
To get back to the B complex example mentioned first, I believe that vitamins work with and facilitate the utilization of specific minerals. For example, vitamin B-6 is known to be the vitamin that facilitates zinc metabolism. When B-6 is recommended for any condition, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, then it can be assumed that zinc will also benefit the situation if taken with B-6.
It seems that the other B complex vitamins, B-1, B-2, and B-3 facilitate copper metabolism. If this is correct, then you can see that taking excessive amounts of B-6 alone could eventually lead to a copper deficiency. On the other hand, taking B-1, B-2, and B-3 without B-6 could eventually lead to deficiencies of B-6 and zinc. If this were done long enough, then I would expect the person to develop sore wrists, the beginning symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome and itchy skin, another symptom of zinc deficiency.
The message that I want to emphasize is to try to balance your nutrients, not unbalance them. If you are starting with a deficiency, then taking a nutrient such as copper or zinc can gradually correct that deficiency. However, at some point, the opposite mineral needs to be supplemented to prevent that mineral from becoming deficient.
As we attempt to correct deficiencies and nutrient imbalances, we don't want to create other deficiencies and imbalances. We want to move toward balance and then stay there. To achieve this, it's necessary to gradually change the nutrients taken and move toward a more balanced supplementation schedule. For example, when rebalancing copper and zinc, you might start out with a 1:1 ratio of zinc to copper if you were hyper, and a 15:1 ratio if you were hypo. Gradually as you recover you'll want to change that ratio to a ratio that is right for you. For women that might be 5:1 if you were hyper, and 8:1 if you were hypo. For a man, the ratio will probably be higher because of the greater need for zinc.
One way to prevent creating imbalances as you work toward correcting deficiencies is to not take supplements every day. Some people take them every other or every third day. During my recovery I took them about 5 days a week, but this may have been too much. Not only will using this interval method of supplementation work toward preventing imbalances from developing, it will prevent your body from becoming dependent on getting "easy nutrients."
Another good idea is to not take excessive amounts of nutrients. Doubling the intake of a nutrient does not mean that you'll get well twice as fast. There is a limit to your body's ability to take up and incorporate the nutrient. For example, our bodies need about 2.5-3 mgs of copper per day. Taking two to three times that amount or 5-8 mgs per day is reasonable. It is not reasonable to take 15 or more mgs per day. The same is true for zinc. We need about 15 mgs a day so supplementing 50 mgs per day for hypos is reasonable. It's not reasonable to take 100 or more mgs per day.
We can say that nutrients have a physiological range of the quantity and when that normal range is exceeded, the nutrient is being used as a drug. When a nutrient is used in large amounts it has different physiological effects. For example, one mineral might be given in very large amounts to prevent the absorption of its antagonistic mineral. This is not using the mineral for nutritional needs, but using it as a drug to control another function.
When a nutrient is taken in excessive amounts it can have toxic effects. These effects may be the result of causing other nutrient deficiencies. Vitamins and minerals generally have different toxicities in large amounts. Vitamins have a larger range over which they are non-toxic. Sometimes you can take a vitamin in amounts 100 times the recommended amount without toxic effects. Minerals, on the other hand, generally have a low ratio of the toxic amount to the recommended amount. Often this ratio is as low as 6:1. For example, selenium is often taken in amounts of 200-400 mcgs, but taking 1200 mcgs or more a day can prove toxic.
B COMPLEX VITAMINS
There are also different types of vitamins with different toxicity to recommended amount ratios. The B vitamins and most vitamins are water soluble and are readily excreted if taken in excessive amounts. These vitamins can be taken in larger amounts because of this safety feature.
Even though there is relative safety in taking large amounts of B vitamins, I would like to offer this caution. If you look in the Nutrition Almanac you'll see that most of the B vitamins are needed in only small amounts. The impact of taking large amounts of these over a long period of time can be negative.
For example, niacin is recommended to people with heart disease and high blood pressure and a few years ago, people were taking up to 1200-2000 mgs of niacin per day. While niacin is one of the most abundant vitamins in the body, taking this much was found to cause liver damage. Niacin does seem to facilitate copper uptake and it's possible that prolonged use could lead to an excessive buildup of copper in the liver (beyond the amount needed for normal health) which could be damaging. Whether this is the mechanism by which niacin causes liver damage is something I have not been able to find out, but this seems possible.
Because people with thyroid disease may also have livers which are not functioning at 100%, I would recommend not taking excessive amounts of the B vitamins. Niacin in particular should probably not be taken in amounts over 300 mgs per day for an extended period. Taking it with copper to speed up copper uptake for a short duration is probably fine, but just don't make it a long term practice.
Problems stemming from taking the other B vitamins for a long period of time are less documented, but probably also exist. Just be careful and keep your B vitamin intake to a reasonable amount such as 50 mgs of each per day and then take breaks. Use the B vitamins to help rebuild mineral stores which have become deficient, but don't continue taking them beyond what is necessary.
OIL SOLUBLE VITAMINS: A, D, E, K
The oil soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, however, accumulate in the body and are stored. These do not need to be taken every day, but if they are taken in excessive amounts over a long period of time can accumulate to dangerous levels. Symptoms of toxic amounts of A and D are headaches. If you take 100,000 units of vitamin A for several months, this toxic level can be easily reached. It's not necessary to take high amounts of these vitamins and often less is better.
Pay attention to the amounts of nutrients recommended in the Supplement Schedule. These are generally safe for most people. However, you may be different and be more sensitive to these nutrients.
While I don't believe that it's possible to be allergic to an essential nutrient, you may experience negative symptoms after taking one. I use these negative reactions to try to determine what is deficient. For example, if you take zinc and feel dreadful afterward, I would suspect that you have a copper deficiency.
Many people are aware that they have sensitivities. Many people with thyroid disorders also have multiple chemical sensitivities or sensitivities to essential nutrients. These sensitivities represent deficiencies of nutrients and as these deficiencies are corrected, the sensitivities will gradually disappear. However, before these deficiencies are corrected, you may experience very negative reactions to taking moderate amounts of nutrients. Use the information on this site to try to determine what deficiencies you have and work on them.
If you know that you have sensitivities, be very careful and don't take any nutrients in the recommended amounts. Cut these amounts down significantly. Be safe, not sorry. The following supplement list will be changed from time to time as new information warrants. I will try to make an announcement in the what's new section if there is a significant change, but check back to this list occasionally. Here is the supplement list:
LIST OF NUTRIENTS FOR HYPERTHYROIDISM AND HYPOTHYROIDISM
(Warning: Use this list with caution and get advice from your physician before using these recommended supplements. The recommended amounts of these nutrients are for experimental purposes only and the potential effects of these nutrients on your health are unknown. You must be responsible for your own health and for knowing the consequences of taking these recommended supplements. I think these are reasonable amounts of these nutrients, but I am not a physician and do not know your health situation. This list is only my best guess about what might help these diseases. What has helped me or another person may cause adverse reactions in you. Consult your own physician.)
I consider hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism (including Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis) as different phases of the same disease. I'm quite confident that both are caused by nutrient deficiencies, but hyperthyroidism is the result when the deficiencies become more severe.
Hypers: Everything that I've experienced myself, seen in others, and read about in scientific studies indicates that the primary deficiencies involved in hyperthyroidism are copper and iron. The balance between copper and zinc seems to be critically important in determining the rate of thyroid hormone production. Copper slows down the thyroid while zinc increases thyroid action. Copper should be supplemented first and if zinc is presently being supplemented it should be discontinued for two to three weeks or until the thyroid slows down. Copper absorption and utilization is increased by molybdenum and the B-complex vitamins, including extra biotin and PABA. Zinc is essential for health but excess amounts may increase thyroid hormone production. You will have to experiment to determine how much zinc you can take. Try to maintain a zinc/copper ratio of about 3:1 to 5:1 at first.
Most hypers and hypos are deficient in iron. Iron may be low because of insufficient intake or deficiencies of minerals such as manganese, copper, or cobalt (vitamin B-12), or B vitamins, which are essential for iron utilization. Copper and iron work together to form hemoglobin and need to be supplemented together. Supplementing with either alone can lead to a deficiency of the other.
Studies show that a deficiency of selenium usually causes a decrease in the conversion of T4 to T3. However under abnormal conditions, a deficiency of selenium can cause the body to increase conversion of T4 to T3 which can lead to higher levels of T3. Selenium is very important for normal thyroid function. Start by taking 100 micrograms per day and gradually increase up to 300 micrograms.
All of the supplements listed are necessary either to correct the underlying causes of hyperthyroidism or to supplement nutrients which are used up by the hyper metabolism.
HYPOS: Many nutrient deficiencies may cause hypothyroidism. The two main nutrients which may be deficient are selenium and zinc. Selenium may become deficient if there are excessive amounts of toxic metals being ingested, such as mercury from silver amalgam dental fillings. The more mercury or other toxic metals ingested, the more selenium you'll need. Start with 200 micrograms of selenium and work up to 400 micrograms. You may need more selenium if you have many amalgam fillings. The B-complex vitamins, especially B-6, facilitate zinc metabolism. Also the amino acid L-cysteine is important in zinc metabolism. Iron, manganese, and chromium are often deficient in hypos. Some hypos may be so deficient in minerals that they are close to becoming hyper. If you are experiencing nighttime rapid heart beat, then you are close and should also supplement with copper.
PROTEIN, FAT, AND CARBOHYDRATE
Research studies show that animals fed low protein and/or low fat diets with adequate calories will become hyperthyroid. Low calorie diets with proper ratios of protein and fat tend to make animals hypothyroid. In other words, a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fats will cause an increased production of thyroid hormones and a feeling of higher energy levels. However, the increased energy levels and activity without adequate protein and fat in the diet will cause the body to cannibalize the body's fat and protein stores and may lead to hyperthyroidism.
Studies also seem to show that liver disease such as cirrhosis or hepatitis and pancreatic disease such as pancreatitis interfere with protein and fat digestion and may therefore lead to hyperthyroidism. I am studying this to determine how to restore the health of the liver and pancreas. It appears that a high protein and high fat diet along with digestive enzymes, PABA, and phosphatidylcholine (along with the other recommended supplements) may be the best way to heal the liver and pancreas.
Sam Queen, author of the book, Chronic Mercury Toxicity, told me that autoimmune diseases, such as Grave's disease, are caused by low protein intake or inadequate protein digestion. I am looking for further information on this theory also.
Many foods and supplements which lower blood lipids and which would be recommended for lowering cholesterol (low density lipoproteins or LDLs) seem to have an adverse effect on hypers. It's possible that hypers need to consume more LDLs and avoid all lipid lowering foods such as garlic. This is contrary to most health advice, but hyperthyroidism seems to be a condition where the metabolism is opposite to that found in the majority of people and the opposite approach is needed.
SPECIFIC FOODS THAT MAY HELP
HYPERS: Radish, especially daikon; horseradish; carrots and carrot juice; cruciferous vegetables.
SPECIFIC FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS WHICH MAY HURT
HYPERS: Any lipid (fat) lowering food or supplement, such as: garlic; ginseng; octacosanol; or other body-building supplements which are commonly used to lose fat.
TOXIC HEAVY METALS
There is a possibility that toxic heavy metals play a causative role in thyroid disease. Several of the group members who have had hair analyses done have high levels of mercury, aluminum, and other metals and also low sodium/potassium (Na/K) ratio. It appears that toxic metals may disrupt the Na/K ratio and thereby interfere with cellular absorption of essential nutrients. This hypothesis is also under investigation.
Sam Queen states that toxic metals are excreted from the body along with bile which is produced in the liver. Sufficient dietary fat is essential for bile production. He states that dairy fat works better than fat found in meat and recommends the consumption of 2-4 ounces of butter a day. I think that 4-6 ounces of high fat cheese such as cheddar would be equivalent.
I found that sunshine seemed to help me and other people may have had similar experiences. During my recovery (after I started taking copper), whenever I would spend some time in the sun I would feel better the next day. Recently Iíve read about a hormone called soltriol which is produced in the skin under the influence of sunshine. One researcher states that it affects many hormone-producing tissues, including the thyroid. We know that the sun helps the skin produce vitamin D, which is really a hormone rather than a vitamin. Soltriol is a second, separate hormone produced by the sun and I intend to research this to see how it is involved in thyroid problems.
We know that copper is used by the body to produce melanin, which is the dark pigment which colors the skin and protects against sun damage. PABA seems to be involved in this metabolism and this is the reason that many sunscreens contain PABA. My present theory is that sunshine on a person who is deficient in copper and/or PABA will result in an increase in those deficiencies and therefore may become more likely to get hyperT. However, sunshine on a person who is getting an adequate amount of copper and PABA may be very beneficial in helping the person recover from hyperT. This is just my theory, but if this is true then we could expect that persons who become more sensitive to the sun and who burn more easily may be copper deficient and therefore likely to develop hyperT.
LIST OF SUPPLEMENTS
Thyroid conditions, especially hyperthyroidism, are characterized by serious nutritional deficiencies. The following list of supplements helped me and others to recover from hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism and are important to correct the nutritional deficiencies which seem to cause these thyroid conditions. All of these nutrients have been shown to be essential for human life. While hypos may do well by selecting a good multiple vitamin/mineral supplement and adding to it as necessary, hypers have found it necessary to obtain these supplements singly so that the ratios can be changed as needed and so that certain minerals like manganese and iodine can be avoided until the body can once again tolerate these. This list is not intended as a "buffet" from which you can pick and choose. I consider each nutrient listed here important and possibly necessary for improving the thyroid diseases.
(Increases estrogen which suppresses thyroid function.)
HYPERS: 3-6 mg per day.
HYPOS: Probably don't need extra, unless estrogen is low. Usually hypos have high estrogen and low progesterone and testosterone.
CALCIUM and MAGNESIUM
(Regulates heart rate and builds bone.)
HYPERS: Take with magnesium, 1:1 ratio to suppress "thyroid storms. HyperT interferes with calcium metabolism and promotes osteoporosis, so take at least 1000 mg each of calcium and magnesium.
HYPOS: Take cal/mag in a 2:1 ratio, as needed, perhaps 600/300 mg.
(Involved in glucose metabolism and insulin production. The conversion of T4 to T3 is influenced by insulin, which is probably the reason why diabetics have low thyroid function.)
HYPERS: 200 mcg per day.
HYPOS: 400 mcg per day.
(Copper seems to be the most important mineral for hypers to take. Copper deficiency has been shown to cause elevated levels of thyroid hormones. It is also essential for monoamine oxidase production which degrades hormones after they have fulfilled their function. Take on full stomach, since it may produce nausea at first.)
HYPERS: 6-10 mg per day. Copper is the most important mineral for hyperT, so take copper first.
HYPOS: 0-3 mg per day. Hypos may have excess copper which is suppressing the thyroid.
(Kelp) (Most essential mineral for thyroid hormone production--deficiency of iodine and/or selenium causes goiter, a swelling of the thyroid gland. A goiter is the bodyís attempt to increase the production of thyroid hormones from an inadequate supply of nutrients. Replenishing those nutrients will enable the body to resorb the goitrous tissue and allow the thyroid to return to its normal size.)
HYPERS: Don't take iodine or kelp until copper is built up. In cases of goiter, supplementing with iodine with insufficient selenium will make the goiter worse. Once copper has been supplemented for awhile, test with one kelp tablet. If hyper symptoms are not increased, gradually increase the kelp up to 6 tablets per day.
HYPOS: Start with one table per day and build up slowly to 6 tablets per day.
(Iron is a critical mineral, because while it is very necessary and often low in thyroid disease, iron intake without a corresponding intake of copper can deplete copper. Iron works with copper to build hemoglobin, so therefore too much of either can deplete the other. Usually in hyperthyroidism, copper is deficient and has to be built up first. Once it is replenished, iron supplementation with the copper (probably in a ratio of no more than 5:1, iron:copper) will then help both minerals get built up. If hyper symptoms increase, stop or reduce the iron.) In hypothyroidism, iron is probably more deficient than copper and so should be supplemented first. Once iron is built up then a small amount (2-3 mg) of copper can be added. Iron increases body temperature by increasing norepinephrine and increasing cellular oxygen, which helps the low body temperature problem in hypothyroidism. Iron is known as the strength mineral.)
HYPERS: After copper has been supplemented for a few days, try a small amount of iron. Gradually increase to about 18 mg.
HYPOS: Take 18-36 mg per day.
(Lithium, sodium, and potassium are important components in the cellular pumps that transport minerals and amino acids across cell membranes. A deficiency of lithium may cause the mineral and amino acid deficiencies we see in hyperthyroidism. Studies have indicated that manic-depression may develop from a lithium deficiency (hyperthyroidism is associated with manic-depression) and some psychiatric patients get hyperthyroidism when lithium treatment is abruptly ended. Limiting sodium and potassium intake for hypers seems important in helping correct the imbalance that may be the result of a lithium deficiency. It also appears that hypos may need more sodium and potassium and perhaps less lithium. As of 7-3-99 I am studying lithium and its relationship to sodium and potassium and hope to be able to add more information to this soon. Lithium is available as a supplement called lithium orotate fromwww.vitaminshoppe.com in a 120 mg dosage. Most nutrition books including the Nutrition Almanac do not even mention lithium, so Iíve been unable to find any information on a reasonable amount for supplementation.. Because hyperT is associated with an abrupt termination of lithium supplementation, be careful.)
HYPERS: Lithium orotate 120 mg. My best guess is to take one or two a day. (I am presently trying to determine what the proper dosage. Iíve taken up to four a day without any immediate noticeable effects.) It may be beneficial to limit sodium and potassium intake until lithium is replenished.
HYPOS: Avoid. Ensure adequate intake of sodium and potassium.
(Essential for thyroid function and appears deficient in both hypos and hypers.)
(See instructions under calcium.)
(Assists iron metabolism and plays a role in the production of thyroid hormone. The hair analyses of both hypers and hypos show that most are deficient in manganese and chromium. These two minerals work together. Manganese should not be taken by hypers without also taking copper and iron. I believe that manganese and chromium should be taken together and too much of one or the other may disrupt the balance between the two. Itís possible that once copper is built up, the body will tolerate more manganese and chromium and these two minerals are probably essential for complete recovery from thyroid disease.)
HYPERS: 5-10 mg per day. Make sure copper and iron are supplemented before manganese is started. If hyper symptoms are experienced, suspect manganese or zinc.
HYPOS: Take 10-20 mg per day.
(Assists copper utilization. Deficiency symptoms are similar to hyper symptoms.)
HYPERS: Take 250-500 mcg per day.
(Increases cellular response to T3.)
HYPOS: Eat high potassium foods like bananas and potatoes.
(The essential mineral component of 5'-deiodinase enzymes which convert the prohormone T4 to the cellular active hormone T3. Deficiency of selenium will cause "low T3 Syndrome" where T4 levels are normal but T3 is low. Selenium and/or iodine deficiencies cause goiter. Selenium is the most important mineral to counter the toxic effects of heavy metals. Selenium is essential for production of glutathione peroxidase which is one of the three most important antioxidant defenses of the body. Can be toxic at levels of over 1000 mcg per day. Goiter will result from a selenium deficiency (or iodine deficiency), and many hypers and hypos have goiter.)
HYPERS: Take 200-600 mcg per day. If you have a known high level of mercury or other toxic metal, consider taking more. Start at 100 mcg and work up slowly.
HYPOS: Take 200-600 mcg of selenium per day. Mercury in silver amalgam fillings uses up selenium for detoxification. High amounts of amalgam fillings may require more selenium. Don't take over 600 mcg.
(Supplement known as silica, from the plant horsetail. Assists collagen formation and seems to have thyroid function. Helps to antagonize aluminum which may cause copper excretion and hyperthyroidism.)
HYPERS: Take 2 per day. One information source recommends taking rests from this supplement, like 3 days on, then 2 days off. I've used it every day for about a year with no negative symptoms.
HYPOS: Same as Hypers.
(Next to nothing is known about silver and the thyroid, but my guess is that there is some connection. Silver is just below copper in the Periodic Table and therefore has similar chemical properties. Copper and zinc have electrical properties and can be used to make a battery. Silver has similar but better electrical conductivity properties than copper, so there is the possibility that it is important for the same reasons copper is.
However, there is information that leads me to suspect that silver may be very important in controlling TED (thyroid eye disease.) As you will see in the cadmium file and the TED file, I suspect that cadmium (high in tobacco) is one of the prime causes of TED. Cadmium is just to the right of silver in the Periodic Table and probably an excess of cadmium will interfere with silver absorption. Silver has been shown in studies to inhibit fibroblast proliferation and this is the mechanism by which TED develops. See Silver.
I took colloidal silver during my recovery from hyperthyroidism, but have been unable to ascertain if it was important in the healing process or not. I can at least say that it didnít hurt. I did not develop TED. My suggestion is to take 5 drops of colloidal silver per day or follow the directions on the bottle whether you are hyper or hypo.)
HYPERS: 5 Drops of Colloidal silver per day.
(Supplement known at MSM--methylsulfanylmethane. Works with copper in many functions and may get depleted with copper supplementation. Deficiency causes aches in joints and muscles.)
HYPERS: After copper and iron are built up, start MSM (or when joints get sore.) Common supplement amounts are 1000-3000 mg.
HYPOS: Take 1000-3000 mg.
(Contains small amounts of all minerals. May be important in supplying unknown necessary trace elements. Ionized form best, colloidal form second best. Trace elements can also be obtained from seafoods.)
HYPERS: Supplement with recommended amount unless the iodine,
manganese, or zinc content increase hyper symptoms. If so, take sporadically. If you can't tolerate this at all, take copper and molybdenum until copper is built up and then re-try.
HYPOS: Take recommended amount.
(I am still researching this, but vanadium seems to be involved in thyroid function. High vanadium levels have been found in the hair of manic/depressives. This means it may be a thyroid stimulant. Available as a supplement, vanadyl sulfate.)
HYPERS: Avoid. I am pretty sure hypers should never take vanadium. Whenever I've used it I've had increased hyper symptoms.
HYPOS: Unknown. There are reports that a vanadium deficiency is a part of diabetes and since many hypothyroids have either diabetes or hypoglycemia, it's possible that hypos are deficient. From my experience I feel vanadium stimulates the thyroid, but I would be very careful with this until more is known.
(Works with copper, but also may increase thyroid function. This mechanism is unknown, but zinc may spare selenium because it also detoxifies heavy metals. May increase progesterone production, which stimulates thyroid hormone production. The optimum zinc to copper ratio is about 8:1, but hypers need a lower ratio and hypos a higher ratio. Take on full stomach since it may cause nausea. Take in morning as it may keep you awake if taken at night.)
HYPERS: After copper and iron are built up some, try a small amount of zinc. If tolerated take one to five milligrams of zinc per milligram of copper. If hyper symptoms increase, suspect zinc and reduce amount taken. Premenopausal women may find it better to supplement zinc during the first half of the month and use less or no zinc during the second half.
HYPOS: Take 30-100 mg of zinc to increase thyroid production. If rapid heart beat is felt at night or early morning, decrease zinc.
A and D
(From fish oil. Usual capsules contain 10,000 IU of A and 400 IU of D. There is some evidence indicating that excessive amounts of vitamin D, possibly only the synthetic form added to foods, may be a problem. A study on rats showed that vitamin A deficiency causes hypothyroidism. Hypos have difficulty converting beta carotene to vitamin A, so supplement with a preformed vitamin A, such as from fish oil.)
HYPERS: Take 1-3 capsule per day. Get adequate amounts of sunshine. Several hypers have reported benefits from carrot juice. Hypers have an increased rate of conversion of beta carotene to vitamin A.
HYPOS: 1-3 capsules per day.
(Vitamins usually included in B-complex will be listed separately. Some people may have to take individual B vitamins, while most may have to supplement extra B vitamins to the B-complex. It appears that the best way to get the B vitamins is to take a B-complex supplement (50 mg) with extra biotin (up to 1000 mcg) and extra PABA (up to 500 mg).<BR>
HYPERS: Take one or two 50 mg B-complex per day.
HYPOS: Same as Hypers.
B-1 (Thiamine. Believed essential for copper and sulfur metabolism. Also appears important for correcting eye involvement in Grave's. Many drugs including alcohol and tobacco destroy B-1 and I believe this is the mechanism by which these drugs increase the frequency of Grave's and eye involvement.)
HYPERS: Up to 200 mg or more.
HYPOS: Up to 100 mg or more or taken in B-complex.
B-2 (Riboflavin. Believed essential for copper metabolism. Feelings of eye irritation or the sensation of grit under the eyelids indicates B-2 deficiency.)
HYPERS: 100-200 mg.
HYPOS: 100 mg or taken in B-complex.
B-3 (Niacin. Niacinamide is in most multiples. Niacin is a serotonin precursor, which calms and counters the catecholamine hormones which produce feelings of fear and anxiety. Niacin may be better than niacinamide but causes flushing and requires adaptation. If you've never taken niacin before, be aware that you could get a total body flush which makes you hot and itchy all over. It is not dangerous, but many people have gone to the hospital emergency room convinced that they were in real trouble. To minimize the flush, take on a full stomach and start with 25 mg. at a time, before increasing it.)
HYPERS: Take 100-200 mg a day.
HYPOS: Take 100 mg a day.
B-5 (Pantothenic Acid. May be involved in copper metabolism. Important for adrenal health.)
HYPERS: 100-500 mg.
HYPOS: 100-200 mg.
B-6 (Pyridoxine. Essential for zinc deficiency. Hypos are usually deficient in zinc and B-6. Helps regulate sodium/potassium balance which is disturbed in thyroid diseases and helps prevent water retention in the extremities. Sodium/potassium balance controls the transport of essential nutrients into the cells. If you feel pain in the wrist--carpal tunnel syndrome--take extra B-6 and zinc.)
HYPERS: You may not want to take this at first to prevent excess zinc metabolism and possible hyper symptoms, but later, youíll need to take this to balance your B vitamins.
HYPOS: Take 100-200 mg.
B-12 (Contains cobalt. Facilitates iron metabolism and for treatment of anemia. May deplete iron if taken without iron.)
HYPERS: Probably don't need extra B-12. Amount in B-complex is adequate.
HYPOS: May be deficient. Check levels and supplement if necessary.
BIOFLAVONOIDS, RUTIN, QUERCETIN. Many people with thyroid disease, particularly hyperthyroidism, have bleeding gums, a condition which doesnít respond to the usual vitamin C therapy that most health books recommend. Other nutrients often recommended for bleeding gums include bioflavonoids, rutin, and quercetin. Itís quite possible that these facilitate collagen formation and may be very important for copper utilization. If this is true then they may be very important in correcting thyroid conditions and care should be taken to eat a high percentage of raw foods and to supplement these nutrients.
HYPERS: Take amounts as directed on bottle.
CHOLINE and INOSITOL
(Plays an important role in glutathione production. Choline deficiency affects males and females differently and this indicates that it may play a vital role in thyroid diseases.)
HYPERS: Take 500 mg each of choline and inositol.
HYPOS: Same as hypers.
(Essential for metabolism of branched chain amino acids and may be involved in copper metabolism.)
HYPERS: Take 500-1000 mcg per day. Amount in B-complex is inadequate.
HYPOS: Same as Hypers.
(Found to be low in hypers but normal in hypos, CoQ10 protects the heart from damage which may occur in hyperthyroidism. It's possible, but unknown whether CoQ10 will help hypers.)
HYPERS: Take up to 90 mg per day.
HYPOS: Probably don't need it unless heart problems exist, then same as hypers
(May have thyroid functions. Hypers have been found to have adequate levels, but I haven't found information about hypos yet.)
HYPERS: 400 mcg per day. Don't take more than this.
HYPOS: 400 mcg per day.
(PABA appears to have very wide-ranging benefits for thyroid diseases and for many diseases associated with thyroid diseases. Seems to be a key vitamin that enables copper to be utilized properly. Reports state that excessive amounts may cause nausea, diarrhea, or skin rash, but I believe these symptoms won't occur if PABA is taken with an adequate amount of copper.)
HYPERS: Take 200-500 mg per day. Take in proportion to the copper you are using.
HYPOS: Take 200 mg a day.
(Important source of choline which comes from lecithin and which is recommended as the best supplement to help correct cirrhosis of the liver and to promote liver health. The liver is a key organ for conversion of T4 to T3 and also for the production of bile to eliminate heavy metals like mercury which interrupt enzyme and endocrine function.)
HYPERS: Take (2) 1200 mg capsules a day
HYPOS: Same as hypers.
(Vitamin C is a very important vitamin but our society may be overly concerned with getting enough of it. Many foods are supplemented with vitamin C and many people take large amounts to ward off colds and other perceived health threats. When I got hyperthyroidism, I was taking 10 GRAMS of vitamin C a day. I now realize that this was excessive and have cut the amount way down. I now believe that excessive amounts of vitamin C may be a real problem for people with thyroid disease, especially hypers. Lately I've been seeing that deficiencies of antioxidants may be a cause of thyroid disease. I recently ran across a study which showed that cu,zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) which is one of the main antioxidants of the body, is decreased by vitamin C. This may occur because vitamin C is also an antioxidant and may be taking up some of the free radical scavenging jobs that SOD normally performs. However, we have seen that hypers experience worse hyper symptoms with larger amounts of vitamin C, and there are studies which indicate that high amounts of vitamin C interfere with copper absorption. These facts lead me to think that high amounts of vitamin C may be a contributory cause of lower levels of SOD and thereby contributing to hyperthyroidism. Also, vitamin C interferes with calcium absorption which is another problem that hypers have. I recommend taking a very low amount of vitamin C, if any, especially for hypers. Whether hypos need more is something I'm going to look into.
HYPERS: Take no more than 500 mg per day. You might want to experiment with taking none or 100-200 mg to see what happens.
HYPOS: Unknown, but limit intake to 1000 mg until more is known.
(See vitamin A.)
(Assists estrogen production, works with selenium, and has other thyroid
functions. If you've never taken E before, start with 100 IU and work up
HYPERS: 400 IU per day. Not more.
HYPOS: 400 IU per day.
(Works with boron to increase estrogen production. Take yogurt occasionally to assist production. Probably unnecessary to take a supplement since intestinal bacteria can make it.)
(Probably the most important amino acid to supplement for hypos. Key precursor to both glutathione and the deiodinase enzymes which convert T4 to T3. Assists zinc utilization, so it may be more important for hypos than hypers. Currently under study.)
HYPERS: Unknown. Currently studying.
HYPOS: Take 500-1000 mg per day.
(Precursor to the thyroid hormones and the catecholamines.)
HYPERS: Don't supplement.
HYPOS: Take 500 mg per day.
(Precursor to tyrosine.)
HYPERS: Don't supplement.
HYPOS: Still researching.
(Precursor to niacin and serotonin. Serotonin is the inhibitory (calming) hormone which counters the catecholamines (stimulating hormones which produce anxiety and fear.) High intake reduces the uptake of tyrosine. Studies have shown that hyperthyroidism can be induced in animals by a low tryptophan diet. Eating adequate amounts of protein should ensure that you get adequate amounts of tryptophan. If hyperthyroidism is severe or doesn't respond to anything else, you may want to try tryptophan. Pure L-tryptophan is unavailable except through a doctor's prescription, but health food stores are now carrying a metabolite of tryptophan which may work as well.)
HYPERS: May be beneficial.
HYPOS: Probably not necessary.
BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAAs)
(Leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Compete with tyrosine for absorption, so increasing BCAAs may decrease tyrosine absorption and thereby decrease production of the thyroid and catecholamine hormones.)
HYPERS: Beneficial, especially for exercise, sports, and body building. Does not seem to cause hyper symptoms like other protein supplements.
End of list