Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thyroid Health

Thyroid hormones positively affected by selenium and vitamin E intake

High levels of stress can negatively affect the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones (T4, T3). This may result in reduced thyroid hormone activity (hypothyroidism) and various health challenges including weight gain, lethargy, reproductive failure, depression, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness, and more serious long term effects such as congestive heart failure.
In an effort to counteract the negative effects of stress on thyroid hormones, researchers such as Dr. L. Yue and colleagues investigated the ability of vitamin E and selenium to support healthy thyroid function. By observing the metabolic changes of T4 and T3 in experimental rats, Dr. L. Yue and colleagues sought to determine the relationship between selenium and vitamin E deficiency and thyroid hormone disturbances. Rats were either fed a selenium and vitamin E supplemented diet or a selenium and vitamin E deficient diet for 8 weeks.

Upon conclusion of the study, the rats that were deficient in selenium and vitamin E demonstrated a 36% decrease in T3 levels and a 32% increase in T4 levels. This in comparison to the selenium and vitamin E-supplemented rats that had "significantly higher" levels of T3, according to Dr. Yue and colleagues in the Chinese Medical Journal.

This study, among others, demonstrates the role of vitamin E and selenium in protecting and ensuring thyroid health, helping to defend against the inevitable stresses of life.
Chin Med J 1998;111(9):854-57.
Advanced Nutrition Publications ©2002

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