Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, is a common condition that affects many people. One important thing to know is that 90% of all hypothyroid problems are due to an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s. Similarly, most cases of hyperthyroidism are also autoimmune conditions. In this article, we will discuss the role of selenium, the #1 most important nutrient for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, in detail.
90% of Hypothyroid Cases are Autoimmune
An autoimmune condition is a situation where the body produces cells that attack its own cells. In the case of hypothyroidism, there are specific types of antibodies against the thyroid that attack the thyroid and prevent it from functioning, creating a constant inflammatory condition. In most cases, 90% of hypothyroid cases are autoimmune, making it important to address this issue to improve thyroid function.
The Role of Selenium in Thyroid Function
Most of the selenium in the body is concentrated in the thyroid, making it an essential nutrient for thyroid function. Selenium plays a critical role in reducing thyroid antibodies, particularly the three main antibodies that are found in hypothyroidism, such as thyroid peroxidase, thyroglobulin receptor, and TSH receptor. Selenium can help significantly reduce these antibodies and is something natural that you can take in small amounts to help improve thyroid function.
Selenium and Thyroid Hormone Conversion
Selenium is also important for converting T4 to T3, the active form of thyroid hormone. T4 doesn’t do much in your body unless it’s converted with the help of selenium. If you don’t have enough selenium and you’re taking Synthroid, which is synthetic T4, your problem is you can’t convert it to the active form, and you’re not going to see much change. It is essential to consider this when assessing thyroid function.
Selenium-Rich Foods for Thyroid Health
Selenium is naturally present in many foods, including Brazil nuts, seafood, poultry, meat, and eggs. However, it’s important to note that the amount of selenium in foods depends on the soil in which the plants are grown or where the animals graze. Thus, it’s essential to make sure that you’re getting enough selenium in your diet or taking selenium supplements to improve your thyroid function.
Selenium’s Effect on Inflammation and Liver Health
Selenium also plays a vital role in decreasing inflammation in the body. It helps in making glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. Selenium is also important for liver health as it can help prevent a fatty liver, inflammation, and fibrosis in the liver. It can decrease liver enzymes and even decrease the risk of liver cancer. Selenium-rich fish also contains proteins that help eliminate mercury and cadmium from the body. These two heavy metals are linked to autoimmune conditions of the thyroid.
In conclusion, selenium is the #1 most important nutrient for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. It is essential to ensure you have enough selenium in your diet or take selenium supplements to reduce thyroid antibodies, improve thyroid hormone conversion, and decrease inflammation and the risk of liver disease.