Hashimoto’s is one of the most common autoimmune diseases. Autoimmunity can occur a few different ways, but eventually the thyroid gland progressively becomes underactive due to antibody and cell mediated autoimmune processes.

Environmental triggers are what integrative doctors mainly work with in functional medicine to healthy address the dysfunction in autoimmune disease. These can be food triggers such as gluten or food sensitivities that can trigger inflammation as well as anything coming in with the food such as toxins or molds. In addition, the nutrient status of the person. This can be antioxidant status, vitamins, essential fatty acids, vitamin D, etc. Also, gut health. This includes “leaky gut” and dysbiosis. There are also toxins that can be affect the status of the immune system. These are heavy metals, xenobiotics, as well as the total toxic burden in the body.

According to a study published last month in Advanced Biomedical Research, researchers demonstrated that selenium reduces antibody levels in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

In this study, seventy patients ranging from 18 to 60 years of age with Hashimoto’s were divided into two groups. One group received 200 mcg of selenium with levothyroxine and the other group received a placebo along with the medication. Laboratory assessment included serum selenium levels, TSH, freeT4, free T3, and thyroid antibodies at baseline and three months later.

As a result, the mean thyroid peroxidase antibody level was significantly lower after treatment in the selenium group. Selenium is involved in the metabolism and regulation of thyroid hormones and is an antioxidant which has protective properties. 

Another nutrient to consider is inositol. Myo-inositol is a second messenger regulating several hormones such as insulin and TSH.

A previous study published last year in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences demonstrated that inositol at 600 mg a day and selenium at 83 mcg per day significantly reduced TSH levels in Hashimoto’s patients with subclinical hypothyroidism and increased thyroid hormone concentrations. In addition, there was a reduction in TPO and thyroglobulin antibody concentrations.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Kachouei A, Rezvanian H, et al. The Effect of Levothyroxine and Selenium versus Levothyroxine Alone on Reducing the Level of Anti-thyroid Peroxidase Antibody in Autoimmune Hypothyroid Patients. Advanced Biomedical Research. 2018 January 22;7:1. doi: 10.4103/2277-9175.223735

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