8 Minerals Required for Thyroid Function

Thyroid disorders are reaching epidemic proportions, and some 5-8x more common in women, than men.

Let’s check out the minerals required to keep this small, but vital organ in working order.

IODINE: Each molecule of thyroxine (T4) contains 4 atoms of iodine, and each molecule of triiodo-l-thyronine (T3) contains 3 molecules of iodine (so, fairly important 😉). A deficiency in iodine can result in goiter, as the thyroid increases its surface size, in a desperate attempt to absorb more iodine.

SELENIUM: The thyroid has the highest selenium content per gram, of all the organs, and expresses specific selenoproteins. Selenium has been shown to decrease anti-thyroid antibodies (which are an indicator of aito-immune conditions, such as Hashimoto’s), and lower the risk of post-partum thyroiditis.

ZINC: Is a co-factor in the conversion of T4 to T3 active thyroid hormone. Zinc is also required for the pituitary to produce Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), which communicates to the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones.

MAGNESIUM: We need magnesium for the uptake of iodine, and also conversion of T4 to T3 hormone. Studies show that magnesium supplementation can reduce anti-thyroid antibodies, and normalise TSH levels.

MOLYBDENUM: Thyroid epithelial cells (thyrocytes) contain molybdenum-dependant enzymes. These cells are responsible for production and secretion of thyroid hormones.

MANGANESE: Manganese helps to protect the thyroid gland via the antioxidant activity of Manganese-Superoxide Dismutase, and is required to transport thyroid hormones into the cells.

BORON: The highest concentration of boron is found in the parathyroid glands (two tiny glands, about the size of a grain of rice, embedded in the thyroid) where it helps to regulate calcium and magnesium. However, Boron seems to also play a role in conversion of T4 to T3, and some studies seem to show it increases T3 secretion (but massive doses has the opposite effect).

COPPER: Is required to make the amino acid tyrosine, which is a precursor to thyroid hormones, where it is bound covalently with iodine.

Everything works together 🙂

My favourite ways to ensure optimal mineral intake are:

Fulvic Acid. I love Natural Edge Fulvic as it is 21% humic acid and 32% fulvic acid. Some products on the market contain less than 5% humic and fulvic acids. If in doubt, ask to see the company’s LAMAR test results. If you buy Natural Edge Fulvic, use code ‘radical’ at checkout to get 33% off the 3 and 6mth supply packages. (So the 3mth supply will reduce from $149 to $99 AUD (shipping included within Australia), while the 6mth supply pack will reduce from $299 to $199 AUD.

Beef Liver. Natural’s original superfood and multi-mineral. Try Ancestral Nutrition organ superfoods.

Oysters: World’s highest known food source of zinc, but also contains many other trace elements and vitamins. Try NXGEN Wholefoods for pure oyster extract capsules, if not a fan of the taste. These can be easily split open and added to milkshakes or smoothies for children, too, who really need optimal levels of zinc (so long as no shellfish allergies).