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).

Healing Mold Illness: What’s Working For Me

For a bit of background, we moved into this house just over three years ago. There was visible black mold in several rooms even then, but I didn’t think too much about it. Just a bit of mold! Clean it, and it will be fine!

Within a few months of living here, I began to experience unexplained weight gain. I thought it was my diet, and started every more restrictive diets and fasting protocols – all to no avail. In fact, probably made it worse.

Hormone imbalance, under-active thyroid, sluggish liver and stressed adrenals all began to show up.

It took me 2.5yrs to figure out what was going on, and only then because myself and younger children (the only members of the family who were home at the time) all fell sick with dry coughs and fevers, after I had cleaned mold off the walls. That’s when I started to investigate mold illness, and join the dots!

We weren’t in a position to move house immediately, given our rural area and lack of available rentals, so I committed to making the best of a bad situation.

In the world of mold illness, there’s this running theme about long-term strict avoidance of mold. Many people move out of their moldy home, and basically toss out all their belongings, and start over again.

But that wasn’t possible for me, in our current location and situation

And the thought of spending the rest of my life, or even the next five years, constantly worrying about whether there’s mold in the bathroom or air-conditioning unit, of every building I step inside, is not something I’m down with.

Too stressful and too unattainable. In my situation, rather than seeking to control outside forces (mold & fungi), I have instead chosen to focus on my inner terrain, and resilience to withstand the outside forces (not just mold and fungi, but all the toxins we’re bombarded with on a daily basis.

This approach has covered a) Increasing nutrition and b) decreasing stress.

A) I’ve been taking 20-40mls of fulvic acid per day, which acts as a binder against some mycotoxins (toxins produced by mold). There’s not a lot of research on this, and what has been done has focused on mycotoxins in livestock feed, nevertheless, it does show binding activity of humic & fulvic acids, and I definitely notice that mold flares subside quickly if I dose on fulvic.

Fulvic also contains 70+ minerals & trace elements to support immune functioning and detoxification pathways. It binds to heavy metals at a rate of 5 – 100x higher than clays (bentonite, etc). This is the brand I use, and it’s very high quality (They are in Australia, but do also ship internationally. Use code ‘radical’ for 33% off the 3mth and 6mth supply products, which makes it very cost-effective)

Also, taking beef liver and oyster capsules, for zinc, Vitamin A and copper (plus many more), all of which help to build the ‘inner armor’ against toxins coming in (including mycotoxins)..

B) Stress lowers our defence system. We all know it. I was trying to do too much, selling products, selling on eBay, trying to grow a following on five different platforms. I had to whittle back a lot of those things. If I stay up too late, I’m vulnerable. It’s not coincidence that my symptoms are more noticeable when I haven’t had enough sleep.

In addition, I do try to minimise spore numbers in the house, via keeping windows open as much as comfortably possible, and keeping on top of house-dust, vacuuming regularly with HEPA vacuum.

Zinc Protects the Reproductive System from ‘Gender-Bender’ Chemicals

Zinc is such a super-hero.

It has protective effects from many of the toxins we’re being bombarded with, on a daily basis. That includes the ‘gender-bender’ chemicals that disrupt and create havoc on our hormones.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is structurally similar to diethylstilbestrol (DES), the drug given to millions of pregnant women from 1940’s – 1980 that greatly increased the risk of sexual disorders and cancers in their offspring (and their offspring’s offspring). Although BPA is less estrogenic than DES, it is probably more pervasive in our environment, due to widespread use.

Bisphenol-A, found in many plastics (including baby bottles and children’s drink bottles/lunchboxes) and epoxy resins is one such chemical. BPA has been shown to be toxic to the reproductive system, especially in males. Studies on rats shows that zinc deficiency increases toxicity of BPA on the male testis. Zinc has also shown to be protective against neuro-behavioral disorders caused by BPA toxicity.

Another endocrine-disrupting class of chemicals are those known as phthalates, also ubiquitous in the environment, in vinyl furniture, fragranced products (air fresheners, personal care products, shampoos, nail polish, detergents, soaps, etc). One of the ways we are being bombarded by phthalates is via our clothing – polyester (otherwise known as polyethyl terephthalate) in particular.

A study on rats, published last year (2020), showed that zinc supplementation protected from the endocrine toxicity caused by phthalates.

Although zinc is a super-hero, it must be kept in balance with another super-hero mineral, namely copper. Check out this case study on what can happen if you supplement with isolated zinc. Fortunately, she was able to recover most of her symptoms, but this person, who was poisoned by their zinc-based tooth adhesive material was not so fortunate.

It is far better to get zinc from food sources, such as oysters and red meat. Oysters are, by far, the world highest known source of zinc, but they also contain copper. Beef liver is another good source of both zinc and copper. If you are not a fan of the taste of either, you can take it in capsule form, which can be found on the NourishMe Organics website (use code ‘nourishme’ at checkout, to get 10% off)

Mineral Deficiencies = Heavy Metal Toxicity

If our body doesn’t get the essential minerals it requires from diet, it starts to compensate by absorbing less preferable elements that have similar properties, such as metals. Our bodies do this to ensure vital processes continue, even though this very act of short-term survival compromises long-term health.

If our diet is deficient in iodine, our thyroid gland will latch onto fluorine, chlorine or bromine instead – even though these elements will eventually suppress thyroid function.

If our diet is deficient in calcium, then lead will accumulate in our bones, because lead can substitute *some* functions of calcium – though it leads to brittle bones. The same applies to strontium.

If someone has low adrenal function, their body will absorb cadmium – because cadmium raises sodium levels, which is required to keep the adrenals functioning, and avoid complete burnout. It’s certainly not ideal, but it keeps a person alive in the short-term.

Cadmium, mercury and nickel can displace zinc.

Silver and gold displace copper.

Excess iron displaces chromium – this is why iron overload results in dysfunction of glucose metabolism, diabetes and insulin resistance.

Aluminium displaces boron, and can accumulate in the bones instead of boron. It is possible that some of the health issues found commonly in post-menopausal women may be the result of heavy metals (lead, aluminium, etc) being released due to the fast turnover of bone cells, in the absence of sufficient estrogen.

Arsenic displaces phosphorus.

Mercury displaces selenium.

Tungsten displaces molybdenum.

Berillium displaces magnesium.

According to Dr. Paul Eck: “Heavy metals serve as a back-up system. When the primary nutritional minerals are insufficient to protect the person, Nature uses substitutes”.

On the other hand, if we have adequate intake of essential, preferred minerals in the diet, they compete and displace heavy metals, so they are rapidly excreted from the body. The extent that heavy metals cause toxicity, is the extent that we are deficient in essential minerals.

Zinc Deficiency Causes Meat Aversion & ‘Fussy Eaters’

Researchers have known since the 1970’s that zinc deficiency causes a loss of appetite and/or abnormal food preferences.

There have been studies that showed zinc-deficient mice chose a diet that was virtually 100% carbs, while zinc replete mice chose a balance of carbs, protein and fats.

Zinc is involved in over 300 different enzyme reactions in the body, including building and repairing tissues, cell division,(why zinc needs are greatly increased during pregnancy, infancy and the growth spurts of childhood and young adulthood), reproductive maturity/fertility (why zinc is important during puberty), regulating neural activities, including mood, behaviour, and sensory experience, production of stomach acid and integrity of gut lining.

In animal studies, creating zinc deficiency is a reliable way to induce anorexia and depression, because deficiency not only lowers appetite, but affects mental processes and perception.

Think about those most likely to be averse to meat (protein). It is pregnant women (especially in the first trimester when the developing embryo requires zinc to grow) and vegans/vegetarians. Now, don’t @ me, just hear me out. Plant-based diets are usually very low in zinc, and what little zinc is consumed, is often not absorbed because of the presence of oxalates, phytic acid and other antinutrients in certain plants (grains, seeds, nuts, leafy greens, etc), that block absorption of zinc.

Think about those most likely to be labeled ‘fussy eaters’. It’s young children, whose growing bodies are burning through the zinc. Not only do they hardly want to eat, but when they do, it’s usually carb foods – bread, pasta, potatoes, biscuits, noodles…

It creates a vicious circle, where carbs don’t provide zinc, and the worsening deficiency causes more carb cravings…and around it goes.

If you’re a smoker, or exposed to secondhand smoke, you’re more prone to zinc deficiency, because cadmium (found in cigarettes) competes for absorption. And if you’re zinc deficient, you’re more vulnerable to the effects of cadmium and other heavy metals, because you don’t have zinc to oppose them.

Best way to raise zinc levels is through food sources, since supplementation will deplete copper.

World’s highest known source of zinc is oysters, followed by beef as a distant second. If you don’t like the taste of oysters, then capsules are an option (dried and ground oyster)