The thyroid may be small in size, but this butterfly-shaped gland produces hormones that are responsible for a whole host of important body functions, including regulating energy, body temperature, metabolism and much more.
When the thyroid is underactive, a common disorder known as hypothyroidism happens with symptoms such as tiredness, weight gain, coldness in the hands and feet, dry skin and hair thinning. If you are having any of these symptoms, it may be time to call your doctor and have your thyroid levels checked.
If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your doctor will prescribe a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone that should have you feeling better.
Some researchers have found links between hypothyroidism and certain vitamin deficiencies, suggesting nutrition and supplementation can play a role in thyroid health, too. Here are two supplements to support thyroid health.
Vitamin D is known for its role in maintaining bone health, though scientists have found that the sunshine vitamin plays a role in many chronic health issues and autoimmune disorders.
A study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences found a link between vitamin D deficient subjects and hypothyroidism.
Current guidelines recommend that adults between the ages of 18 and 70 take 600 IU/day of vitamin D. Doses up to 4,000 IU/day are considered safe.
Zinc is known as an immune-supporting supplement and its ability to shorten cold symptom duration.
Since zinc and other trace elements like selenium and copper are necessary for the body to produce thyroid hormones, a deficiency in these nutrients could lead to low thyroid levels.
A 2007 study found daily zinc supplementation to have a positive effect on thyroid levels in subjects who were zinc deficient.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of zinc for adults 19 and up is 11 milligrams for men and 8 milligrams for women.