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Low Selenium Diet Linked to Thyroid Disease

By November 18, 2015Thyroid

Many holistic medicine practitioners are patting themselves on the back, over a recent study that has linked selenium deficiency to thyroid disease.

The new study in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism supports the use of selenium in the treatment of thyroid conditions.

The study published in August 2015 found that low selenium was linked to an increased risk of several thyroid diseases, including, autoimmune thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism and an enlarged thyroid. Researchers assessed 6,152 people who underwent physical and thyroid ultrasound testing and participated in dietary and demographic questionnaires. Blood tests were also taken to examine markers for thyroid conditions.

The researchers found a link between patients who had selenium deficiencies and suffered from any one of the four thyroid diseases. Upon further research, it was found that those whose selenium levels were normal had a significantly lower risk of having a thyroid disease. Through this research, it was concluded that selenium supplements could be sued to reduce the risk of various thyroid diseases.

The benefits of selenium come as no surprise as selenium is a nutrient vital to proper thyroid function. It activates an enzyme that aids in the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3)—two thyroid hormones.

What Causes Low Selenium

Selenium is most often found in the soil. But, large scale industrial farming has a tendency to deplete key minerals in the soil. This can cause fruits and vegetable that once would have been selenium-rich to be insufficient in providing the average person with the vital minerals that their body needs.

Iodine can also be to blame. Our thyroids need a balance of iodine and selenium to function at its full capacity. Unfortunately, we often keep our thyroids out of whack by consuming copious amounts of iodized salt.

Foods That Contain Selenium 

Selenium is predominantly found in tuna, shrimp, sardines, salmon, turkey, cod, oysters, chicken, lamb, scallops, beef and Brazil nuts.

For those suffering from thyroid conditions, consuming 100 to 200 micrograms of selenium may be necessary. Remember too much of anything can be a bad thing as well. When selenium is taken in extremely high doses, it can be very dangerous. Practice moderation when using supplements to treat conditions. We suggest discussing your options with your doctor or a nutritionist.