Receive updates about our latest products in your inbox

Register For Our Next Webinar

The Truth About Collagen Supplementation

About Us

For over 40 years, Biotics Research Corporation has revolutionized the nutritional supplement industry by utilizing “The Best of Science and Nature”. Combining nature’s principles with scientific ingenuity, our products magnify the nutritional

Search the Blog

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

Nutrients for Thyroid Health

thyroidIn the U.S., rates of hypothyroidism are on the rise. It is estimated that every 5 out of 100 Americans experience low thyroid function, and women are 5-8 times more likely to develop hypothyroidism compared to men. The condition is characterized by decreased output of thyroid hormones, specifically T4 and T3, which regulate the body’s metabolic processes. Inadequate thyroid hormone production decreases the metabolic rate and the ability to produce adequate energy. This can lead to various symptoms including fatigue, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, depression, constipation, decreased cognition, hair loss, brittle nails, and dry skin. Conventional treatments typically involve the administration of synthetic thyroid hormones in order to increase thyroid hormones in the body and provide an appropriate supply to cells. For patients in need of thyroid support, healthcare practitioners may choose to forgo synthetic hormones and opt for glandular thyroid therapy.

Glandular Thyroid Therapy

Glandular thyroid is derived from animal thyroid tissue, and then hydrolyzed and purified. In the U.S., the active form of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are removed from the supplement, as a precaution to eliminate the risk of hyperthyroidism. However, the T0, T1, and T2, thyroid hormone precursors, as well as calcitonin, are still present within the tissue. The glandular concentrate also contains essential enzymes, amino acids, and other nutrients required for the production of thyroid hormones. As a result, glandular thyroid may increase the production of thyroid hormones and improve overall thyroid function.

It is likely that supplementing glandular thyroid mimics ancestral dietary patterns. Before the implementation of modern food processing practices, humans consumed the entire animal rather than only muscle meats. This suggests that the thyroid may have been a common staple in historic diets. Many cultures throughout history have eaten thyroid and other foods to promote health. Some medical practices such as homeopathy subscribe to the idea that “like heals like.” For example, if someone was experiencing symptoms associated with an overburdened liver, they would consume liver from animals in order to stimulate healing for the organ. This is referred to as organotherapy and can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome.

Because glandular thyroid may help to increase metabolic rate, consuming sufficient amounts of nutrients is necessary to maintain thyroid function. When the body’s output of energy increases, it requires adequate energy to support cellular function. It is common for individuals to experience hypothyroidism when chronically fasting, deficient in nutrients, and restricting calories. Specific nutrients including carbohydrates, zinc, selenium, and copper all play a critical role in healthy thyroid function.


All cells prefer to use carbohydrates, specifically glucose, for energy. Cells in the liver require adequate glucose because, in the absence of dietary carbohydrates, the liver must synthesize carbohydrates from the body’s muscle tissue to meet energy needs. This process is referred to as gluconeogenesis. The liver prioritizes gluconeogenesis over its other 200+ functions because it requires adequate energy to operate properly. However, this process is highly stressful for the body as it must enter a starvation state. Carbohydrate restriction can raise stress hormones including cortisol, which when chronically elevated can suppress thyroid function, ultimately slowing metabolism.

The conversion of the inactive T4 hormone to the active T3 hormone takes place in the liver. The enzyme responsible for this conversion is 5’-deiodinase and requires glucose to act effectively. Without carbohydrates, conversion can be limited and decreases the active T3. Sufficient glucose intake nourishes the liver, and thyroid gland, and facilitates the production of thyroid hormones. Providing the body with a constant supply of energy is essential for proper metabolic function.


Zinc is a trace mineral found in foods such as shellfish, red meat, dark chocolate, and pumpkin seeds. Zinc intimately influences the thyroid and is even considered a catalyst for the production of thyroid hormones. The mineral regulates deiodinase enzyme activity–enzymes that remove iodine from T4 to T3–, thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) both of which stimulate the thyroid gland.

In hypothyroidism, TSH is commonly elevated which increases the risk of zinc deficiency. A zinc deficiency can similarly aggravate hypothyroidism. Zinc is protective against the thyroid gland by acting as an antioxidant, regulating the immune system, and supporting the intestinal barrier. Zinc has been demonstrated to be preventative against “leaky gut”, or increased intestinal permeability, which is often implicated in autoimmune thyroid disease. Adequate zinc is essential for proper thyroid function.


Selenium is another mineral that plays a role in the production of thyroid hormones and immune health. The concentration of selenium is highest in the thyroid gland compared to any other tissue in the body. It is primarily known for its antioxidant actions because it is able to block the inflammatory effects of hydrogen peroxide production which takes place as a natural result of thyroxine production. Incidentally, studies suggest that thyroid disease has been linked to chronic oxidative stress. Selenium is also a major component of essential enzymes including glutathione peroxidase and iodothyronine deiodinase. Glutathione peroxidase is an enzyme and antioxidant that helps cells maintain a healthy redox balance, while iodothyronine deiodinase activates the active T3 hormone, by removing an iodine molecule from T4. Sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, eggs, beef, mushrooms, etc. Studies indicate that selenium supplementation reduces TSH and increases T3 levels.


Like zinc and selenium, copper also influences thyroid hormone production and metabolism. Copper plays a specific role in catalyzing the synthesis of tyrosine, an essential amino acid that serves as the foundational component of thyroid hormones. Studies demonstrate that when blood copper concentrations are low, thyroid hormone levels decrease; copper levels are positively correlated to T4 levels. Copper also prevents the over-absorption of T4 by regulating calcium status. Research suggests that copper levels are commonly decreased in thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s. Sources of copper include liver, oysters, dark chocolate, and mushrooms.

The thyroid influences many processes in the body, including energy production, mood, and weight management. Incorporating zinc, selenium, and copper-rich foods and eating adequate carbohydrates ensures the production of thyroid hormones and a healthy metabolism. Glandular therapy and supplementation may prove to be immensely beneficial for individuals in need of extra thyroid support.

Related Biotics Research Products:


Submit your comment

Related Post

Nutrient Intake & Healthy Aging

An interesting analysis of nutrition and aging was recently published in BMC Biology, in which the authors used a multi-...

Learn more