To D Or Not to D
Word out: vitamin D is a crucial cofactor in the proper function of your thyroid hormones. Turns out that normal vitamin D levels are necessary for the transport of thyroid hormone into the cell nucleus, which as you may recall from biology class is the control center of the cell.
We have an epidemic of low vitamin D levels, and the recommended daily amounts by national organizations (such as the National Osteoporosis Foundation) have been increasing almost annually. In my practice, I find that about 80% of my patients are low in vitamin D — an important regulator of mood, metabolism and breast cancer risk reduction. Based on the literature, the rate of low vitamin D is even higher in women with low thyroid function.
Ultimately, if your vitamin D is too low, your body may not be able to produce enough nor regulate thyroid hormones.
There are many causes of low vitamin D: use of sunblock, poor absorption, living in the San Francisco or similarly cloudy place, or a genetic predisposition to binding or utilizing vitamin D improperly. As we age, we need more sunlight on our skin to confer the same absorption of vitamin D as we needed when we were younger. Let’s see: do I prefer healthy thyroid function, strong bones, stable mood and prevention of breast cancer or do I prefer skin cancer? Fortunately, there’s an alternative to skin cancer – you can take vitamin D as a supplement.
Certain autoimmune conditions such as Graves’ disease are linking to problems with the vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) gene. Folks with Graves’ have far less vitamin D in their blood than healthy, euthyroid people. How the vitamin D-binding protein affects your risk of autoimmunity is unknown, but here’s what we do know: check your vitamin D, and keep it in the high normal range. Consider testing for the vitamin D-binding protein gene – I happen to have a problem with this gene and need 50-70% higher levels of vitamin D than a normal person for the same biological benefit in my body.
Written by, Dr. Sara Gottfried
Tags: Graves disease vitamin d, metabolism and reducing risk of breast cancer, regulating mood, To D or not to D written by dr sara gottfried, vitam d deficiency in thyroid patients, Vitamin D side effects