Good for the Girls, Good for Thyroid
Have you noticed that “nutritional extra credit” for getting your thyroid hummin’ also applies to breast health?
- Iodine. Crucial adaptogen* for you to make active thyroid hormone out of inactive thyroid hormone (T4). Most of us are low in iodine for various reasons: in 1940, we Americans consumed an average 650+ micrograms of iodine, now we’re in the low 100s. One reason: Bread. Or crack, as I like to call it. Most bread contains bromine (Thanks to Helayne Waldman for teaching me about this). Bromine drives iodine out of your body. In the 1960s, bread contained 150 micrograms of iodine, but now that’s been replaced by bromine. You can also displace iodine by using a hot tub that contains chloride or bromide. Chloride, bromide and fluoride all lower your iodine levels. Iodine has been shown to concentrate in breast tissues, and low iodine increases your production of estrogens. Lifetime increased exposure to estrogen is also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. As an important side note, radioactive iodine has also been shown to contribute to breast cancer risk. Consuming iodine blocks absorption of radioactive iodine. Consider checking your level or iodine or regularly consume seaweed or sea vegetables.
- Vitamin D. I know you saw my post two weeks ago about how you must be flush with Vitamin D to drive thyroid hormone into the nucleus of your cells where the action is (DNA action, and the making of protein messages such as: “speed up metabolism!” or “make that hair stop falling out!”). Big surprise: Vitamin D has been shown to reduce your risk of breast cancer (this data is from observational studies, and a Vitamin D level of 52-100 was shown to be associated with lower breast cancer risk).
- Phatty fats. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that dietary fats modulate inflammation. Bad players are industrial seed oils (corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, etc). Good are Omega 3s: fish oil, walnut oil, flax oil. Coconut oil is also great for both your thyroid and reducing inflammation, and is ideal for medium-to-high heat cooking, while olive oil is a great choice for room temperature (vinaigrette) or low/medium heat cooking.
- The Usual Suspects: Environmental Toxins. Many of the same environmental toxins that muck with your thyroid function (flame retardants, bis-phenol A, petroleum byproducts) also harm your estrogen function.
Now there is an exception, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it – cruciferous vegetables. They act like goitrogens. There’s some debate whether they harm the thyroid when cooked or not. More on this next time.
We are offering a Webinar-based Cleanse to address these issues: a 21-day Hormone-balancing Cleanse beginning March 24, 2011. Go to this link for more details.
*Adaptogens are substances, taken externally, that have been shown over the past 2000 years to regulate various body functions. For instance, Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb has been shown to adapt cortisol – it helps to keep your cortisol from increasing too high or falling too low. Iodine is more than a mineral – it is emerging as an important adaptogen.
Industrial seed oils (corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, sunflower, etc
Written by: Dr. Sara Gottfried
Tags: breasts and thyroid, environmental toxins, free webinar 21 day hormone balancing cleanse begins march 24, good for the girls good for your thyroid, iodine, phatty fats, thyroid OB/GYN, vitamin d, women and thyroid, written by Dr. Sara Gottfried