Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Thyroid, the Soil, and the Sea

Picked up a Rodale book at the Goodwill: Flip the Switch by Robert K. Cooper. He's collected a bookful of variables that can effect metabolism and help one develop strategies to "burn fat 24 hours a day" -- quite the goal!

The thyroid gland is covered in chapter 2, hormones. This got me thinking. I run into lots of hypothyroid individuals in my practice.

Herbalism 101 says treat with seaweed, that the iodine in kelp and dulse will nourish the thyroid gland. But I find that the seaweed doesn't work.

I think seaweed used to work back when people truly were iodine deficient. But I feel like people today (at least the ones I see) get ample amounts of iodine from the fortified salt in their sour cream & onion Lays. Something else is missing.

Bum thyroids today (I believe) are the result of stress: environmental, physical, and emotional. Like all endocrine disorders, to compensate with artificial hormone (even if that's a bioidentical hormone!) ignores the cause. How can diet and lifestyle be manipulated to prompt the body to do what it's wanted to do all along: behold, spontaneous healing!

Cooper writes that the mineral selenium is essential to the synthesis of T3, the thyroid's most active hormone. The selenium content of foods is dependent on the selenium content of the soil. We've heard for decades that the mineral content of our soil has been depleted through corporate farming practices. Could it be that depleted soil, coupled with stressful, coffee-slurpin' lifestyles are leading to bum thyroids? I'm willing to eat a few Brazil nuts and dig a little deeper.

Here's a link to the National Institutes of Health's Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet on Selenium, which includes a list of foods high in selenium:
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