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The Microbiome -Thyroid Link

Problems with the thyroid include a variety of disorders that can result in the gland producing too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) or too much (hyperthyroidism). Thyroid disorders can affect heart rate, mood, energy level, metabolism, bone health, pregnancy and many other functions.

The gut microbiota may modulate thyroid function by influencing the uptake of thyroid-relevant micronutrients. Hypothyroidism, which is a hormonal imbalance caused by reduced functioning of the thyroid gland and an inadequate production of thyroid hormones, is a prevalent global ailment . Worldwide, environmental iodine deficiency is the predominant factor causing thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism, while autoimmune thyroiditis is the main cause of primary hypothyroidism in areas with adequate iodine levels . Hypothyroidism typically has a gradual onset and can initially be difficult to diagnose due to its vague and nonspecific symptoms.

The thyroid gland is a vital component of the endocrine system, producing hormones essential for growth, development, and metabolism. The relationship between the microbiome and thyroid function is increasingly being recognized as an important factor in overall health. The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria, with the composition of the microbiota influenced by various factors from birth onwards, including diet, antibiotics, genetics, and environment.

Research has shown that dysbiosis, or an imbalance in the gut microbiota, is commonly associated with thyroid disorders. Dysbiosis can impact the immune response, inflammation, and intestinal permeability, all of which can affect thyroid hormone levels. Additionally, the gut microbiota plays a role in the absorption of essential minerals such as iodine, selenium, zinc, and iron, all of which are crucial for thyroid function. Poor gut health may impair thyroid function and poor thyroid function can contribute to inflammation and ‘leaky gut’

Probiotics, beneficial bacteria that can help restore and maintain a healthy balance in the gut microbiota, have shown promise in improving thyroid health. Probiotics have been found to positively impact trace elements important for thyroid function, such as selenium, zinc, and copper. They may also help stabilize thyroid hormone levels, potentially reducing the need for medication in some cases.

There is an association between Gut dysbiosis and thyroid disease which shows altered gut microbiota . Several studies have found that hypothyroid patients have altered gut microbiota composition compared to healthy individuals. These changes include: Reduced bacterial diversity and richness. Lower levels of “healthy” bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Increased levels of opportunistic pathogens like Proteobacteria and Fusobacteria

Nutrition in Thyroid Disfunction

Nutrients play a crucial role in thyroid health, though there are no specific foods that can treat hypothyroidism. Iodine, selenium, zinc, iron, and magnesium are all essential for thyroid function.

In Hypothyroidism we can pay attention on the following nutrients: Iodine is important for thyroid function, with good sources including cod, haddock, oysters, yogurt, and eggs. Iron is necessary for making thyroid hormones, and can be found in foods like red meat, poultry, and beans. Selenium is crucial for thyroid hormones and can be obtained from Brazil nuts, seafood, and poultry. Zinc also plays a role in regulating thyroid hormones, with sources including beef, poultry, and lentils. Magnesium may be involved in iodine absorption, and can be found in foods like pumpkin seeds, almonds, and leafy greens. A healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is important for overall health. If you have hypothyroidism, you should limit soy and large amounts of cruciferous vegetables, as they may interfere with thyroid hormone production. Eating moderate amounts of millet and alcohol is unlikely to be harmful, but it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

In Hyperthyroidism we can pay attention on the following nutrients: Iodine, which the thyroid gland uses to produce thyroid hormone. Too much iodine in the diet can increase the production of thyroid hormone. Calcium and vitamin D are vital because hyperthyroidism can cause problems with bone mineral density. Foods and drinks containing caffeine can worsenTrusted Source the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Eating with medication . Many people with hypothyroidism take levothyroxine.The researchers also found limited evidence to suggest that some foods may interact with how well your medication works.

In conclusion, the microbiome plays a significant role in thyroid health, influencing immune responses, inflammation, and nutrient absorption. A  study demonstrated that Akkermansia might act as a protective factor against hypothyroidismProbiotics have shown promise in supporting thyroid function and may offer a natural, adjunctive treatment option for thyroid disorders. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms at play and develop targeted therapies for individuals with thyroid conditions.

My Thoughts:

Recent research suggests that the gut microbiota plays a crucial role in the development of thyroid disorders. A well-rounded dietary plan and a regimen of micronutrient supplements, including minerals and vitamins, are essential for effectively managing this condition. Additionally, probiotics can play a significant role in treating thyroid disorders as a secondary treatment phase. Specifically, the gut microbiota influences thyroid function by impacting the absorption of key micronutrients necessary for optimal thyroid health.

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