Fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, aching joints, low mood and forgetfulness are often dismissed as ‘age-related’ changes we must learn to live with. But, for a surprisingly large number of people, these symptoms are triggered by an underactive thyroid gland… a problem your doctor could easily overlook.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ located just below the Adam’s apple in your neck. It produces hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism by controlling the rate at which cells convert oxygen and food calories to energy. One in 20 people in the UK suffer from a thyroid disorder, according to the British Thyroid Foundation, and in most cases, that means an underactive thyroid.
If your doctor suspects you may have this condition and orders a blood test, it could still come back as ‘normal’, even if the situation is anything but. Subclinical hypothyroidism – thyroid underactivity that doesn’t show up in a routine blood test – is estimated to affect a staggering one in 10 women over the age of 55.1 And it doesn’t just cause annoying, minor symptoms. Subclinical hypothyroidism could increase your chances of developing heart disease, cognitive decline, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.2
Conventional treatment for an underactive thyroid is with a hormone replacement drug called levothyroxine. While this medication is intended to replace an under-produced thyroid hormone, it comes with several nasty side effects, the most common of which is hair loss. The drug can also cause headaches, dizziness, sweating, chest pains, muscle cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting, especially at the start of treatment.
Viridian Thyroid Complex – a natural alternative, which gently restores the body’s normal balance of thyroid hormones, while avoiding unwanted side effects – could be a far better option for sufferers of an underactive thyroid gland. The formula contains iodine, selenium, zinc, vitamin A and olive leaf extract, all of which contribute to normal thyroid function. It also includes vitamins B1, B2 and B3, which help to reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Iodine, selenium and zinc: a terrific mineral trio for thyroid health
Your thyroid gland needs iodine to manufacture two important hormones, called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Yet, iodine intake from the diet is surprisingly low in the UK and other European countries – a survey in 2014 concluded that ‘a significant part of the population in Europe is mildly deficient in iodine’ – a fact that may contribute to the growing incidence of subclinical hypothyroidism.3
That said, the interaction between nutrients and hormones is complex, and insufficient iodine in the diet has also been linked with excess production of thyroid hormones, called hyperthyroidism.4 This condition can cause nervousness, insomnia, mood swings, constant fatigue, heart palpitations and an itchy rash. Correcting your iodine intake could help to balance thyroid hormone production, so avoiding the effects of having too little or too much.
After iodine, selenium is probably the next most important mineral affecting thyroid function – your thyroid contains more selenium than any other organ in your body. Selenium is a necessary component of enzymes that convert T4 into T3, the active form that regulates body metabolism. Without sufficient selenium, this activation can’t happen, resulting in symptoms of low thyroid function.
Animal studies have shown that low selenium status makes the effects of iodine deficiency much more severe.5 In humans, advancing age is linked with reductions in both selenium status and thyroid function. In a study carried out at the University of Verona, Italy, elderly people who were given a selenium supplement showed significant improvements in their levels of thyroid hormones.6
Zinc is another mineral you need for both the manufacture and the mode of action of thyroid hormones. When researchers screened 200 patients for thyroid disease, they found that zinc status was closely tied to levels of free T3 in the blood.7 So, a good intake of zinc goes hand-in-hand with iodine and selenium to boost thyroid activity. Thyroid Complex contains all three of these vital minerals at clinically proven dosages.
The remaining ingredients in the formula could help balance thyroid hormones
Vitamin A is important for thyroid health, as it helps to regulate thyroid hormone metabolism. Vitamin A deficiency has been found to aggravate thyroid dysfunction caused by iodine-deficient diets.8
In one double-blind clinical trial, researchers gave healthy women either 25,000 IU of vitamin A per day, or a placebo, for four months. They found those taking vitamin A had significant increases in T3 and another hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The researchers concluded that vitamin A supplementation could reduce the risk of subclinical hypothyroidism.9
The fifth active ingredient in Thyroid Complex is olive leaf extract. The incredible natural compounds present in olive leaves have already been found to reduce the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. And it seems they could help to balance thyroid hormones, too.
In an animal study, scientists fed an olive leaf extract to rats for 14 days and measured their blood levels of thyroid hormones. Olive leaf had a significant effect on the thyroid, stimulating a strong increase in T3, and a smaller increase in T4. These results show olive leaf has a direct action on the thyroid gland and may help to balance thyroid hormones in people suffering from thyroid dysfunction.10
Thyroid Complex also contains vitamins B1, B2 and B3, which can help to fight fatigue, one of the commonest symptoms of an underactive thyroid. These vitamins act as essential co-factors in the production of energy within every cell of your body. So, you can expect to feel less tired almost from day one, while Thyroid Complex works to correct the underlying nutritional causes of low thyroid activity.
What to take for best results
The recommended dosage of Viridian Thyroid Complex is one capsule daily, taken with food.
Contraindications: You should consult your doctor before taking this product if you’re taking medication for a thyroid problem or any other medical condition, or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Disclaimer: This article is part of the Agora Health's extensive research archive. The research and information contained in this article was accurate at the the time of publication but may have been updated since the date of publication. Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly The Journal of Natural Health Solutions issue in which this article appears.
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