What To Look For In A Quality Thyroid Supplement

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Last updated on August 11th, 2023 at 08:14 pm

Treatments for thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancer often require medications or supplements. Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones, whereas hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your body produces too much. Thyroid conditions are often treated with medications such as thyroid hormone replacement, surgery, and radiation for thyroid cancer.

While these medical interventions are important and necessary aspects of treatment, research has shown that other interventions, such as dietary changes and supplementation, may help treat some thyroid diseases. However, not all supplements are created equal, and it is important to understand what makes a quality thyroid supplement.

Anatomical model human thyroid gland

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ at the base of your neck. It releases various hormones that impact your metabolism. This is why the thyroid gland plays a large role in energy production and other vital bodily processes.

For example, hormones released from the thyroid play a role in breathing, heart rate, nervous system, weight loss and gain, muscle strength, menstrual cycles, body temperature, cholesterol levels, and more. It is no wonder that when the thyroid gland is not working properly, neither are you. So you need some thyroid supplements.

Your thyroid gland produces, stores, and releases two major hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The levels of T3 and T4 in your body must be in a complex balance for your bodily functions to be working properly. Both high and low thyroid hormone levels can negatively impact your health and functioning. Thus, hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) are serious problems. 

T3 and T4 are released from the thyroid gland into your bloodstream and travel to almost every cell in your body. T3 and T4 help control the speed of your metabolism, which is why hypothyroidism usually leads to weight gain, while hyperthyroidism leads to weight loss. In both events, your metabolic rate is not working properly.

Hypothyroidism can also cause trouble sleeping, fatigue, brain fog, dry skin and hair, depression, heavy menstrual periods, and joint and muscle pain. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism can lead to anxiety, irritability, hyperactivity, shaking, hair loss, and light menstrual periods. 

Thyroid hormone test

Nutrients For Thyroid

The thyroid requires certain nutrients to function optimally. These include:

1. Selenium

Selenium is a mineral that plays a role in thyroid hormone production and protects the gland from oxidative stress. Lack of selenium can lead to thyroid irregularities.

2. Iodine

Iodine is a thyroid supplement important for thyroid functioning, so much so that a lack of iodine causes thyroid disease. Iodine’s only known role in the body is to support thyroid hormone production. Both T3 and T4 contain iodine. 

3. Zinc

Zinc is another mineral needed for thyroid hormone production. Optimal concentrations of zinc are also required for healthy levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

4. Iron

Iron is needed to convert T4 into T3. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone, and if iron levels are low, thyroid dysfunction can result. 

Thyroid Supplements

A nutrient-dense diet filled with whole foods should be enough to maintain a healthy working thyroid for most people. If you are a healthy person who eats a healthy diet, there is likely no need to take a thyroid supplement. However, certain populations may benefit from a thyroid supplement, such as those pregnant, breastfeeding, or having thyroid conditions or other health issues. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement. 


Many people, especially women, use thyroid supplements for weight loss and energy. The United States widely uses dietary supplements that usually have little or no regulations. While some thyroid supplements may just be not effective for your thyroid health, others may be dangerous.

Many thyroid supplements contain the nutrients mentioned earlier and actual thyroid hormones. As discussed earlier, an increase in thyroid hormone can create severe problems in the body and even lead to hyperthyroidism. In one study, researchers looked at thyroid hormone content in 10 thyroid health supplements.

Five of the supplements disclosed that they contained thyroid hormone, but nine of the ten products contained T3, and five contained T4. Several of the supplements had high enough thyroid hormone content to elevate thyroid hormone in the blood and produce symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Too much T4 can lead to palpitations, atrial fibrillation, and blood pressure issues. T4 is the active element in prescription drugs prescribed to those with hypothyroidism.

Therefore, a quality thyroid supplement should support your thyroid function with only the nutrients listed earlier, and you should only be taking thyroid hormone if prescribed by your doctor. Those with thyroid disorders should talk to their doctor before starting a thyroid supplement, as each person’s condition comes with specific needs, and you need to ensure the supplement you are taking solves those needs. 

Supplementing For Your Condition

  • Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system attacks its cells. In Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland, which leads to fibrosis and scar tissue on the thyroid. Thus, the thyroid gland cannot produce enough amounts of thyroid hormone.

Those with Hashimoto’s disease are more likely to be lacking in certain nutrients. Along with diet and lifestyle changes, individuals with Hashimoto’s disease may benefit from supplementing with particular nutrients. These include selenium, Myo-inositol, zinc, vitamin B12, magnesium, iron, vitamin D, curcumin, and vitamin C. 

Hormone replacement therapy of thyroid

  • Grave’s Disease

Grave’s disease is also an autoimmune disorder and is the main cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. The immune system attacks your thyroid gland, leading to the overproduction of thyroid hormones and even an enlarged thyroid gland. Some research suggests that dietary changes and supplements can improve the symptoms of Grave’s disease. Potentially helpful supplements include selenium, vitamin D, L-carnitine, and vitamin B12. 


If you want to use a thyroid supplement, talk to your doctor first. Make sure you understand your condition and choose a supplement that contains the nutrients you may be lacking and one that does not contain thyroid hormone. Purchase supplements from trusted brands that test their products on their own. Many supplements can depend negatively on other medications, leading to dangerous side effects. This makes it even more important to consult your doctor before starting a new supplement. 

If you are interested in improving your health, taking supplements is one of the best things you can do. But taking the wrong supplements or even the right supplements at the wrong time or in the wrong way can prevent you from receiving optimal benefits. Here's our Guide to Dietary Supplements to help you!

Guide to Dietary Supplements

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