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Re: Flax oil is *not* a goitrogen. Soy is!!

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Published: 15 years ago
This is a reply to # 50,427

Re: Flax oil is *not* a goitrogen. Soy is!!

Flaxseed is a cyanogenic goitrogen.

Foods to avoid

Just as taking medication can affect your health, so can the foods you eat, or in this case, don’t eat.

Do you consume alot of Soy products? Do you eat lots of raw veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower? Do you consume any breads containing millet? Have you jumped on the flaxseed bandwagon? Do you severely restrict your carbs?

If you do any of those things, you may want to reassess your diet. I am not saying start eating Sugar again, or stop eating veggies, however there are foods that definitely damage your thyroid health. Simply stopping Soy if you eat alot of it might be enough to turn your health around (the only exception to this is that fermented products like Soy sauce are OK because the fermentation process destroys the bad chemical compounds in Soy). Millet is especially bad, too--especially when cooked, and the others are bad to a lesser degree when eaten raw, but are ok if cooked thoroughly.

Here is a list of foods to avoid unless cooked thoroughly:

African cassava
babassu (a palm-tree coconut fruit popular in Brazil and Africa )
brussels sprouts
leafy green vegetables (turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens)
Legumes (beans and peas)
pine nuts
Processed meats
Cooking can destroy some of the goitrogens found in foods, a good thing, as many of the foods to be avoided raw are otherwise healthy and rich with antioxidants and phytonutrients. Roughly 1/3 of goitrogens are destroyed when foods are cooked. This means that these foods do not need to be avoided, but limited to approximately 1 or 2 cups per week.

And avoid entirely:

Soy in any form that isn't fermented
millet (actually WORSE when cooked)
Teas (green tea, black tea – high levels of fluoride suppress thyroid function)
Rapeseed, canola, flax, soybean, safflower, corn and other polyunsaturated fats/oils (PUFAs help contribute to a skewed EFA balance that can exacerbate inflammation, CVD risk and depression)
Flax and Thyroid

Flax oil, flaxseeds, and flax meal are not often mentioned on lists of goitrogen foods. One might assume that's because flax isn't as commonly ingested in North America as are other more common goitrogen foods such as cabbage family vegetables. Consumption levels of flax are changing, as the seed and oil become more aggressively marketed as an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have been proven to reduce cholesterollevels [common to thyroid sufferers], heart disease, and cancer.

Flaxseed is a cyanogenic goitrogen, which means it contains a substance that converts to thiocyanate in the body. Thiocyanate effectively blocks Iodine concentration by the thyroid gland and thus causes thyroid dysfunction.

Flax is also a rich source of lignan, a phytochemical which converts after digestion into a phytoestrogen-like substance. Phytoestrogens are known to suppress thyroid function.

Extreme Low Carb and Thyroid:

Very low consumption of carbs can negatively impact thyroid function. If you are severely restricting carbohydrates, your liver has to work overtime converting protein and glycogen into glucose, the liver is also where ketones are converted. This extra work means that the conversion of T4 into T3 is compromised.

Dieting (low carb dieting included) also reduces TSH, but NOT by increasing your thyroid hormones. TSH drops because your body is trying to slow metabolism. When TSH drops, T4 production by the thyroid gland slows down in response. T4 to T3 conversion, also compromised, further lowers your metabolism, and causes it to be harder to build muscle tissue. T3 is VITAL for protein synthesis such as building muscle tissue. If you can't build muscle tissue, it is harder to increase your metabolism.

You can also see how a lowered TSH would make life more difficult when you are trying to get that initial diagnosis.

What helps:

Selenium is VITAL for the production of the enzyme responsible for the conversion of T4 to T3. In addition, clinical trials have shown that supplementing with Selenium can help to lower the thyroid antibody counts, reducing symptoms that they cause, too. The maximum you would want to take is 200mcg a day – this is the total amount, so check your multi-vitamin and look at your diet for selenium rich foods, overdosing with selenium is possible.

Zinc (10 mg per day) is needed both before and after these production and conversion of T4 / T3 processes. Moreover, zinc is needed at the intracellular level to help the thyroid nuclear receptors attach and drive the reading of the DNA genetic code. Keep in mind that the main function of thyroid hormone is to help put the genetic code into action.

In addition to these minerals, vitamin D is necessary for thyroid hormone production in the pituitary gland, and possibly in the early stages of T-3 (thyronine) binding to its receptor. Vitamin E is part of the necessary supporting apparatus that enables the deiodinase enzyme to convert T-4 into T-3.

It now appears that the amount of vitamin D people need has been grossly under-estimated; experts recommend at least 800 IU of Vitamin D daily.

As well amount of vitamin E needed has likewise been undersold; recommend dose is 400-800 IU daily.


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