6 Important Nutrients for Thyroid Patients

vitamins supplements for thyroid disease

Which nutrients are especially important for thyroid patients?

Here is an overview of some key nutrients that you can get from food and/or supplements, and how they may benefit your thyroid health.

Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D are linked to autoimmune thyroid conditions. While most of us might benefit from a few minutes a day of sun exposure—to help boost the body's ability to produce vitamin D—many people do benefit from adding supplemental vitamin D.

One important tip about vitamin D: it's best absorbed if you take it with your fattiest meal of the day (usually dinner.)


Iodine is crucial to thyroid hormone production. It is iodine itself that is a raw material for the body to create thyroid hormone. So a deficiency in iodine can impair thyroid function as the body does not have enough raw materials to produce the necessary thyroid hormone. At the same time, excess iodine can also be problematic, contributing to goiter—thyroid enlargement—and potentially causing autoimmune thyroid disease to flare up and worsen.

If you are tested and shown to be deficient in iodine, experts recommend that you choose an iodine/iodide combination like Iodoral or Lugol's solution for best effectiveness. But keep in mind, simply taking iodine because you have a thyroid condition is controversial and may be counterproductive.


Low levels of the mineral selenium are linked with an increased risk of thyroid disease, ineffective T4 to T3 conversion, and are associated with an increased risk of autoimmune thyroid diseases.

Unless you are a fan of the selenium-rich Brazil nut, it's hard to get enough selenium, so you may want to supplement. Remember, however, that too much selenium can be toxic, and experts recommend no more than 400 mcg of selenium—from all sources, including vitamins, supplements, AND Brazil nuts—per day, for safety.


Zinc is one of the minerals that are required for production and processing of thyroid hormone. Low levels of zinc can be a trigger of hypothyroidism. You may be able to add more zinc to your diet http://nutrition.about.com/od/therapeuticnutrition1/ss/Dietary-Trace-Minerals-and-Where-to-Find-Them.htm - or you may want to supplement with this mineral.


Probiotics are foods and supplements rich in a good kind of bacteria that help you maintain a balance of your intestinal bacteria. The right probiotics can help enhance your immune system, improve digestion, combat diarrhea, and constipation, and fight infections.

With so many health benefits for thyroid patients, ensuring that we are getting a diet rich in probiotics—or supplementing with them when necessary—is a safe and healthy way to help your health.


Ferritin is a measurement of a stored precursor to your body's iron. (It is not the same as measuring iron.) Ferritin levels need to be adequate in order for cells to be able to properly absorb and process thyroid hormone.

If it's insufficient, the answer is adding iron to the diet in food or supplements.

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