Selenium and Inositol for Hashimoto's

Risa Groux, CN
 | Published: 
November 9, 2020

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is one of the most prevalent autoimmune diseases. While autoimmunity can occur a few different ways, eventually the thyroid gland progressively becomes hypo-active due to cell-mediated and antibody autoimmune processes. 

Myo-inositol and selenium help restore normal thyroid function in Hashimoto's patients with subclinical hypothyroidism, according to a recent study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences .

Inositol is often used to support sleep, female hormone health, anxiety, and depression. In addition, it is a second messenger that regulates several hormones, such as TSH and insulin.

In this new random controlled trial, there were 168 patients ages 22 to 62 years. These patients had a TSH level between 3-6 mIU/L, elevated TPO, and/or thyroglobulin antibodies and normal free T4 and T3 levels. They were randomized into two groups and for six months, were given either 83 mcg of selenium or a combination of 600 mg of myo-inositol and 83 mcg of selenium.

The findings indicated a significant reduction in TSH levels in Hashimoto's patients with subclinical hypothyroidism and increases in thyroid hormone concentrations with myo-inositol combined with selenium. There was also a lower TPO antibody concentration in both groups, but only a reduction in thyroglobulin antibodies in the myo-inositol with selenium group. 

Because myo-inositol combined with selenium decreases TSH levels and raises T3 and T4 together, they may also provide indirect protection to cardiovascular complications as thyroid hormones regulate heart rate and metabolism. Reduced levels of free T3 and T4 can lead to low heart rate, higher blood pressure, and increased stiffness of the blood vessel walls.

In addition to assessing the nutrient status of the patient (e.g. antioxidant status, vitamin D, essential fatty acids), a multitude of other factors should be examined in regards to autoimmune disease. In functional medicine, integrative doctors work with environmental triggers in order to address the dysfunction. These can be food sensitivities that can trigger inflammation, food triggers, such as gluten, or anything coming in with the food such as toxins or molds. Gut health, including leaky gut and dysbiosis, is another important factor. There are also toxins that can affect the status of the immune system, such as heavy metals, as well as the total toxic burden in the body.

Just two Brazil nuts per day usually contains a sufficient amount of selenium for optimal thyroid function. Selenium, as well as other thyroid-boosting supplements, are also available in the office. 

Source: Nordio M Basciani S. Myo-inositol plus selenium supplementation restores euthyroid state in Hashimotos patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. 2017; 21 (2 Suppl): 51-59.

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