Thyroid – Master and Commander
Fact: Millions of people trying to lose weight are horrified to see their bathroom scales inching uncontrollably upwards. And these numbers increase every single year. Making matters worse, many of these same people are shocked to find their energy levels slipping inexorably downwards.
'I guess I’ve just got a slow metabolism...'
'You can’t get as much done when you start getting older...'
'Why am I always so cold?'
Sound a little too familiar? What if there was a safe and natural way to energize your metabolism and keep it operating at its youthful, maximum efficiency? While it is true that metabolism slows somewhat with age, its not inevitable that every one of us is destined to end up with more weight to move around and less energy to get there. There are people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond with all the vibrant energy they need. There are people who end every day with a list of important accomplishments completed. So what’s their secret? It may well be a healthy, fully functioning thyroid.
The human thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck that wraps around the trachea. One of its primary responsibilities is to produce the two critical hormones we need to keep our metabolism efficient. In fact, these thyroid hormones are indispensable for our bodies to convert calories into energy -- and that’s the crux of metabolism. These two hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, or T3 and T4 respectively, are produced in the thyroid when the iodine in our system teams up with the amino acid L-tyrosine.
Sounds simple, right? Think again. Human metabolism is a highly intricate process that can be adversely affected by a wealth of variables. One important variable that we can control, is the nutrient mix our thyroid keeps on hand to operate. In order for metabolism to occur with any respectable level of effectiveness, the body must have a full supply of thyroid supporting nutrients on hand at all times. If you aren’t willing to deliver the nutrients it needs to function properly, chances are, it won’t be willing to keep your metabolism fired up and your energy resources fully charged.
Don’t despair. There is good news. Encouraging and maintaining healthy thyroid function may be easier than you might imagine. This master gland of metabolism is often very responsive to the right combination of thyroid supporting nutrients. Yes, a healthy diet can promote a healthy thyroid, but some of the nutrients that are especially helpful in supporting healthy thyroid function are not likely to be found in your local market. That is, unless you happen to be shopping in India or Ireland. The following are some of the best nutrients for supporting a healthy, energized thyroid.
This amino acid plays an essential role in the production of thyroid hormones, in addition to hormones that affect mood including epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. And while our body can naturally produce some Tyrosine from other amino acids, as we age, our bodies may not be able to keep up with the needs of a demanding thyroid. During metabolism, tyrosine joins forces with iodine in order to produce the thyroid hormones needed to efficiently convert (metabolize) the calories from our diet into expendable energy. A weak reserve of tyrosine can leave us feeling sluggish. As a result, our body reacts by storing more calories as fat for energy.
Another key player in the metabolism game. Without it, metabolism simply can not take place. The thyroid is the only gland in the human body capable of absorbing this trace element. Typically found in shellfish and iodized salts, iodine is stored in the thyroid gland until needed for the production of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine. When combined with L-tyrosine and other nutrients these two work synergistically to produce T3 and T4 thyroid hormone. Moreover, iodine deficiencies have been linked to the formation of goiters, decreased energy and the lack of concentration.
A natural vegetarian source of many thyroid-supporting nutrients, including iodine, a key component in healthy metabolism. Irish moss has been consumed for thousands of years, and many herbalists encourage its use to contribute to sound glandular health.
This naturally occurring trace mineral is well known for its strong antioxidant properties and natural synergism with other vitamins. Supplementing with selenium is essential for anyone concerned with sluggish thyroid performance.
Technically known as Guggulsterone, the Guggul tree is native to India, and emits a resinous sap that has been used for centuries as part of India’s traditional medicine known as Ayurveda. Studies have shown that the purified plant sterol extract from Guggulsterone can promote healthy thyroid function, and assist the body in maintaining normal production of thyroxine and triiodothyronine.
Simply put, the thyroid gland relies heavily on a host supporting nutrients to produce the hormones needed to ensure that metabolism goes off without a hitch. Without these vital nutrients, our ability to metabolize food may slow down. Thyroid Energy from NOW delivers all of these nutrients in one, easy to take formula.
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Antonio J, Colker CM, Torina GC, et al. Effects of a standardized guggulsterone phosphate supplement on body composition in overweight adults: a pilot study. Curr Ther Res.
Health Disclaimer. Content provided by NOW Foods. Copyright ©2006-2023. Published with permission. Jayson Kroner is a health and fitness journalist, a certified sports nutritionist, and co-author of the book '7-Syndrome Healing'.