With an estimated 30 million Americans having some form of thyroid disease, solutions are necessary as impaired thyroid function can lead to other chronic diseases if not treated. Because the thyroid is a hormone-producing gland that regulates the body’s metabolism, it also affects critical body functions.
Keep in mind, the rate at which your body produces energy from oxygen and nutrients can alter the way your heart, brain, muscles, liver, and other body parts work. If they work too fast or slow, you won’t feel well. Therefore, therapy is essential if you want to feel your best.
An important but neglected vitamin for healthy thyroid function
Numerous studies have confirmed the presence of excess oxidative stress and a deteriorated antioxidant defense system in thyroid conditions. In fact, a large experimental study published in the BMC Endocrine Disorders journal reported that all subjects with benign or malignant thyroid disease had low levels of antioxidants, particularly with selenium, zinc, and vitamin C.
While low levels of selenium and zinc were not found in all subjects, low levels of vitamin C were. This confirms an association with vitamin C deficiency and thyroid function. One reason why vitamin C may be deficient in all people with thyroid conditions could be a result of adrenal fatigue.
Physical, mental, and emotional stress takes its toll on the adrenal gland
The adrenal gland contains the highest concentration of vitamin C in the body. In fact, the vitamin plays a crucial role in both the adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla which are responsible for responding to stress.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin C secretion is part of the body’s stress response. Excessive stress, along with the body’s insufficient intake of the vitamin, can create a deficiency that leads to adrenal stress.
Countless studies show chronic adrenal stress disrupts the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Because thyroid hormone is directed by the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands, anything that disrupts the HPA axis will affect thyroid function.
With studies proving that vitamin C deficiency is a problem for all people who have a thyroid condition, it’s possible that adrenal fatigue could be the cause. Therefore, it’s imperative to include foods and/or supplements containing vitamin C, especially with extreme or ongoing stress.
How does vitamin C boost thyroid medication delivery
Many people who have been diagnosed with a form of thyroid disease often adopt pharmaceutical medication to regulate their thyroid. However, many patients still exhibit symptoms which indicate the medication may not fully work towards thyroid homeostasis. However, studies are showing that natural antioxidant therapy – such as with vitamin C – can reverse thyroid damage and even help those who don’t see improvement with their prescription medication.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism recently studied the effects of vitamin C on the absorption of a synthetic T4 hormone with 31 patients who either had autoimmune thyroiditis or idiopathic hypothyroidism. Prior to the study, all patients were not in good control when taking the synthetic T4. Serum concentrations of T3, T4, and TSH were measured at particular intervals after vitamin C therapy.
All three concentrations were improved while taking vitamin C. TSH decreased in all patients and normalized in nearly 55 percent of them. T4 was higher with 30 of the 31 patients, and T3 was increased with all patients tested. These findings are significant in the role of vitamin C and thyroid function.
Improving thyroid function with vitamin C
Every day is a challenge when it comes to protecting our bodies from damaging chemicals in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. As presented, vitamin C has proven to help prevent adverse effects to health by optimizing thyroid function.
If you suspect or have a thyroid condition, you may want to consider taking a vitamin C supplement. One of the leading experts on treating thyroid disease, the late Dr. John C. Lowe, recommended the highest doses of vitamin C to bowel tolerance for four weeks as therapy.
The supplement should be taken in divided doses throughout the day. Larger amounts taken are less absorbed into the blood. Therefore, you may want to consider 250 to 2,000 milligrams at one time. Absorption rate is 80 to 50 percent respectively.
Dr. Lowe’s requirement for Vitamin C ranges from 8,500 to 20,000 milligrams per day during stressful times and 2,300 to 10,000 milligrams per day for optimal health.
Editor’s note: If you’re looking to learn more about vitamin C – check out our section called, “Vitamin C Benefits” – and, in particular, take a look at “Reversing disease with the multi-C protocol” by Thomas Levy, MD, JD – a featured NaturalHealth365 contributor.
About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.
Lowe, J.C. & Honeyman-Lowe, G. (2003). Your Guide to Metabolic Health. Boulder, Colorado: McDowell Health-Science Books, LLC.