Lowering Thyroid Antibodies Naturally Pt 3: My favorite supplements for reducing TPO antibodies
In this multi part series, I will be outlining and discussing what thyroid antibodies are, why you should care about them and how to naturally lower them in your body- allowing your thyroid gland to function more optimally! If you want to know more about thyroid antibodies, why they develop and 7 common triggers that can cause the development and perpetuation of the antibody attack on the thyroid gland read my post here. To learn more about how food can help to lower thyroid antibodies, read this post I wrote.
Now, on to the supplements…
There are many different supplements that may be helpful in reducing the antibody attack on the thyroid gland. However, in this post I will outline the top 3 supplements that I have used with myself and with my patients to help to reduce TPO antibodies.
Before I dive into my favorite supplements, I want to be clear that not all supplements are created equal. When choosing supplements, it is best to select from a reputable company that commonly 3rd party tests their supplements for quality and purity. Over the years, some cheaper supplements on the market have been found to contain contaminants such as heavy metals. Plus, it is always best to check with your health care provider to see if supplements are right for you. Especially when it comes to treating the thyroid gland as I have seen many patients over the years require thyroid medication changes due to the addition of natural supplements- it is always best to make sure you are monitoring your thyroid blood levels (typically every 4-6 weeks) when you introduce something new into your routine to improve and modify the thyroid function.
So without further ado…
My Top 3 Supplements to reduce Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Antibodies
This mineral is commonly found in the soil and in higher concentrations in certain foods like Brazil nuts. Recent studies have found that when individuals with Hashimotos took a daily selenium supplement, it helped to lower their antibodies. Other studies have found that pregnant woman who used selenium supplements throughout pregnancy were less likely to develop autoimmune thyroid disease post partum.
Selenium supplements are typically dosed at 200ucg per day. However, selenium toxicity can can result when high armounts of selenium are taken long term. Typically, toxicity is seen when people are taking a dosage of selenium greater than 400ucg daily for a long period of time combined with a diet high in selenium.
Although selenium taken alone can reduce antibodies, it appears that a combination of selenium plus myo-inositol is even better! Inositol, a naturally occurring substance found in food and plants has been used in complementary medicine for many reasons such as reducing blood sugar levels and also helping to improve anxiety.
New research has found that individuals with Hashimoto’s that took 600mg of myo-inositol daily with 83ucg of selenium had significant reductions in TPO antibodies, Tg antibodies and TSH levels after 6 months. These individuals also reported that their symptoms had improve over this time period.
3. Fish Oils (Omega 3 Fatty Acids)
Fish oils have been prized for their anti-inflammatory effects and have been shown to reduce symptoms and inflammation in numerous autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Crohn’s disease. Although there have been no specific studies looking at how fish oils could reduce thyroid antibodies, we do have research showing that woman who consumed fish oils in pregnancy had lowered thyroid antibodies compared to those who did not. I have seen the benefits of incorporating these healthy oils into the diet first hand in practice- and it’s not just limited to reducing inflammatory markers such as thyroid antibodies. Many people notice that their skin improves while taking fish oils, as well as an improvement in mental well-being. It is important that you choose a fish oil that has come from small, cold water fatty fish such as sardines and anchovies. These fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids and low in heavy metals. It is also better for the oceans to choose these fish as they are plentiful and reproduce easily. Additionally, you will need to look for a fish oil that has a balanced EPA:DHA ratio or an oil that is slightly higher in EPA (so a 2:1 or 3:1 EPA:DHA ratio). Although both EPA and DHA have beneficial properties, the EPA is specifically beneficial to reduce inflammation. Dosage of fish oil typically starts at 1000mg a day, however I have found that the reduction of inflammation is more profound with a slightly higher dose of 2000mg or more a day. Fish oils are also best taken with food to help the digestion and metabolism of the oil.