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The importance of selenium and iodine to Hashimoto’s disease

Hashimoto’s disease is the name of chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis – an autoimmune disease in which the patient’s immune system attacks his own tissues. This leads to the destruction of the thyroid gland and disorders of its work, contributing to the abnormal production of hormones and the development of hypothyroidism. 

The occurrence of Hashimoto’s disease depends on genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Among the environmental factors such as infections, cytokine therapies, lithium salts and the use of certain drugs, there is also an excess of iodine and selenium deficiency. So what is the significance of these elements in the functioning of the immune system and the work of the thyroid gland? 

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The importance of selenium in Hashimoto’s disease 

Selenium deficiency may lead to abnormal immune cells. Selenium sources in the diet are meat, cereals, milk products and fish as well as Brazilian nuts. In the system selenium occurs in the form of selenocysteine ​​- an amino acid responsible for the enzymatic activity of selenoproteins. Selenoproteins protect thyroid cells from oxidative stress. Selenium participates in the production of selenoenzymes, which participate in the metabolism of thyroid hormones. This element is a powerful antioxidant that protects the thyroid against the harmful effects of oxidized forms of iodine. Therefore, selenium deficiency leads to damage to thyroid cells and decrease of thyroid hormone production. triiodothyronine. 

The importance of iodine in Hashimoto’s disease 

Iodine is a basic component that is part of the thyroid hormone. When thyroxine (thyroid hormone) breaks down, iodine (around 20%) is re-used in the thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency results in inadequate amount of hormones produced, which contributes to the emergence of thyroid gland. Iodine is an element that is widespread in nature especially in the vicinity of salty water clusters. The sources of iodine in the diet include sea fish, seafood, eggs, meat and meats, turnips, kohlrabi. Excess iodine has been recognized as an environmental factor that affects the development of Hashimoto’s disease. During the oxidation of iodine, free radicals are formed which, leading to oxidative stress, damage thyroid cells. Among people with Hashimoto’s disease, excess iodine and additional supplementation may accelerate the autoimmune course of the disease. Numerous studies indicate an increase in the incidence of Hashimoto’s disease in coastal states (Scandinavia, Great Britain) as well as in countries where the consumption of products rich in iodine is very high (Japan). 

Demand for selenium and iodine 

Selenium 

Demand for selenium according to Dietary Reference Intakes determined by the American National Academy of Sciences, Food and Nutrition Board. 

* 1 Recommended daily intake (RDA) – a value that satisfies the needs of more than 97.5% of the healthy population in each age group, both sexes. This value is estimated by statistical methods. 

* 2 Maximum level of intake (UL) – a value that does not cause harmful effects in healthy people, as stated in the studies under medical supervision. 

* 3 Recommended Daily Intake (AI) – the probable level of daily intake calculated from observations or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of intake of individual nutrients. The AI ​​value is given when it is not possible to estimate the RDA. 

As shown by the study, the amount of selenium intake in Poland is 40 μg and is the lowest in Europe. The optimal concentration of selenium in the blood serum is 100-120 μg, while the average serum concentration of selenium in Poland is 70 μg. 

Iodine 

The iodine demand according to the Dietary Reference Intakes determined by the American National Academy of Sciences, Food and Nutrition Board. 

* 1 Recommended daily intake (RDA) – a value that satisfies the needs of more than 97.5% of the healthy population in each age group, both sexes. This value is estimated by statistical methods. 

* 2 Maximum level of intake (UL) – a value that does not cause harmful effects in healthy people, as stated in the studies under medical supervision. 

* 3 Recommended Daily Intake (AI) – the probable level of daily intake calculated from observations or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of intake of individual nutrients. The AI ​​value is given when it is not possible to estimate the RDA. 

Excess iodine can be caused by too high intake of marine products (fish, seafood, sea algae). Among people with autoimmune diseases , iodine intake even at a safe dose for the entire population may result in negative symptoms. 

Appropriate concentration of selenium and iodine in blood serum can ensure proper immune response and improve thyroid gland function among people affected by Hashimoto’s disease. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the supply of selenium and iodine along with diet and dietary supplements. 

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You can read also: Selenium in thyroid diseases

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Hashimoto’s disease – what should I eat to relieve her symptoms?

If you have Hashimoto’s disease, it is worth switching to a diet rich in high quality proteins and fats, with lots of fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and other foods rich in nutrients. You should also eat three courses and two to three snacks a day to maintain energy levels throughout the day.

 

PROTEIN

It is recommended to eat about 20 grams of protein in each meal. You can also include fish in the diet because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. Whey protein is also a good source of protein. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, good sources of vegetable protein will be tempeh, spirulina, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flax or hemp.

HEALTHY FATS

Eat 4-6 tablespoons of good fats every day with avocados, nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin, chia and flax), organic butter, virgin olive oil, coconut milk and meat. Coconut is very good for the thyroid, thanks to the lauric acid contained in it, which has a soothing effect on the endocrine system.

FOOD ALREADY IN ANTIOXIDANTS

Concentrate on providing your body with rich antioxidant foods necessary to fight damage caused by free radicals. Put special emphasis on foods containing vitamin A, which is particularly useful. Other nutrients (which provide antioxidant properties), which are too few people suffering from Hashimoto, include vitamins C and E, iodine, zinc and selenium.

FOOD ALREADY VITAMIN A/ BETA-KAROTEN

Include such products in your menu as carrots, boiled liver, cod liver oil, eggs, Greek yoghurt, lightly cooked spinach, chard, winter pumpkin, red pepper, apricots and sweet potatoes.

FOODS RICH IN VITAMIN C

Red pepper, parsley, broccoli, citrus fruit, romaine lettuce.

FOODS RICH IN VITAMIN E

Beets, sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados.

FOOD ALSO RICH IN ZINC

Oysters, crabs, beef (organic), sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.

FOOD IN RICH IN SELENIUM

Brazil nuts, crimini mushrooms, cod, shrimp, halibut, alfalfa, oats, sunflower seeds, brown rice.

VEGETABLES

Eat at least 4 cups a day and choose a variety of colorful vegetables. Eat them lightly cooked or raw. Avoid eating vegetables from the brassica family because they inhibit the functioning of the thyroid. Brassicas include broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, etc.

CARBS

Eat fruit, grains and starchy vegetables. Eat 1/2 cup of fruit per day, plus 1/2 to 1 cup full of beans or starchy vegetables.

WATER

Drink at least 8 cups of clean, filtered water daily. Avoid chlorine and fluoride water that may interfere with normal thyroid function. Also remember that you should not buy water in plastic bottles!

 

What should be avoided if we have Hashimoto’s disease?

Some people have to be careful about gluten, but it is worth discussing this with a dietitian and not exclude gluten on their own. Among other products to be avoided, mention is made of soy, omega-6 fats, rapeseed oil and cruciferous vegetables – cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower important

Thyroid gland uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods, to produce thyroid hormones. However, people with Hashimoto’s disease or other types of autoimmune thyroid disorder may be susceptible to adverse iodine side effects. Eating foods that have large amounts of iodine, such as seaweed, can cause hypothyroidism. The use of iodine supplements may have the same effect.

Talk to your doctor about what products should be restricted or categorically avoided. Let him know if you take iodine supplements. In addition, share with him information about all cough syrups, because they may contain iodine.

Women need a little more iodine when they are pregnant, because the child receives iodine from the mother’s diet. However, too much iodine can cause problems, such as the goiter in infants. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about how much iodine you need.

The right diet is essential in the fight against Hashimoto’s disease. If you have doubts about what you should eat, consult a nutritionist who will help you determine your personal nutrition plan.