If your thyroid is low, consider talking to your doctor about a zinc and iron connection. Taking zinc supplements can help improve thyroid function; and conversely, iron deficiency impairs thyroid metabolism,research indicates.
There appears to be a link between low iron levels and low thyroid hormone.
A recent case study explored the role of zinc by giving each of two physically active college women about 25 mg per day of zinc.
After four months, the women were no longer zinc-deficient. As well, zinc supplementation appeared to have a favourable effect on thyroid hormone levels, especially total T3; and resting metabolic rate, the researchers found. T3, the most powerful thyroid hormone, affects almost every process in the body, including body temperature, growth, and heart rate.
An unrelated Iranian study examined thyroid status in relation to low iron levels, building on extensive human and animal data indicating that iron deficiency impairs thyroid metabolism. Having collected urine and blood samples from about 100 iron-deficient adolescent girls,researchers found a significant correlation between T4 and ferritin,and between TSH and ferritin.
T4 is a thyroid hormone that helps regulate growth and control the metabolic rate, or rate of chemical reactions in the body. TSH, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, stimulates the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones. Ferritin is an iron-carrying protein considered to be a more accurate measure of long term body iron status than the blood iron level, which varies with diet.
The study’s total findings indicate that the degree of iron deficiency may affect thyroid hormone status in iron-deficient adolescent girls.
Sources: Ann NutrMetab. 2007;51(2):188-94 Epub 2007 May 30; Asia PacJ Clin Nutr. 2006;15(1):50-5