Hashimotos, Hypothyroid and Vitamin D

I read recently that 93% of patients with hashimotos thyroiditis are vitamin D deficient. Seems like the two go hand in hand, although I'm yet to work out whether hashimotos prevents you from absorbing vitamin D or whether being vitamin D deficient makes you prone to hashimotos. Someone should do some reserach on that.
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And by someone, I mean someone with money and a big lab and lots of patients, not a homeschooling mum with a sample base of about five friends.

In fact, various estimates from different clinics suggest that 94-98% of hypothyroid patients are vitamin D deficient. Yet another excellent reason why we all need lovely sunny holidays if we live in the UK...

But before you reach for the vitamin D suppplements, there is something you should know; Vitamin D supplementation dramatically reduces your ability to absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, E and K. :-(

So should you supplement?

A recent study (Vitamin D supplementation reduces thyroid peroxidase antibody levels in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease: An open-labeled randomized controlled trial) says yes!

"Vitamin D supplementation in AITD may have a beneficial effect on autoimmunity as evidence by significant reductions in TPO-Ab titers."

Their study improved hashimotos disease pretty dramatically. After 3 months of an equivalent daily supplementation of 8,500 IU Vitamin D3 and 1,250 mg of calcium carbonate daily, the median reduction of TPO-antibodies was 46.7 percent.

So, how can you recreate this yourself? I mean, ideally we'd all live in sunny climates, or take expensive holidays to hot places regularly, but if you can't...?

For a start you need some calcium carbonate (pretty easy to get hold of) and some vitamin D (make sure you get a high strength and it's labelled vitamin D3 (this is the kind your body makes and absorbs easily) rather than vitamin D2 (the kind produced by fungi, but not that easy for you to use)). I prefer the liquid to the capsules, because it absorbs through mucus membranes (eg under your tonuge) without the risk of it being damaged in the digestive tract by stomach acid etc... Also, if you do go for pills, get gel caps rather than the tablets. Several studies have shown the tablets have a poor bioavailability, probably due to them not dissolving fully in the digestive tract (if you have low thyroid function, remember that means you have less ability to digest this stuff).

I found some in my local health food store (pumpernickels if you live in Bedford) that has only three ingredients; vitamin D3, lemon essential oil and tangerine essential oil. That's great because I prefer not to eat vegetable oils, but I'm afraid I haven't found an online source of this brand yet. When I do, I'll be sure to post it here.

Part two is that you MUST also supplement vitamin A if you are supplementing vitamin D. Vitamin A is vital for the immune system and an important part of your body converting T3. Taking levothyroxine and finding you get worse, not better? That's a conversion issue, and no amount of T4 will improve the situation, you will continue to make reverse T3. Supplementing vitamin A may help.

Vitamin A is also known to calm the immune system and regulate T-cells which cause inflammation in hashimotos disease. Hashimoto's causes too many T Helper cells that produce and abundance of cytokines leading to the inflammation that damages your thyroid. Vitamin A allows you to produce more T Regulatory cells, which shut down the immune reaction and clean up the inflammation that has been caused. It's one of the reasons Vitamin A is so helpful for people with allergies and asthma.

There are some arguments about the best forms of vitamin A, I like retinol, but you are welcome to read more about that here. The easiest and simplest way to get it is in a cod liver oil supplement. We use Green Pastures fermented cold liver and high vitamin butter oil, because the added butter oil covers us for vitamin K2 as well.

Remember, just adding a few supplements won't be enough to reverse an autoimmune condition. You got here because something is wrong with your lifestyle, and long term you will need to make some changes.

Why not follow Restoration Health on facebook, where we post loads of articles to help you start making informed, healthy choices and take your next steps towards a healthier, happier, you.

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