How a Heart-Healthy Habit Could Make You Sick
Since the 1960’s, we’ve made some big gains against certain heart problems. But one of those gains may have backfired on us. It may now be putting your heart at greater risk.
You see, we’re putting a lot less salt on our food than we used to. And that’s great – since the average American has way too much sodium in their diet.
But it’s also not so great… because table salt is our main source of iodine. We’ve done such a good job cutting down on salt, our iodine levels are now just half what they were 30 years ago.1
You see, your body can’t make thyroid hormones without iodine. And thyroid hormones control your heart rate, body temperature, energy production and much more. Without enough iodine, your life functions literally go into slow motion.
You probably haven’t heard a lot about underactive thyroid. But it’s become remarkably common.
Harvard researchers say at least 12 million Americans have thyroid problems.2 And a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that more than 1 in 10 mature women have low thyroid activity.3
It’s easy to miss the warning signs of an underactive thyroid, too. Most are very common complaints. You may feel tired or sluggish… put on weight… develop rough, dry skin… suffer with constipation… or sensitivity to cold. You could easily write any – or all – of these off as “just getting older.”
Even many doctors miss the signs of underactive thyroid… because they seem so minor. And that could put your health at risk.
But adding more salt to your food isn’t a good answer.
If you eat processed foods – or restaurant food – you probably get too much salt in your diet already. But almost none of that salt is iodized. To be sure you’re getting enough iodine, you need another source.
One good choice is a Japanese seaweed called hiziki. Besides iodine, hiziki is high in fiber, vitamin B2, magnesium and calcium. And it’ll help you keep your sodium intake down – so you can still be good to your heart.
Of course, your thyroid needs more than just iodine. Here are three other great thyroid health boosters:
· Selenium. The process that converts the thyroid hormone T4 to the more active T3 form requires selenium.4, 5
· Zinc. In human studies, low levels of zinc are linked to decreased thyroid activity.6 other studies found that zinc supplements support healthier thyroid function in these cases.7
· Yellow Dock Root. This herb contains a substance called kaempferol. In lab tests, kaempferol promoted higher rates of T3 production. In fact, T3 production more than doubled with kaempferol.8
Your thyroid gland may be small, but it plays an important role in keeping you healthy. To keep this important gland is in top shape, be sure you’re getting the nutrition it needs.
Dr. Kenneth Woliner, M.D.
Best Life Herbals
1 See http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_100100.html.
2 See http://www.health.harvard.edu/special_health_reports/thyroid_disease.
3 Hak AE, et al. Subclinical hypothyroidism is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction in elderly women: the Rotterdam Study. Ann Intern Med. 2000 Feb 15;132(4):270-8.
4 Berry MJ, et al. Type I iodothyronine deiodinase is a selenocysteine-containing enzyme. Nature. 1991 Jan 31;349(6308):438-40.
5 Köhrle J. The deiodinase family: selenoenzymes regulating thyroid hormone availability and action. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2000 Dec;57(13-14):1853-63.
6 Wada L, King JC. Effect of low zinc intakes on basal metabolic rate, thyroid hormones and protein utilization in adult men. J Nutr. 1986 Jun;116(6):1045-53.
7 Licastro F, et al. Zinc affects the metabolism of thyroid hormones in children with Down’s syndrome: normalization of thyroid stimulating hormone and of reversal triiodothyronine plasmic levels by dietary zinc supplementation. Int J Neurosci. 1992 Jul-Aug;65(1-4):259-68.
8 da-Silva WS, et al. The small polyphenolic molecule kaempferol increases cellular energy expenditure and thyroid hormone activation. Diabetes. 2007 Mar;56(3):767-76.