May vitamin D help with the thyroid gland
Do vitamin D and zinc help with thyroid disease?
Patients with thyroid diseases often read that an additional intake of individual vitamins or minerals should have a supposedly positive effect on diseases of the thyroid gland - usually with Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Graves' disease. Vitamin D and zinc are mentioned again and again in this context. However, so far there is no scientific evidence for this. But is there a link between a lack of vitamin D or zinc and thyroid disease?
Vitamin D and the thyroid
Vitamin D is known to be an important factor in bone metabolism, as it promotes calcium absorption in the intestine, among other things (1). Vitamin D also influences the regulation of the immune system and the growth and development of skin cells, for example (2). Some studies have observed that people with an inadequate supply of vitamin D have an increased rate of antibodies against thyroid peroxidase (TPO-AK), a central enzyme in thyroid metabolism. Likewise, decreased vitamin D values were measured in patients with an underactive thyroid due to Hashimoto's thyroiditis. So far, however, there is no evidence that a vitamin D deficiency triggers Hashimoto's thyroiditis (1). On the other hand, low vitamin D levels could also be a consequence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis (3). Furthermore, there is controversial debate in science about a possible connection between low vitamin D values in the blood or a vitamin D deficiency and the risk of thyroid cancer (4). A well-founded statement on this is currently not possible. In general, it can still make sense to compensate for a corresponding deficiency in vitamin D with the help of supplements, if necessary.
Zinc in Hashimoto's thyroiditis?
Zinc has numerous functions in the body. For example, it is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well as in cell division processes. But the trace element also plays an important role in regulating immune processes. Some hormones in the body are also dependent on zinc - but not the thyroid hormones. It is often said that people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis have low levels of zinc in their blood. However, it is not known whether this is more common than in the normal population. So far, there is no scientific study that has examined this well (1).
You might also be interested in:
- Feldkamp J. (2018) Living well with Hashimoto: The holistic self-help program. 1st edition, Trias Verlag, Stuttgart
- Bielsalski H.K., Grimm P. (2011) Pocket Atlas Nutrition. 5th edition, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart
- Botelho I.M.B. et al. (2018) Vitamin D in Hashimoto's thyroiditis and its relationship with thyroid function and inflammatory status. Endocr J, doi: 10.1507 / endocrij.EJ18-0166
- Zhao J. et al. (2018) Vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for thyroid cancer: A meta-analysis of case-control studies. Nutrition, 57: 5-11, doi: 10.1016 / j.nut.2018.04.015
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