Coconut Oil and Underactive Thyroid

In America over 30 million people suffer from a malfunctioning thyroid. Some endocrinologists have estimated that more than 40% of the population has some level of thyroid disfunction: hypothyroidism. This means there could be as many as a third of women over 35 may be suffering from thyroid problems.

Integrative medicine specialist Robin Miller, MD, co-author of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife and Beyond, says that women are 10 times more likely as men to have a problem with their thyroid.  Reference The Coconut & Thyroid Connection

Thyroid hormones are necessary for normal health and cellular activity. 

If thyroid function is not normal, weight loss is next to impossible.  Some symptoms of an underactive thyroid are:

  • exhaustion,
  • have memory lapses,
  • thinning hair,
  • body aches,
  • irritability,
  • depression,
  • sleep problems,
  • low sex drive,
  • constipation, and/or
  • weight gain

What is the Thyroid?

  1. a large ductless gland in the neck that secretes hormones regulating growth and development through the rate of metabolism. 
  2. An extract prepared from the thyroid gland of animals and used in treating deficiency of thyroid hormones.
  3. a large cartilage of the larynx, a projection of which forms the Adam's apple in humans.

Why Thyroid Medications Don’t Work

Simply taking a hormone replacement medication without addressing the underlying problem will not result in better health. Medication is just a stop-gap measure. Because hypothyroidism is the cause of a decrease in thyroid hormone, it's not simply replacing the hormone… The underlying cause MUST be addressed.

Even the best thyroid treatment may not work if underlying adrenal and hormonal problems are not dealt with effectively. If your doctor is not looking at your adrenal and hormonal situation, then an important part of your health is being overlooked.

In autoimmune disease the body attacks itself. It does this the same way it attacks foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses: with T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells, and cytotoxic T cells. The immune response also involves proteins called cytokines, chemical messengers that pass messages between cells. Reference: Get Off Your Thyroid Medication…

Even if your doctor has you on the best thyroid treatment, it may not work if the underlying adrenal and hormonal problems are not also addressed.

In autoimmune disease the body attacks itself. It does this the same way it attacks foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses: with T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells, and cytotoxic T cells. The immune response also involves proteins called cytokines, chemical messengers that pass messages between cells. Reference: Get off your thyroid medication

David Frahm, N.D. says, "instead of feeding the thyroid and bringing it back into full function in the body, they’re [medications] simply by-passing it." Reference: How to Help Your Thyroid with Virgin Coconut Oil

The two root causes of hypothyroidism are immunity and inflammation. Each must be corrected to restore balance and a healthy body.

Causes of a Sluggish Thyroid

These possible causes include:

  • MSG and bad fatty acids, so common in our diet, can weaken your thyroid.
  • A deficiency of iodine is on the rise, and without enough iodine, your thyroid won’t produce the hormones you need.
  • As you age, your risk of an unbalanced thyroid dramatically increases.
  • Popular prescription drugs for your heart, bones and blood sugar can lead to a sluggish thyroid.
  • Exposure to too much fluoride or chlorine in drinking water can interfere with normal thyroid function.
  • Menopause or pregnancy and treatments such as Estrogen Replacement Therapy can throw the thyroid out of whack.
  • A family history of thyroid concerns may cause thyroid dysfunction.
  • Autoimmune health problems can cause your thyroid to go haywire.

References: Wellness Mama: Thyroid Problems & Coconut Oil, Get Off Your Thyroid Medication

Feed Your Thyroid Coconut Oil

For years, people thought coconut oil was a bad fat. In fact, it is a really, really good for you. Today, coconut oil, extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts, is considered one of the healthiest foods,

Don't let the fact that it contains 90 percent saturated fat scare you off because coconut oil is actually a healthy saturated fat! For well over 60 years, the common consensus has been that ALL saturated fats are bad for the body. However, clinical research and reviews of cultures that have used coconut oil for thousands of years come to a different conclusion — healthy saturated fat can be highly beneficial for your body.

Research has demonstrated that the naturally occurring saturated fat found in virgin coconut oil has some remarkable therapeutic qualities, such as:

  • Promoting heart health
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Providing immediate energy
  • Promoting healthy skin
  • Helping to regulate blood sugar
  • Boosting metabolism
  • Promoting weight loss

The 3 Fatty Acids Your Thyroid Craves

The unique medium chain fatty acids/triglycerides (MCTs) in virgin coconut oil is what makes it so much different than all other oils. These medium-chain saturated fats give coconut oil the ability to help the body self-regulate.

Fatty acids, such as lauric acid that is found in a mother’s breast milk, are very small and are easily consumed by the mitochondria of cells. Because of this quick absorbtion it creates immediate energy for the body. Lauric acid is the most prevalent MCT found in virgin coconut oil. Mary Enig Ph.D says the following about lauric acid:

Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria, including listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid.1

Lauric acid is also prominent in the saturated fat of human breast milk, giving vital immune building properties to a child's first stage of life. Outside of human breast milk, nature's most abundant source of lauric acid is coconut oil. Reference: Coconut Diet

Lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, which is a potent antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal substance. Because monolaurin is a monoglyceride, it can destroy lipid-coated viruses including measles, influenza, HIV, herpes and a number of pathogenic bacteria.  See more about this topic at: TouroInstitute.com

Another fatty acid contained in virgin coconut oil is caprylic acid which is also found in breast milk. Also known as "octanoic acid", this saturated fatty acid also has a number of health enhancing abilities such as the ability to treat yeast-like fungus in the intestines. Though there are very small amounts of capric acid in goat and cow milk, there is a lot of it in tropical oils like coconut oil and palm kernel oil. It is also a medium-chain fatty acid that also has potent antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The body converts capric acid to monocaprin which then is able to fight viruses, bacteria, and yeast infections.

Because of this unique combination of fatty acids, coconut oil suppresses inflammation and repairs tissue while inhibiting microorganisms that cause the inflammation in the first place.

What You Can Do to Nourish Your Thyroid

A number of nutrients and foods have been shown to contribute to healthy thyroid function. As you incorporate these into your diet, you should notice an improvement in your thyroid health.

  1. A number of health professionals now recommend that we eat only coconut oil, virgin olive oil, and butter. It is best to eat olive oil and butter sparingly. Coconut oil can be used in place of butter on toast, for example. Coconut oil is one of the most stable oils because of its medium-chain triglycerides. It will not easily turn to trans fatty acids when heated, making it one of the best oils for cooking. Avoid all other cooking oils. Never eat margarine. And read every label on packaged foods. If vegetable oil or soybean oil is listed, don’t buy it.
  2. Iodine is most abundant in sea vegetables, fish, seafood, and eggs. You can find a variety of dried sea vegetables at most health food stores, Asian markets, and some grocery stores.
  3. A number of nutrients have been shown to contribute to thyroid health; they include zinc, selenium, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A.
  4. Radishes and radish juice can be quite beneficial. A sulphur compound found in the radish is a regulator of thyroixine and calcitonin (a peptide hormone). When enough of this sulphur compound is circulating in the bloodstream, the thyroid is less apt to over- or under-produce these hormones.
  5. Excessive ingestion of certain foods can block iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland; these include: turnips, cabbage, mustard, cassava root, pine nuts, millet, peanuts, and soybeans.
  6. Foods that are the most taxing on the thyroid are foods many Americans eat every day such as refined grains, sugar and sweets, caffeine (coffee, black tea, sodas, and chocolate), hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, and alcohol. Reference: How to Help Your Thyroid with Virgin Coconut Oil

In conclusion, thyroid problems may need to be treated with medication prescribed by a medical professional.  Still, medication only addresses the immediate symptom and not the underlying cause of the thyroid problem.  Including virgin coconut oil (about 4 tablespoons daily), along with other dietary and behavioral changes, can be a great way to address some of the root causes of an underactive thyroid condition.

 

Summary
Article Name
Coconut Oil and Underactive Thyroid
Description
Thyroid problems may need to be treated with medication prescribed by a medical professional. Still, medication only addresses the immediate symptom and not the underlying cause of the thyroid problem. Including virgin coconut oil (about 4 tablespoons daily), along with other dietary and behavioral changes, can be a great way to address some of the root causes of an underactive thyroid condition.
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