Thyroid Supplements and You
Do thyroid supplements work?
The answer is yes and you probably wouldn't be here if you thought otherwise.
But I do want to take a second to explain just how important I think they are.
After treating literally thousands of thyroid patients, I've seen firsthand just how effective thyroid supplements can be.
I prefer to use them in COMBINATION with other therapies and even in conjunction with thyroid medication.
In my experience, this is the single most effective way to use these supplements.
I've also found that there are many people with thyroid disease who are simply afraid to use thyroid supplements!
This is a huge problem because many of these people could stand to benefit greatly by using them but they aren't.
The reason for this article is to highlight several thyroid supplements and to explain which ones I think are the best in the coming year of 2020.
If you've never considered trying or using supplements to support your thyroid then I would urge you to strongly consider them!
If you've never heard of me before, I'm Dr. Childs and I have spent the last 4-5 years focusing solely on treating thyroid patients and helping them understand how to use medications, thyroid hormone, supplements, diet, exercise, and so on.
I also sell thyroid supplements on this very website and I've sold over 10,000 bottles to date.
The reason I bring this up is so that you know I've spent hundreds of hours learning how to use thyroid supplements to help thyroid patients.
In this article, you will find what I think to be the most important aspects to consider if you want to use thyroid supplements.
I think you will find this information VERY helpful if you are a thyroid patient as I break apart various aspects of thyroid supplementation and how they are useful and effective.
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The Best Thyroid Supplements of 2020
In no particular order...
If I were a thyroid patient in the year 2020 knowing what I know right now these are the supplements that I would consider using.
Below you will find the basic ingredient list, what I like about these supplements, what I don't like about these supplements, and how I would consider
#1. T3 Conversion Booster (Dr. Westin Childs)
I'm obviously biased here but I have to include my own product.
After using plenty of supplements in helping thyroid patients I've learned that there really is no one-size-fits-all supplement that EVERY thyroid patient should be on.
Even though I feel that my products are the best for thyroid conditions out there, there are still some people who are sensitive to certain ingredients, people who can't swallow certain size pills, and other factors which influence how effective a supplement is.
This is why even though I consider my products to be the best, you should still be aware of other products in case you can't tolerate a certain supplement or if you just need to switch it up on occasion.
This particular product, T3 Conversion Booster, is only one of many supplements that I have targeted at treating the thyroid but I've included it here because it excels at doing a couple of very important things:
#1. Support T4 to T3 conversion.
#2. Supporting both thyroid and adrenal function.
T4 to T3 conversion is probably the single most important factor when it comes to how you feel when using both thyroid hormones (medications) and thyroid supplements.
This is because this conversion process helps your body create the most important thyroid hormone known as T3.
Without T3 you simply won't feel better.
Along with the T4 to T3 boosting ingredients you will find adrenal adaptogens (in the form of Ashwagandha) and anti-inflammatory ingredients which further support thyroid function in an indirect way.
I've created this product to really be hyper focused on improving T4 to T3 conversion because I feel that it is better to use other supplements to focus on factors such as thyroid hormone production, the thyroid-adrenal connection, and thyroid hormone sensitivity.
I've found much more success in using SEVERAL targeted thyroid supplements rather than one broad thyroid support supplement.
This product focuses on the T4 to T3 conversion aspect with some spillover into the thyroid-adrenal connection.
- Vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate) 1500 IU
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 200 IU
- Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopheryl succinate) 50 IU
- Iodine (from organic icelandic kelp) 50 IU
- Zinc (as zinc citrate) 5mg
- Selenium (as L-seleniumethionine) 100mcg
- Guggulsterones 50mg
- Rosemary Extract 50mg
- Ashwagandha) 50mg
What I like:
T3 Conversion Booster contains both Zinc and Selenium (in highly absorbable forms) to support thyroid conversion and to help reduce thyroid gland inflammation.
It also contains thyroid-specific botanicals (guggul extract) which have been shown in studies to support thyroid function as well as reduce inflammation.
All of the ingredients are in therapeutic dosages which have been shown in various medical research studies to positively impact thyroid gland function.
It also contains both Iodine and Selenium together to ensure that the iodine does not cause any negative effects (Selenium protects against iodine induced thyroid gland inflammation and damage and is the safest way to supplement with iodine).
What I don't like:
I have the advantage here because I always pay attention to the reasons that people return my products.
And while it doesn't happen very often (only about 2% of the time), I've noticed that the main reason for returns on T3 Conversion Booster is that it is a little bit too strong.
Unfortunately, this product seems to be a tad powerful which means that sensitive individuals may get a reaction which makes them feel a little bit jittery.
This is probably related to the fact that T3 Conversion Booster contains adrenal adaptogens and stimulating ingredients (and botanicals) which boost the conversion process.
These ingredients can certainly be overstimulating to certain individuals while other people use it and don't see any negative side effects.
Because of this I've kept T3 Conversion Booster as a strong supplement and have introduced more gentle supplements for those people who need it.
#2. Thyroid Support System (Dr. Axe)
Next on this list is a Thyroid Support System supplement by Dr. Axe.
I've included this supplement here because Dr. Axe has a quality line of supplements (other supplements) and has previous clinical experience in treating patients holistically.
While he doesn't treat patients now (as far as I know), that information can still be useful in formulating future products.
- Selenium 49.5mcg
- Thyroid balance botanical blend 1445mg (kelp, ashwagandha extract)
- Tonic mushroom, micro algae and mineral blend (purple corn, turkey tail, spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella, himalayan shilajit, reishi, shiitake, maitake, fermented silver, fermented gold)
- Soil and plant based probiotic and prebiotic blend 5 billion CFU (saccharomyces boulardii, bacillus clausii, bacillus coagulans, bacillus subtilis, bacteriophage blend)
What I like:
I really like that Dr. Axe has a solid foundation of knowledge regarding what it takes to heal the body in a holistic way and this is represented in this thyroid support supplement.
You see a range of ingredients which help with detoxification pathways, help support mental cognition, help reduce inflammation, and help support the gut.
The soil based probiotics are a good addition to a group of patients (thyroid patients) who suffer from gut-related issues.
I love the idea of adding probiotics to a thyroid support supplement because as much as 20% of thyroid conversion occurs here (1).
This is a great idea and it's something that I also frequently recommend to my own patients and those who are looking for thyroid supplements.
While these ingredients certainly help support multiple tissues and systems in the body, the ingredients are incredibly light when it comes to actually targeting your thyroid!
What I don't like:
These ingredients are certainly not what I would consider to be supportive of thyroid function.
In fact, most of these ingredients are more targeted toward detoxification and gut health with the only true "thyroid-specific" ingredients being the kelp, selenium, and ashwagandha.
I would definitely consider this supplement as part of an overall thyroid support supplement regimen (being one of several supplements) but it definitely lacks the ability to really move the needle in terms of thyroid hormone conversion and thyroid hormone cellular sensitivity.
Using this supplement may definitely help improve digestion which can indirectly improve thyroid function, but you'll often get much better results by first focusing on thyroid conversion and THEN on your gut with another supplement entirely.
I like the approach, but I feel that there need to be more ingredients to support thyroid function.
#3. Thytrophin PMG (Standard Process)
When I first started practicing 4-5 years ago I noticed that a lot of patients were taking (or had been taking) this particular supplement known as Thytrophin PMG by Standard Process.
In fact, I walked into a clinic which had previously used this product.
We were able to, through a variety of therapies and changes to supplements, get much better results than they were getting before.
Because of this experience, I've never been a huge fan of Thytrophin PMG but I will also say that I have seen certain individuals get great results with Standard Process supplements in general.
Standard Process supplements are often used mostly by Chiropractors, so if you currently see a chiropractor which specializes in thyroid management there's a good chance that you've at least heard of this supplement.
PMG stands for Protomorphogen extract and it's a type of extract derived from nucleoprotein mineral molecules.
I'm not exactly clear how they derive this but it does seem to appear to be derived from an animal base (typically bovine).
Using their own material, my best guess is that they drive the PMG extract for Thytrophin PMG from bovine thyroid gland.
The good news is that they remove any traces of thyroid hormone in the gland (in this case Thyroxine) but the bad news is that the product is still animal derived (mostly).
This means that there is a small risk of reactions to the animal proteins and amino acids similar to what is seen in brands of NDT like Armour thyroid.
This is both a good and a bad thing and something you should be aware of.
They make the claim that it targets and neutralizes circulating antibodies but they don't specify to which antibodies it binds to and destroys.
I can only assume they are referring to antithyroid antibodies but this isn't made clear by their statements.
- Calcium 30mg
- Propriety Blend 109mg (magnesium citrate and bovine thyroid PMG extract which is processed to remove its thyroxine)
What I like:
I'm actually a big fan of using animal products to target and treat hormone imbalances.
I like the fact that the main ingredient seems to be derived from a bovine source and that it most likely contains ingredients found in the thyroid gland of animals.
I've always found these types of ingredients to be very effective at improving thyroid-related symptoms and improving thyroid function in general.
In fact, I have a couple of products which contain animal products and they are among my top performing supplements.
Having said that, though, I find that using bovine adrenal glands tends to be more effective than using bovine thyroid glands.
Unfortunately, while this is its biggest pro it's also its biggest con (mostly because we just don't know what is included in the PMG extract).
What I don't like:
I'm not a fan of the fact that we have limited information regarding what is included in this PMG extract, how it works to remove autoantibodies, and what other ingredients may be included in this proprietary blend.
I also don't like the fact that the ingredients most likely include thyroid gland extract.
I am basing this assumption on the fact that they clearly state that Thyroxine (T4) has been removed from the blend.
While it's a good thing that you don't take extra T4 from over the counter supplements, it's also a potential issue due to the fact that it is theoretically possible for some of that T4 to spill into batches and to interfere with thyroid medication.
The chances of this happening are quite small but it's still a real risk.
And we have several reported instances of over the counter thyroid supplements being contaminated with actual T4 thyroid hormone despite the ingredient list suggesting otherwise.
While I'm not a huge fan of Thytrophin PMG I do know several people who swear by the product and have had great results.
I consider this particular supplement to be in a category or niche of its own and it's something I would turn to in cases where standard supplements fail.
You never know when those enzymes or amino acids found in animal thyroid glands come in handy and may improve your thyroid function dramatically.
#4. Thyroid Support Complex (Pure Encapsulations)
I'm a big fan of supplements by Pure Encapsulations, as they take steps to ensure that their products are free of artificial ingredients, GMO products, and so on.
They have a wide range of over the counter supplements and among them is a thyroid support complex which is what we are focusing on here.
- Vitamin a 750 mcg
- Vitamin c 150mg
- Vitamin D3 200 IU
- Iodine 150 mcg
- Zinc 20mg
- Selenium 200mcg
- L-tyrosine 500mg
- Ashwagandha 400mg
- Forskholii 100mg
- Guggul 150mg
- Turmeric 100mg
What I like:
The ingredient list that you see above is actually fairly good.
It has a decent spread of ingredients which cover thyroid function, thyroid conversion, and other quality ingredients such as guggul and turmeric.
This product is fairly comparable to my own product T3 Conversion Booster which is probably why I like it.
What I don't like:
The main downside to Thyroid Support Complex is that it is overstimulating given the ingredients which focus on T4 to T3 conversion such as guggul.
Much like T3 Conversion Booster, people who are sensitive may react to these ingredients and get a sort of nervous energy or jittery energy.
If you are particularly sensitive, then you may want to avoid these ingredients.
Aside from this, though, this thyroid support complex is a potentially great option for supporting T4 to T3 conversion.
#5. Thyroid Support (1 Daily)
I wanted to review this product because it's a classic example of a Thyroid Support supplement that many thyroid patients may try, especially those who don't have a deep understanding of thyroid function and/or how the thyroid works.
This particular product is really only found on Amazon which means we really don't have a lot of information regarding who is producing it, where the ingredients are sourced, who formulated the product, and what other products they are supporting.
I am typically very cautious when purchasing these types of products on Amazon because there is no face behind the product or any of the information listed above.
It doesn't mean the product is terrible, but I would have more faith in the product if I knew that it was backed (or at least formulated) by physicians or providers who understand thyroid complexity and thyroid function in its entirety.
- Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin) 100mcg
- Iodine (amino acid chelate) 150mcg
- Zinc (oxide) 8mg
- Selenium (amino acid chelate) 200mcg
- Copper 200mcg
- Manganese 2mg
- Molybdenum 50mcg
- L-Tyrosine 300mg
- Schizandra 160mg
- Coleus Forskholii 160mg
- Kelp 100mg
- Ashwagandha 120mg
- Bladderwrack 50mg
- Cayenne Pepper 30mg
What I like:
In general, this product does seem to hit a number of important processes that thyroid patients would want.
It has ingredients that target T4 to T3 conversion, it contains adrenal adaptogens used to target adrenal function, it has iodine to support thyroid hormone production, and it even has anti-inflammatory ingredients.
The strongest area of this particular supplement is that it does indeed have a widespread of ingredients.
But I think this widespread of ingredients is also one of its biggest disadvantages (explained below).
What I don't like:
This is a classic example of a supplement that is trying to do 'everything'.
Remember when I mentioned that it's important for your thyroid supplement to target specific pathways?
This particular supplement has a great spread of ingredients, but those ingredients are spread too thin to have a noticeable impact.
You have a couple of adrenal adaptogens (in low doses), some pro thyroid conversion ingredients (Zinc and selenium), and some anti-inflammatory ingredients.
The main problem here is that when you try to be a jack of all trades you end up a master of none.
It also has multivitamin-esque ingredients such as molybdenum, manganese, and copper which are somewhat out of place.
The zinc is in the wrong form (zinc oxide is the cheapest and least absorbable form of Zinc (2)) and the Selenium is in an amino acid chelate versus bound to a more absorbable form.
We don't have information on the quality of the ingredients here but I would be suspect that the quality of these ingredients may not be the highest given the formulations of those ingredients mentioned above.
So, despite having a good spread of ingredients, they are not in the right formulations or in high enough doses to have a meaningful impact for most people.
Your Next Steps
If you haven't used thyroid supplements in the past then I would strongly encourage you to consider it in the year 2020.
Even if you have used them and didn't see the results you were looking for I would recommend that you take a look at this list.
It's very possible (and I see it all the time) that thyroid patients used cheap thyroid support supplements with bad ingredients that simply don't work.
They then assume that all supplements must be bad and that they don't work.
Avoid this type of thinking! It's very possible to have a bad experience with one supplement only to find that another works VERY well for you.
Now I want to hear from you:
Have you used any of the supplements listed here?
If so, which one did you use?
Did it work for you? Did you notice a big change?
Why or why not?
If you used a different type of supplement (or are considering trying a new one) leave your comment about that one below!
References (Click to Expand)