The Importance of Selenium for Hypothyroidism


 The Importance of Selenium for Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland, which can lead to a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and depression. It is estimated that 90% of hypothyroid cases are caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. In this condition, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, leading to its dysfunction and reduced production of thyroid hormones. However, research suggests that a nutrient called selenium plays a crucial role in supporting thyroid health and reducing the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Understanding Selenium's Role in Hypothyroidism

Selenium is an essential trace mineral that is primarily concentrated in the thyroid gland. It plays a vital role in the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones. Without adequate selenium levels, the production of thyroid hormones, particularly thyroxine (T4), may be impaired. T4 is an inactive form of thyroid hormone, and it needs to be converted into its active form, triiodothyronine (T3), in order to exert its effects on the body. Selenium facilitates this conversion process, ensuring optimal thyroid function.

The Link Between Selenium and Thyroid Antibodies

In autoimmune thyroid diseases like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the body produces specific antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. These antibodies, particularly thyroid peroxidase antibodies and thyroglobulin receptor antibodies, inhibit the production and activity of thyroid hormones. Selenium has been shown to significantly reduce the levels of these antibodies, thereby helping to restore thyroid function and alleviate the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Selenium's Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is a common feature of autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Selenium possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties, partly due to its role in the production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant in the body. By reducing inflammation, selenium helps to mitigate the damaging effects of autoimmune attacks on the thyroid gland.

Selenium's Impact on Thyroid Nodules and Enlargement

Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths in the thyroid gland that can sometimes indicate an underlying thyroid disorder. Selenium has been found to decrease the risk of developing thyroid nodules and prevent the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Its protective effects on the thyroid contribute to overall thyroid health and function.

The Link Between Selenium and Thyroid Eye Disease

Thyroid eye disease, also known as Graves' ophthalmopathy, is a condition commonly associated with hyperthyroidism. It is characterized by bulging eyes, eye discomfort, and visual disturbances. Selenium supplementation has been shown to reduce the severity of these symptoms and improve eye health in individuals with thyroid eye disease.

Food Sources of Selenium

While selenium supplements are available, it is always advisable to obtain nutrients from natural food sources whenever possible. Several foods are rich in selenium, including:

  • Seafood: Fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines are excellent sources of selenium. They also provide omega-3 fatty acids, which have additional health benefits.
  • Meat and Poultry: Chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb are good sources of selenium. Opt for lean cuts and organic, grass-fed options whenever possible.
  • Eggs: Adding eggs to your diet can provide a significant amount of selenium. Opt for free-range or organic eggs for added nutritional value.
  • Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt are sources of selenium. Choose low-fat options to keep saturated fat intake in check.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds contain selenium. These can be enjoyed as snacks or added to meals and salads for an extra nutrient boost.
  • Vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage contain selenium. These vegetables are also rich in other beneficial compounds like fiber and antioxidants.
  • Herbs and Spices: Garlic, onions, and certain herbs like thyme and oregano contain selenium. Incorporate them into your recipes to enhance flavor and nutritional content.

Recommended Daily Intake

The recommended daily intake of selenium for adults is around 55 micrograms per day. However, individuals with hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroid conditions may benefit from higher selenium intake. It is generally safe to supplement with up to 200 micrograms of selenium per day, but it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation regimen.

Integrating Selenium and Thytrophin PMG

In addition to selenium, another product called Thytrophin PMG, developed by Standard Process, has shown promise in supporting thyroid health. Thytrophin PMG is a dietary supplement that contains bovine thyroid PMG extract, which is believed to support the healthy function of the thyroid gland. It is recommended to take one capsule of Thytrophin PMG before bed as part of a comprehensive approach to managing hypothyroidism.


Selenium plays a crucial role in supporting thyroid health, especially in individuals with hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroid conditions like Hashimoto's thyroiditis. By reducing thyroid antibodies, decreasing inflammation, and supporting the conversion of T4 to T3, selenium helps to restore optimal thyroid function and alleviate the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Incorporating selenium-rich foods into your diet, such as seafood, meat, eggs, and nuts, can help ensure an adequate intake of this essential nutrient. Additionally, considering selenium supplementation and exploring products like Thytrophin PMG may further support thyroid health. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or starting a new supplementation regimen.

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