On last week’s program, Bill Sardi discussed thyroid problems. In case you just joined the conversation, you might want to look at last week’s blog for an introduction and short list of symptoms that can be caused by an underactive thyroid gland. To follow up:
- Several folks asked where to buy Armour thyroid pills. That contains both the active (T3) and storage (T4) forms of thyroid hormone. Although it is a natural product, a prescription is required, so it is necessary to ask your doctor.
- As we noted, the body requires iodine to make thyroid hormone. However, that mineral is less available in the American diet than it is in most cultures and is more scarce than it used to be here. Table salt in the box usually has iodine added, but not so the type uses in processed foods and that is where people get most of their sodium. Iodine used to be added to bread. Since the 60’s bromides are used instead (cheaper?). Too bad because bromides interfere with iodine. Fluoride (e.g. in tap water and dental products) also interferes with iodine.
Mr. Sardi noted that as much as 90% of underactive thyroid is due to autoimmune activity. I asked him for a summary statement to clarify and to expand on autoimmune problems. He said:
- It is very plausible that a shortage of zinc and its co-factors B6 (required for absorption) and selenium (required for zinc release) may result in vulnerability to autoimmune disorders…that is, the immune system attacks various organs such as the eyes (uveitis, macular degeneration), kidneys (nephropathy), liver (hepatitis), pancreas (type 1 diabetes), colon (colitis, leaky gut). [We know that imbalances in the gut bacteria and leaky gut also foster autoimmune trouble.]
- Zinc is crucial for proper function of the immune system (and so much more). Zinc deficiency is rampant in the American population. Anyone who doesn’t get enough zinc or can’t use it properly is prone to autoimmune reactions. It is possible to get enough zinc in the diet, but it takes adequate selenium to release the zinc from its binding protein. And you should know that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) depletes zinc. Given the high consumption of HFCS in the US, the increasing incidence of autoimmune disorders is not surprising.
- Some autoimmune conditions start as something else. Take, for example, Lyme disease. An infection (Borrelia burgdorferi) may or may not result from a tick bite. Such an infection may or may not be quelled by antibiotics. If people are low in zinc, the medication is less likely to be effective. If they are low in critical nutrients and/or have an imbalance in gut bacteria, they be more prone to autoimmune reactions. So, seemingly out of nowhere, an infection from a tick bite mysteriously becomes an unremitting chronic problem. That effect is reported more frequently among those who are zinc-deficient. Tick bites and the infections have been around throughout human history. The new element may be zinc deficiency made worse by a craving for sugar that is too often satisfied with high fructose corn syrup.
- Modern medicine is dealing with over 100 autoimmune conditions and trying to calm the symptoms with steroids and treat the disease with medication called monoclonal antibodies. Sadly, that process interferes with normal wound healing and restorative processes.
- The over-reliance on monoclonal antibodies to treat “wet” macular degeneration is an example of this issue. Anti-growth factor drugs (Avastin, Lucentis, Eyelea) totally block the development of new blood vessels which can become destructive to the visual center (macula) of the eyes. However, in so doing, they interfere with growth factors needed for wound healing. Startlingly, there is a significant increase in the risk of death down the road after injections of Avastin [Study] and lawsuits because of increased stroke risk. Eye researchers now propose the use of the red wine molecule resveratrol* which inhibits the growth of the destructive blood vessels, but allows normal healing to still take place. (See Scientific Reports Sept 25, 2017)
Drug store brands of multivitamins contain little that is worthwhile and too many chemicals. Even health food brands skimp on nutrient amounts and use cheap forms. Among the many reasons I take Molecular Multi is that it delivers ample amounts (30 mg) of zinc and in a particularly beneficial form. The multi also includes the co-factors needed for absorption and usability of zinc. Those co-factors are in the active forms needed—vitamin B6 as pyridoxyl 5 phosphate and organically-bound selenium.
I believe that most people will save money with Molecular Multi because they can eliminate several other supplements (e.g. no longer need for a B complex). I compared Molecular Multi to a popular health food store brand that had ½ as much zinc and did not have the superior forms of most other nutrients. The list price of that store product in stores is $53.45 for a month’s supply. HAH! I purchase 4 bottles of Molecular Multi at a time and that reduces its price to only $41 per month—less than the store brand. And get this—I think taking even ½ the recommended dose (which would obviously cut the price to a bit over $20) you would still be better off than with a full dose of any other vitamin I’ve seen!
* Not all resveratrol products are created equal. Please read my article.