Selenium is an antioxidant mineral most well known for its support to the immune system. While selenium deficiency isn’t common amongst healthy adults, it is common in those with an autoimmune disease, people who have digestive health issues, or people who have chronic inflammation in the body (which can be caused by something like continually eating a food that you have a sensitivity to). Selenium’s second claim to fame is its ability to support the thyroid. Selenium for Hashimoto’s health is something that I want to touch on today since I’ve been getting some questions about supplements I personally take for thyroid health. So let’s dive right in!
Selenium for Hashimoto’s Health
Selenium is used in the conversion of T4 to T3; T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone. Many thyroid medications (like levothyroxine) are made up of T4 only, which means your body needs to convert it to its active form, T3, to be able to use it. If your body is deficient in selenium it cannot properly convert the inactive T4 to the active T3 that your thyroid needs.
Another area of the thyroid that selenium helps is the reduction of Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) antibodies. TPO antibodies are a good measure of inflammatory activity in the thyroid. The higher your levels are, the higher the immune attack.
Foods High In Selenium
Some of the most selenium rich foods are:
- Brazil nuts (1 nut): 96 mcg
- Tuna (3 oz): 92 mcg
- Salmon (1/2 fillet): 72 mcg
- Shrimp (3 oz): 42 mcg
- Grass-fed beef (3 oz): 33 mcg
- Shiitake mushrooms (1 cup cooked): 36 mcg
- Egg (1 large): 15 mcg
Brazil nuts are exceptionally rich in selenium and it only takes 1-2 nuts per day to boost your immune & thyroid function.
While best way to get minerals/nutrients is through food, if these foods are foods that you’d never eat or have an allergy to, then you can always try a supplement.
I personally go back and forth between eating 2 brazil nuts daily or taking Thorne Selenium.
Great Thyroid Resources
If you’re looking for some great resources on thyroid disease and Hashimoto’s check out these books:
HypothyroidMom.com and StopTheThyroidMadness.com are also really great resources.
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Studies & Further Reading