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Goitrogens By Jake Ayers

Brodie Deuis

Goitrogens, what are they?


Goitrogens are substances that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with the iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. This in turn triggers the pituitary to release Thyroid stimulating Hormone (TSH) thus promoting the growth of the thyroid tissue leading to the development of goiter in some cases.

The link between Goitrogenic effects and food was first observed in 1928 by scientists who noticed an enlargement in the thyroid gland in rabbits who were consuming only fresh cabbage.



Types of Goitrogens


There are three main types of Goitrogens, these include

  1. Goitrins
  2. Thyocyanates
  3. Flavonoids


Goitrins and thyocynates are produced when a plant is damaged, E.g. when cut or chewed. Goitrin is a sulphur-containing oxazolidine, a cyclic thyocarbomate which reduces the production of thyroid hormones such as thyroxine (T4). A deficiency in T4 production leads to the enlargement of thyroid tissue and will eventually lead to Goiter.  


Thyocynates are produced in the same way as Goitrins however it is a complex anion, meaning it is a potent inhibitor of iodine transport. It is the detoxification product of cyanide and is easily detectable in body fluid. Iodine supplementation has been shown to directly reverse the effects and influences of thyocynates.


Flavonoids are the diverse group of phytonutrients found in almost all fruits and vegetables, they are responsible for the vivid colours in fruits and vegetables. Experimental studies showed inhibition of organification in thyroid cells and follicles. Both synthetic and natural flavonoids showed displacement of T$ from transthyretin leading to disturbances in thyroid hormone availability in tissues.


T432 is the perfect supplement for reversing and limiting the effects of goitrogens as it combines T4 and iodine to not only promote the production and transport of T4 hormones from the thyroid but also help convert it to active versions of the hormones including T3 and T2.



Foods containing Goitrogens


            Foods which are proven to have Goitrogenic effects include, soy, brassica vegetables including broccoli and cabbage, other cruciferous vegetables such as, cauliflower, radish, bok choy and Brussel sprouts.


A thyroid which cannot produce enough hormones can also cause other health issues such as,


            Mental decline – Poor thyroid function was shown to increase mental decline and dementia by 81% for people under 75.


Heart disease – Poor thyroid function has been linked to a 2-53% higher risk of developing heart disease and a 18-28% risk of dying from it.


            Weight gain – During a 3.5year long study, people with poor thyroid function gained up to 2.3kg (5lbs) more weight than people with normal thyroid function.


            Obesity – Researchers found that people with poor thyroid function were 20-113% more likely to be obese.


            Development delays – Low levels of thyroid hormones during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester may disrupt foetal brain development.


            Bone fractures – A study found that people with poor thyroid function had a 38% higher risk of hip fractures and a 20% higher risk of non-spinal fractures. 



Put simply, Goitrogens make it harder for the thyroid gland to function properly, preventing it from producing the hormones your body needs to maintain a normal metabolic function.

If an individual already suffers from thyroid issues, is deficient in iodine and Thyroxine hormones or overconsumes Goitrogenic foods constantly then supplementation is necessary for normal function of the thyroid gland and thus normal function of the metabolism and prevention of the enlargement of thyroid gland tissue (Goiter).

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