What exactly is selenium and what does it have to do with my thyroid? There is a lot of medical terminology that could go into this blog, but I am going to try and keep it as simple as possible. Selenium is a trace mineral, also known as an element that is required for nutrition. It plays a vital role in thyroid function, along with other functions of the body. The pituitary gland is a tiny organ located below the brain and one of its roles is to produce and release the hormone TSH, thyroid-stimulating hormone. TSH tells or stimulates the thyroid to start making the thyroid hormones, T4 and T3. This process naturally creates a lot of oxidation and inflammation in our body, but thankfully we have a few antioxidant enzymes that help combat that and contain that oxidation. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant molecule we have and for our body to be able to make it, we need an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and thyroid oxidoreductase. Don't get caught up on the big words, just know that both of these are oxidation scavengers (antioxidants) and they are dependent on selenium. They help to contain the high oxidation that the T4 and T3 production releases. Another enzyme that is crucial in changing T4 to T3 is DIO. This enzyme relies on selenium as well.
Selenium is probably the most important contributor to the normal function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland actually has more selenium per gram than any other organ in the body. It has to be present for all of those enzymes to work properly in the process, production, and release of thyroid hormones.
If you are deficient in selenium or other nutrients we have to ask ourselves why, there has to be a reason. We may not be eating the proper foods or maybe there is something preventing us from absorbing it from the foods we eat. A culprit could be celiac disease, it deteriorates the microvilli in the small intestines, which compromises the bodies ability to absorb nutrients.
What to take away:
References/ Additional Resources:
How Important is Selenium for Thyroid Function (YouTube Video)
Essential Nutrients for Thyroid Function: By Dr. Scott Beyer.
Hello, my name is Rachel. I am a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and a registered nurse. I have a passion for educating people on nutrition. I strive to "Put life back into your lifestyle," by connecting you to the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding gluten-free living and other topics on nutrition. Check out my blog, website, and feel free to drop me a line!