Largest Endocrine organ
The thyroid is the largest endocrine organ in the body present in front of the neck in humans. The main function of this gland is to control the body’s basal metabolic rate. It does this by secreting two hormones known as thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The principle hormone here is T3 but is effects are supplemented by T4.
Thyroid gland regulates the rate at which the body uses energy, synthesizes proteins and also controls the sensitivity of the body to other hormones. All these functions are vital to the normal functioning of the body. The two common disturbances of thyroid functions are either excess production of the hormones (hyperthyroidism) or their deficiency (hypothyroidism).
One of the causes of disturbed thyroid function is vitamin deficiencies. There are a few vitamins needed for the normal function of the thyroid glands.
Vitamin A: This vitamin is needed the absorption and processing of iodine (precursor for the thyroid hormones). It also regulates the function of the pituitary gland which secretes a substance which stimulates thyroid function known as thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
Vitamin B Complex: The first three vitamins in this complex including riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) have been shown to help with thyroid hormone synthesis by supporting the functions of the necessary enzymes. Vitamin B12 on the other hand is necessary in the synthesis of thyroid synthetic enzymes.
Vitamin C: In addition to its antioxidant and detoxifying effects, vitamin C is necessary for the manufacture or synthesis of the thyroid hormones. When taken in high does, it can lead to hyperthyroidism.
Vitamin D: Research indicates that this important steroid vitamin potentiates the effects of the hormones on the target organs and tissues.
Vitamin E: This vitamin is essential stimulating the absorption of iodine from diet. Lack of enough vitamin C can lead to thyroid deficiency while excess of it has been associated with hyperthyroidism.
Iodine: This is an essential mineral that we must consume so that the thyroid can manufacture the hormones needed to regulate our metabolisms. A deficiency in any of these can lead to an under active thyroid.