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Thyroids, chemicals and cabbage: Have we been worrying about the wrong thing?
The thyroid gland regulates many important bodily functions because it regulates metabolism. It can also be the target of autoimmune damage, such as in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease. It’s an important body part! So that’s why two recent studies caught my eye. The first discussed “goitrogenic” foods, which include: Cabbage Broccoli Turnip greens Brussels sprouts Millet Kale ...and a few other all-star super-foods. The concern has historically been that these foods may increase the risk of thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism or goiter.
Some popular books warn against eating too much of these foods if you have an autoimmune thyroid disorder. A new review of the evidence suggests that these foods are not harmful but may reduce iodine uptake, and that iodine deficiency is the real problem. The authors suggest that people with thyroid concerns get adequate iodine and steam or boil these foods with iodized salt. The full study is here: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/10/2929/htm Another recent study shows how thyroid autoimmunity can be caused by common environmental pollutants such as BPA, flame retardant chemicals and formaldehyde. The gist is that chemicals can bind to proteins in the bloodstream, causing them to change into a new shape that the immune system may recognize as an antigen to attack. In some unlucky people, the molecular shape of the antigen is very similar to that of some thyroid tissue or thyroid hormone.
So the antibodies created to attack one will also attack the other. It’s a case of mistaken identity between molecules that look too much alike.
The article is here: https://res.mdpi.com/d_attachment/ijms/ijms-21-07324/article_deploy/ijm…
As someone with an autoimmune condition of the thyroid, I take these two studies to suggest I should be less concerned about cabbage and more concerned about chemicals.
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