Thyroid Supplements with a Kick

New York Times By RONI CARYN RABIN – January 20,  2014 Feeling sluggish? Having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? Gaining weight? Many people with vague symptoms like these turn to dietary supplements that promise to jump-start metabolism by bolstering their thyroids with a mix of vitamins and minerals. Bladderwrack seaweed, iodine and an herb called ashwagondha are among the common ingredients. But these over-the-counter products may also contain something that’s not so natural: thyroid hormones that should only be dispensed by prescription. Researchers who tested 10 popular thyroid-boosting products sold online found that nine contained the hormones thyroxine (T4) or triiodothyronine (T3), sometimes both. The amounts varied, but in some cases the recommended daily dose contained amounts of thyroid hormone as high or higher than delivered by prescription medications, according to the report, published in November in Thyroid, a scientific journal. At the recommended daily dose of four capsules, one supplement delivered 91 micrograms of T4 and 16.5 micrograms of T3, the researchers found. In clinical practice, the starting dose of T4 for patients with low thyroid function is just 25 micrograms a day; some older patients are given half that amount. A dose of 75 micrograms a day is sufficient to restore function in many petite women. “This supplement could give you as much thyroid hormone as you get in a prescription drug or more,
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