Goitrogen and goiter sound the same but are two different things. Goitrogens are naturally-occurring substances that can interfere and suppress the function of the thyroid gland. The name Goitrogen comes from the term goiter. Goiter is the enlargement of the thyroid gland and researchers in the early part of the nineteenth century found that goiters were much more prevalent in areas that were not close to the ocean or sea and became known as the goiter belt. The goiter belts involved low levels of iodine in the soil and drinking water. Once iodine was added to table salt, the problems of goiters were not as predominant. In North America the goiter belt includes Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ontario and Manitoba. Although iodized sea salt seemed like the perfect solution, hypothyroidism is on the rise because most often foods rich in supporting thyroid nutrients are not being consumed like selenium, zinc and iodine.
Goitrogenic foods work by interfering with thyroidal uptake of iodine. Soybean isoflavones contain genistein and daidzein have been found to inhibit thyroid hormone synthesis by blocking Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) an enzyme that plays a role in thyroid hormone formation.
Brassica vegetables contain isothiocyanates that also block TPO and block iodine uptake to the thyroid as well as the breast, which could be problematic for breast feeding babies. Preliminary research is also indicating that animals consuming goitrogenic foods may also have the same affect thus products such as cheese, milk, butter and eggs may also be deficient in iodine.
Goitrogenic foods include the following:
Rape seed (Canola Oil)
You can still consume these nutrient dense foods by steaming, sautéing, grilling or baking, or cooked to the way you like it as the heat inactivates the compounds-but not completely. According to Dr. Cass Ingram author of Self-Test Nutrition Guide you can juice those listed above and it will remove goitrogenic compounds and isothiocyanates. There is not a lot of research in this area; however consensus is if you are dealing with thyroid issues, it is of importance to avoid all those foods listed in their raw state. This is why vegetarians and those who consume a raw food diet need to be careful with goitrogenic foods as it is also believed that consuming these foods in great quantities may have the potential to decrease proper thyroid function.
Grass fed Bison
Toasted Wheat Germ
Sesame Seeds and Tahini
Organic grass fed Roast Beef
Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
Raw or dried Watermelon Seeds
Grass fed bison
Raw cow’s milk
Check out these great articles below:
What is Hypothyroidism
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Natural remedies for thyroid problems ~ Iodine
Psychological Connections to Hypothyroidism and low thyroid
Take the Iodine liquid Test
Take the Iodine Test
Stop the Thyroid Madness Try some natural thyroid therapy
The Basal Body Temperature Test for Low thyroid
Thyroid disorders ~ Hypothyroidism
If you are currently on any medications for thyroid conditions please do not stop taking your medication. It is between you and your healthcare practitioner on the course of your wellness. This section is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat thyroid conditions. Please consult with your medical healthcare practitioner before implementing any of these recommendations, especially if you are currently on medication. If you are concerned about the function of your thyroid gland there are tests available to assess thyroid function. Please seek a qualified healthcare practitioner for more information.