By Dr. Sarah Zadek ND The inability to lose weight from diet and exercise alone can be extremely frustrating. There are many factors that affect weight management, and for those who struggle with this it may be worth investigating other causes of this “stubborn metabolism.” One such cause is the functioning of the thyroid gland and its respective hormones. Thyroid hormones play crucial roles in how the body uses energy and regulates appetite. Additionally, fat cells, also called adipose tissue, contains their own messengers and hormones that affect energy stores and usage. The interaction between these cells, their messengers and
We put on weight when we regularly consume more calories than we use through our normal bodily functions or expend during our daily physical activities. Over 60% of adult Canadians are overweight or obese and obesity is one of the major risk factors for a number of diseases. Unfortunately, losing weight by eating fewer calories and burning more energy is easier said than done. Many of our lifestyle habits make it difficult to shake those extra pounds. When we are stressed, it’s easy to reach for the sugary pick-me-up, or skip out on a few extra hours of much needed sleep. When we have had a long day at work, settling in on the sofa for a few hours of tv may be a much more attractive option than getting to the gym. Even if we are motivated to eat healthier, many foods that are labelled as “low-fat” at the supermarket are actually full of added sugars. A combination of many lifestyle choices are necessary for our general wellbeing and weight management. These include getting enough physical activity, cooking healthy and nutritious food, getting a good night’s sleep, and minimising the stressors in our life.
However, there may be other reasons that we find it difficult to lose weight, including a slow metabolism. Our metabolism may be slowed as a result of the normal aging process, but it may also be due to an underactive thyroid. In this blog, we will discuss broadly what the function of the thyroid is and AOR’s novel product Thyro Support™, which is designed to help support weight management by improving thyroid function.
The thyroid is an endocrine gland in your neck that produces the hormones T3 and T4, which are active and inactive, respectively. These hormones are released into the blood stream and broadly speaking influence the activity of all cells and tissues in our body. In other words, T3 and T4 regulate the speed at which the cells of the body work. When our thyroid is overactive and producing excessive amounts of hormone, we develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. When our thyroid is underactive, our body’s metabolism slows down and we develop a condition termed hypothyroidism.
Some symptoms of an underactive thyroid in addition to weight gain include fatigue, constipation, oversensitivity to the cold, dry skin, brittle nails, coarse hair, and low mood.
What is Thyro Support?
The ingredients in Thyro Support™ provide the raw materials for the production of thyroid hormones, and help to increase the conversion of the hormone T4 into its more effective form, T3. These ingredients include the amino acid tyrosine, herbs Coleus forskohlii and Bacopa monnieri, and the essential minerals iodine, zinc, copper, and selenium.
So what is the research behind each of these ingredients?
The Ayurvedic herb Coleus forskohlii, and its active constituent Forskolin, has demonstrated its ability to raise the production and release of thyroid hormones in animal and in-vitro studies. Several benefits have been noted from taking forskolin. One particular study examined the effect of forskolin on male body composition, testosterone, metabolic rate, and blood pressure in overweight and obese men. Forskolin was able to produce favorable changes in the body composition of those taking it over a twelve-week period at a dosage of 250 mg of extract taken twice per day. In comparison to the placebo group, the men taking forskolin had a lower fat mass and increased lean body mass at the end of the study. It also caused an increase in free testosterone levels.
Studies have revealed that forskohlin stimulates adenylate cyclase, which in turn produces cyclic adenosine mono phosphate (cAMP), an important regulator of cellular function, energy expenditure and a hormonal response modifier. Studies have shown that cells from hypothyroid rats produce less cAMP. cAMP is an important redox agent with attributes similar to ATP, CoQ10 and NADH which are important for energy production.
Studies in male mice showed that Bacopa possesses powerful thyroid stimulating effects, increasing T4 concentration by 41% after supplementation for 15 days.
Numerous studies have made it clear that normal thyroid status is dependent on the presence of many trace elements for both the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones. Iodine is most important as a component of the hormones, thyroxine and 3,3′,5-tri-iodothyronine (T3) and iodine deficiency may affect approximately one billion people throughout the world.
Selenium is essential for normal thyroid hormone metabolism being involved with selenium-containing iodothyronine de-iodinases that control the synthesis and degradation of the biologically active thyroid hormone, T3.
Other important thyroid nutrients and enzymes
The roles of iron, zinc and copper in the thyroid are less well defined but sub- or supraoptimal dietary intakes of all these elements can adversely affect thyroid hormone metabolism. Additionally, selenoperoxidases and thioredoxin reductase protect the thyroid gland from peroxides produced during the synthesis of hormones.
For anyone who has tried to lose weight, we know that it can be a difficult process. There may be a number of lifestyle habits that need to be altered before you will see results. One reason that you may not be losing weight is because of slowed metabolism due to an underactive thyroid. Thyro Support™ is a novel formulation of herbs and minerals, which effectively support the thyroid to help support weight management.