Welcome to Forefront Health! Here you will discover how to naturally take back your life and achieve real and permanent results with your health, using real science and the latest research in natural health.
This is so well known and researched that it’s discussed in most physiology textbooks.
Without adequate carbohydrates in your diet bad things happen including…
Your body over-produces cortisol, blocking your liver from converting T4 into T3.
Your liver can’t detoxify estrogen, directly blocking your thyroid gland.
And as we’ve already discussed, estrogen and cortisol are the two primary factors that make you susceptible to Candida to begin with.
In other words, restricting carbohydrates and starving your Candida only…
Further increases estrogen and cortisol levels, which…
Furthers suppresses your secretory IgA production, which…
Further lowers your immunity…
And further makes you more susceptible to Candida overgrowth.
But that’s not even the worst of it.
Starving your Candida also makes it more aggressive.
Back in the 1940s a microbiologist by the name of René Dubos showed that if you starve yeast cells, they become more aggressive and invasive by sending out pseudohyphae (long branches of growth) that sink into the intestinal wall looking for food.
This is how it works its way up your digestive tract and becomes problematic.
And if Candida penetrates the intestinal wall and enters the bloodstream, it becomes increasingly more dangerous.
As Dr. Raymond Peat has pointed out, once Candida enters the bloodstream, it must be quickly killed by white blood cells. Otherwise, it can spread quickly within the body and become deadly.
And both excess cortisol and hypothyroidism are known to lower white blood cell production.
While death from Candida is actually very rare, it is possible in severely immune compromised people.
As you can see, restricting carbohydrates and trying to starve Candida only further contributes to the underlying problem and makes it worse in the long run.
If you’ve ever tried one of these diets you might have felt better initially.
This is most often due to the initial surge or overproduction of excitatory stress hormones that occur when restricting carbohydrates.
But because you need thyroid hormone (T3) to produce these stress hormones, this feeling eventually fades and you’re no longer able to produce them in sufficient amounts.
So, instead of starving your Candida, here are some actual ways to help correct the underlying cause of the problem.
3 Simple Ways to Correct Candida Without Killing Your Thyroid1. Carrots for Candida
As mentioned, Candida oftentimes becomes a problem when it becomes invasive and works its way up your digestive tract.
This is where carrots can have an immediate positive impact.
A carrot itself has antimicrobial properties that can help push Candida further down the digestive tract where it belongs.
Carrot fiber also helps to absorb excess estrogen within the digestive tract further supporting healthy secretory IgA production.
This daily protocol will show you a very different side to your hypothyroidism. It’s based on real science (not modern day myths)… It’s been tested with real hypothyroidism sufferers… and it simply works.
The 3 Food Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol is all about taking the first step to overcoming your hypothyroidism by fixing some of the hidden underlying issues that are holding your thyroid hostage.
If that sounds like what you need, then just download the protocol and use it for yourself.
Many causes of hypothyroidism also influence depression in several ways, including:
Vitamin A deficiency
Poor thyroid hormone conversion
And the list goes on…
Poor metabolism, resulting in low brain energy, is one primary cause of depression.
In Mary’s case, we had great success by stimulating her metabolism.
By properly simulating metabolism, we can significantly increase energy production of the brain.
Below, you’ll find the 3-Step Protocol we used to stimulate her metabolism. As a result, her depression improved dramatically.
(Note: Mary also used our 3 Food Triple Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol. It’s a super simple way to start your day feeling right, feeling calm, feeling clear, and feeling full of energy. You can download it free here.)
Step 1: Improve Depression with Thyroid Hormone (T3)
Doctors sure are quick to prescribe anti-depressants.
Yet, few, if any, test thyroid hormone levels in cases of depression.
As we know, low thyroid hormone (T3) is a well known cause of depression.
Studies show that active thyroid Hormone (T3) is a very effective treatment option.
This study alone showed a 24.7% remission rate among depression sufferers over an average of 9.6 weeks.
A comparison of lithium and T(3) augmentation following two failed medication treatments for depression: a STAR*D report.
“The group with the highest decline in cholesterol displayed an excess risk for most cancer sites. These associations were more pronounced in subjects whose weight remained stable or decreased over time than in those who gained weight.”
“Cancer mortality was 66% higher in the group with the lowest plasma cholesterol than in the group with the highest plasma cholesterol.”
So, before you try to get your cholesterol down even further, here’s what you need to know.
Why Borderline High Cholesterol Is Healthy
The truth is that your borderline “high cholesterol” might be healthier than you think.
The current recommendations for cholesterol state the following…
200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L ) or lower = “Desirable Cholesterol”.
200 mg/dL to 239 mg/dL (5.2-6.2 mmol/L) = “Borderline High”.
240 mg/dL (6.2 mmol/L) or above = “High”
But what does the research say?
It’s important that we look beyond just heart disease and look at all-cause mortality.
Otherwise, as shown above, you might just be trading heart disease for cancer.
And we both know that doesn’t solve any problems.
Based on all-cause mortality studies, optimal cholesterol with lowest all-cause mortality is actually 200 mg/dL to 240 mg/dL (5.2-6.2 mmol/L).
In other words… people who are healthiest and live the longest are the ones who are considered to have “Borderline High” cholesterol.
This is very important to take into consideration before blindly accepting cholesterol lowering drugs from your doctor, “just to be on the safe side”… or before you try that cholesterol lowering diet that’s supposed to be so healthy for you.
Is trying to force your cholesterol lower the best thing for you?
Are you just trading heart disease for cancer or some other unnecessary cause of early death?
Or should you start by fixing the real underlying cause of the problem and focus on your thyroid health?
If you have high cholesterol due to a thyroid hormone deficiency, or low cholesterol due to liver dysfunction, the right diet can make all the difference.
Hypothyroidism and diabetes tend to go hand-in-hand.
Anyone who is diabetic will functionally become hypothyroid because their cells become blocked from using thyroid hormone efficiently.
And anyone who is hypothyroid will have a tendency toward becoming pre-diabetic and eventually diabetic because of how their body compensates for their thyroid condition.
In this article, which is based largely on the work of Dr. Raymond Peat, I’m going to show you how you can prevent this from happening, but in order for this to all make sense…
…you first have to understand the truth about diabetes and the vicious cycle that causes it.
Today, diabetes (along with a list of other health conditions) is blamed directly on the over-consumption of sugar.
It’s oftentimes referred to as the “Sugar Disease”.
And for those without a proper understanding of how the body works, this might make sense.
When a diabetic consumes large amounts of glucose, their blood sugar rises.
And a chronic rise in blood sugar can lead to various health complications.
But, let me ask you this…
Imagine you have a clogged sink drain while your water is running.
As the water level continues to get higher and higher do you curse the water and blame it for clogging your sink?
No, that wouldn’t make any sense.
Would turning off the water and letting the water sit there solve your problem?
Of course not.
We all know the underlying problem that you have to fix is the clog itself.
Then why are so many people guilty of taking this very approach with diabetes today?
Diabetes is NOT a Sugar Disease
Let’s get one thing straight…
Diabetes is not a disease “caused” by sugar.
You require insulin to deliver glucose to your cells.
This is why in type 2 diabetes, insulin injections are prescribed to treat the condition while doing nothing to solve the problem.
Diabetes is a dysfunction within your body that prevents your cells from using glucose.
So, just as the case with your clogged sink, blaming the water, or in this case sugar, doesn’t make much sense.
If the underlying problem is that your cells are clogged, preventing you from being able to use glucose, then you can’t blame glucose as the problem.
And if you think that turning off the water, or removing sugar from your diet is the solution then you’re in for a big surprise as well.
Removing sugars and carbohydrates from your diet as a band-aid approach to forcing your blood sugar lower also fails to fix the underlying problem.
Regardless of what your blood sugar levels are, your cells are still clogged and the underlying problem still exists.
In fact, using a low-carb diet to manage your diabetes is actually quite dangerous in itself.
With the increasing popularity of low-carb diets today, I’ve been seeing a higher prevalence of diabetes and especially pre-diabetes in my clients.
For example, I recently consulted with a couple who both followed a low carbohydrate diet, one for 2 years, and one for less, while both developed thyroid issues.
(Note: Low-carb diets are well known to suppress thyroid function as discussed in this article on low carb thyroid dangers.)
But they became very concerned when their latest trip to their doctor uncovered that both had also become pre-diabetic with elevated blood sugar.
They didn’t understand how their blood sugar could possibly be high when they ate so few carbohydrates and absolutely no sugar.
This is far more common than you think.
And I’ll explain how this happens in just a second.
The important thing to understand here is that diabetes is caused by a dysfunction within your body preventing your cells from using glucose.
And blaming sugar and trying to avoid all sugars is NOT how you fix the underlying problem.
How Hypothyroidism Leads to Diabetes
It all boils down to what’s called the Randle Cycle.
In a nutshell, the Randle Cycle is a mechanism by which the presence of large amounts of free fatty-acids (or fats) in your bloodstream compete with the sugar in your bloodstream and block your cells from being able to use or metabolize your blood sugar.
So, it should be no surprise to learn that diabetics have high levels of circulating free-fatty acids in their blood.
And as mentioned previously, if you can’t get sugar to your cells then you won’t be able to use thyroid hormone efficiently.
So, how does this occur in hypothyroidism?
It’s well known that in hypothyroidism, your liver loses its ability to store and release its storage form of sugar, glycogen.
“Dysregulation of free fatty acid metabolism is a key event responsible for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. According to the glucose-fatty acid cycle of Randle, preferential oxidation of free fatty acids over glucose plays a major role in insulin sensitivity and the metabolic disturbances of diabetes mellitus. However, other mechanisms are now described to explain the molecular basis of insulin resistance.”
“The increase in free fatty acid flux resulting from increased lipolysis secondary to adipose-tissue insulin resistance induces or aggravates insulin resistance in liver and muscle through direct or indirect (from triglyceride deposits) generation of metabolites, altering the insulin signalling pathway. Alleviating the excess of free fatty acids is a target for the treatment of insulin resistance.”
Interaction between free fatty acids and glucose metabolism.
“Elevated plasma FFA levels have been shown to account for up to 50% of insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Lowering of FFAs in these patients or interfering with steps in the pathway through which FFAs cause insulin resistance could be a new and promising approach to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
If you want to blame diabetes on something, blame it on PUFA.
This is why we recommend avoiding polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) at all costs.
PUFA oils are generally oils that are liquid at room temperature (olive oil is a slight exception) and are used widely in restaurants, almost all packaged foods, and just about everything you eat.
Needless to say, much of the fats consumed today are in the form of PUFA.
And therefore there are high levels of PUFAs stored within your body’s fat stores.
So, when you are hypothyroid and compensate by secreting large amounts of adrenaline, it results in large amounts of PUFA being released into your bloodstream.
And as Dr. Raymond Peat points out, these PUFA are responsible for killing insulin producing beta-cells of your pancreas.
“The antimetabolic and toxic effects of the polyunsaturated fatty acids can account for the “insulin resistance” that characterizes type-2 diabetes, but similar actions in the pancreatic beta-cells can impair or kill those cells, creating a deficiency of insulin, resembling type-1 diabetes.”
Dr. Raymond Peat, PhD
This is also shown through research:
Long-term exposure of INS-1 rat insulinoma cells to linoleic acid and glucose in vitro affects cell viability and function through mitochondrial-mediated pathways.
Low-Carb Diets May Lower Blood Sugar But Worsen Diabetes
Lowering your blood sugar by removing carbohydrates from your diet will never fix the underlying problem of diabetes.
Sure, you’ll go to your doctor who will monitor your fasting blood sugar and see that it is lower, or even within “normal” range.
Your blood sugar will likely remain within range for a period of time.
But the underlying dysfunction still exists.
Your cells are still not able to use sugar.
And you are still for all intents and purposes, diabetic.
Your brain still requires huge amounts of sugar to function and will get it at any cost.
It’s pure survival.
It’s supply and demand.
In diabetes, if your brain can’t get the sugar it needs (increase in demand) it will force your blood sugar higher (increase in supply) by producing more stress hormones.
And if it’s the over-production of adrenaline and cortisol that caused the problem to begin with… then forcing your body to produce more of these stress hormones will never solve the problem.
By removing more and more carbohydrates from your diet, all you’re doing is forcing your body to produce more adrenaline and cortisol to compensate, which only makes your diabetes worse.
This is why diabetics and hypothyroidism sufferers who follow a low-carb diet long term will see that their blood sugar “stabilizes” initially for a period of time and then begins to increase again no matter how few carbohydrates they consume.
Just as in the case of my two low-carb clients I mentioned earlier.
The more carbohydrates they removed from their diet, the more diabetic they became.
And the more difficult it becomes to reverse.
How to Reverse Diabetes
I work with plenty of diabetic clients and it does take time and is not always easy.
In fact, as Dr. Raymond Peat points out, this is one of the same mechanisms that T3 (thyroid hormone) works to help stimulate healthy metabolism.
In other words, one of the reasons that light therapy has been proven as an effective treatment for hypothyroidism (and potential replacement for thyroid medication) is because it activates this important enzyme, the same way thyroid hormone does.
But also as Dr. Raymond Peat points out, there are many factors today that tend to de-activate this important enzyme… such as dietary PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats), excessive stress, estrogen dominance, low thyroid function, lack of light, copper deficiency, etc.
So, how can you benefit from this?
The Truth Is You Don’t Really Need a Fancy Laser
As Vladimir points out… so much of the light therapy research these days is focused on the use of laser light.
Most likely because laser light can be easily adjusted, which allows researchers to test specific parameters of the light very easily.
Now, less expensive devices using LED lights are becoming more widely used.
But even inexpensive higher powered incandescent light bulbs can provide many of the same therapeutic benefits.
In fact, we use this with clients all the time and it doesn’t have to be expensive at all.
You can get the all the parts you need at your local hardware store including bulbs and inexpensive reflectors to make a simple homemade lamp.
The key is to expose the light directly to your skin to activate the cytochrome c oxidase enzyme, making sure to get exposure to your thyroid and chest.
Starting with as little as 15 minutes daily can provide positive results.
(Note: We are NOT recommending this as a replacement for your thyroid medication as it isn’t as strong or directed as LLLT. But we still highly recommend it for its therapeutic benefits.)
The Bottom Line: Why You Need Light Therapy
If you work indoors, away from windows, and with little exposure to sunlight then light therapy can help protect against light deficiency and hypothyroidism.
If you work the night-shift then this can become extremely important.
But even as we’re approaching winter time in the northern hemisphere, days are beginning to shorten, which naturally reduces our light exposure.
And it’s the reason why so many hypothyroidism sufferers experiencing a worsening of symptoms during the winter months.
All of these are reasons why using light therapy can become extremely important for protecting your thyroid.
Want to build your own light therapy lamp for less than $20?
Here are the detailed instructions on how we use it with our clients and how you can use it too:
“Vitamin A caused a significant reduction in serum TSH concentrations in obese (p = 0.004) and nonobese (p = 0.001) groups. Serum T3 concentrations also increased in both obese and nonobese vitamin A-treated groups (p < 0.001). Serum T4 decreased in all 3 groups after treatment.”
This study looked at the response of thyroid function to Vitamin A supplementation in pre-menopausal women.
The results after the end of the 4 month trial were quite significant, including…
30% to 33% reduction in TSH.
38% to 61% increase in T3 thyroid hormone.
16% to 23% decrease in T4 thyroid hormone.
These results were without the use of any sort of thyroid medication, which is quite amazing.
Yet, understanding these results is important as well.
The rise in T3 thyroid hormone and fall in T4 thyroid hormone is oftentimes an indicator that the improvement in thyroid function resulted from an improved conversion of T4 to T3 in the liver.
But, I also want you to keep in mind that the form of Vitamin A used in this research study was not the form of vitamin A you’ll find in most multi-vitamins or health food stores.
Good Vitamin A vs. Bad Vitamin A
When most people think of Vitamin A, they think of carrots.
Carrots contain a rich source of beta-carotene which is one form of Vitamin A.
And because it’s relatively inexpensive, you’ll find that beta-carotene is the form used in almost all multi-vitamins and other supplements out there.
Yet, it’s important to understand that too much beta-carotene will actually suppress your thyroid.
Beta-carotene itself is not a usable form of Vitamin A.
Your liver has to convert beta-carotene into usable Vitamin A before your body can use.
As Dr. Broda Barnes explains, the liver dysfunction that occurs with hypothyroidism prevents you from converting it efficiently…
“In other words, the thyroid has a profound effect on the liver. We have other evidence that a lack of thyroid is accompanied by a sluggish liver. In the first place, it has been apparent for a century that patients with myxedema (very low thyroid activity) have a yellowish tint to their skins. This has been found to be due to the presence of too much carotene in the blood. The liver converts carotene into vitamin A which is colorless. Under the administration of thyroid, the liver becomes more active and the carotene soon disappears.”
-Dr. Broda Barnes
Dr. Broda Barnes also points out, this is why many hypothyroidism sufferers develop yellowish calluses or a yellowish pigment to their skin, which is common sign or symptom of hypothyroidism.
In fact, in my own personal experiments many years ago, I juiced carrots daily. This only worsened my thyroid condition as I developed a case of carotenemia (yellowish/orangish pigment of the skin)
My wife joked that I had an uncanny resemblance to an Oompa Loompa (from the movie, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”).
With that being said, carrots should not be avoided entirely.
In fact, I use them with clients for some very therapeutic purposes.
However, large amounts of beta-carotene from the over-consumption of beta-carotene rich vegetables and carrot juice should be avoided.
So, what kind of Vitamin A should you be using?
The short answer is a “usable” form of vitamin A.
In the study above, the researchers used retinyl palmitate which tends to work well for most and is what I formulated into our Vitamin ADK Thyroid Formula supplement.
(Note: If you are pregnant, or trying to become pregnant, then it is not advisable to use large amounts of vitamin A. Please discuss this with your doctor.)
But, you still need to be careful with the other ingredients used in your Vitamin A supplement as well.
For example, many Vitamin A or retinyl palmitate supplements are dissolved in some sort of PUFA (polyunsatured fatty acid) oil, which is well known for being very toxic to your thyroid. We avoid this common mistake by dissolving our Vitamin ADK Thyroid Formula in safe and protective coconut oil.
It doesn’t make sense to try to solve one problem only to create a bigger problem for yourself in the process.
While certain supplements can be very helpful with improving and restoring thyroid function, it’s important to understand that supplements are designed to “supplement” an already healthy diet.
With that being said, you should never ignore the importance of your diet.
But, if you’re looking for an easy way to boost your thyroid with zero effort, then this is it.
“CONCLUSION: Higher n-3 FA levels in the colostrum do not appear to confer protection against, but may be a risk factor for, the eventual development of atopy [genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases] in high-risk breastfed infants.”
“More mast cell number and higher histamine concentrations were observed in the oestrous stage than that in the prooestrous and dioestrous stages. Ovariectomy decreased the mast cell number and histamine concentration, which were reconstituted by exogenous oestradiol.”
Over time, this leads to the Estrogen-Histamine Cycle, which results in histamine intolerance.
“When hypoglycaemia is induced by Bordetella pertussis vaccine or insulin, shock is potentiated whereas in hyperglycaemia induced by injections of alloxan or glucose shock is delayed and severity is decreased.”
In this study, researchers showed that low blood sugar significantly increased the allergic response.
Yet, more importantly, they also showed that the allergic response could be delayed and significantly decreased simply by raising your blood sugar.
3. Hypothyroid Metabolism
Another common effect of hypothyroidism is its negative effects on your metabolism.
Hypothyroidism promotes an incomplete form of metabolism, which results in an increase in lactic acid and a decrease in the production of carbon dioxide (CO2), both of which increase histamine production in your body.
This is why CO2 levels are commonly deficiency among thyroid sufferers.
The study below shows that histamine levels are significantly reduced by CO2.
Treatment of mast cells with carbon dioxide suppresses degranulation via a novel mechanism involving repression of increased intracellular calcium levels.
“These results indicate that caffeine inhibits Ca2+ influx and Ca2+ efficacy in the secretory apparatus independent of cAMP, resulting in the inhibition of secretagogs-evoked histamine secretion from rat mast cells.”
Coffee also stimulates healthy oxidative metabolism, which improves both blood sugar handling and CO2 production to further help reduce allergic reactions.
This makes drinking coffee a great way to lessen the effects of allergies while giving your thyroid health a much needed boost.
7. Bag Breathing
Maintaining adequate CO2 levels in your bloodstream is key to maintaining healthy metabolism and thyroid function.
Increasing CO2 levels also helps to lower inflammation and inhibit prostaglandin formation within your body.
An easy way to increase CO2 levels in your body is through bag breathing.
For these reasons, bag breathing can help to stimulate healthy metabolism and decrease the release of histamine to inhibit the allergic response in a healthy way.
It’s very simple and easy to do.
All you need to do is to hold an empty deflated bag over your mouth and nose and breath in and out for as long as you comfortably can.
When you exhale, the CO2 from your breath becomes trapped in the bag, increasing the concentration of CO2.
When you rebreath that exhaled CO2, you absorb it back through your lungs causing your blood CO2 levels to rise.
Over time, your CO2 levels will return to normal so practicing this multiple times per day will have a greater overall effect.
So, there you have it.
The Hypothyroid-Allergy Connection is a common cause of both allergies and heightened allergic responses.
Eliminating your allergies can be achieved by:
Decreasing the number of immune mast cells.
Decreasing the amount of histamine those mast cells release.
Decreasing the levels of prostaglandins.
Decreasing nitric oxide levels.
And to do that we’ve covered seven simple thyroid-boosting tips that can help.
While each one can certainly help, using all seven would certainly have a greater therapeutic effect.
Yet, the goal is to start simple.
We always recommend starting with things that can give you the best response with the least amount of effort.
For example, maybe you want to start by reducing estrogen, which is one of the biggest and most common thyroid-allergy triggers.
Lowering estrogen to improve your allergies and thyroid health doesn’t have to be complicated.
Ever wonder if it’s actually good or bad for you and your thyroid health?
Some love coffee and say that they can’t live without it (more on this a second).
Others claim that coffee is nothing more than an addictive stimulant that is ruining the lives of millions of people who consume it daily.
Well, one thing is certain… coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.
It’s also one of the largest sources of antioxidants in the human diet.
Yet, there are a lot of anti-coffee claims out there… such as:
Coffee increases stress hormones and should be avoided due to adrenal-fatigue because our lives today are inundated with stress…
Coffee worsens thyroid function and should never be used in cases of hormonal issues.
Caffeine over-stimulates the body and depletes the body of nutrients.
The good news is that all of these common anti-coffee claims have one thing in common…
…they’re all FALSE.
And we’re here to set the record straight.
Unfortunately, coffee is one of the most misunderstood foods with respect to its health benefits.
In this article you’re going to learn:
How coffee and caffeine both boost and protect your thyroid health on numerous levels.
How coffee and caffeine reduce your risk of almost every disease from heart disease, to cancer, to diabetes, and even neurodegenerative brain diseases.
How coffee and caffeine help you to be healthier and live a higher quality of life.
Now, that’s not to say that some people don’t have trouble tolerating coffee.
Some experience blood sugar instability, insomnia, anxiety, etc.
However, these types of issues typically stem from other underlying dysfunctions, such as poor liver function, poor diet, and nutritional deficiencies, and not from the coffee itself.
We’ve worked with many clients to overcome these issues so they could use coffee to the benefit of their thyroid health.
Believe it or not, scientifically speaking, coffee has many similarities to thyroid hormone in how it affects your body.
For example, like thyroid hormone, coffee helps to stimulate healthy oxidative metabolism, which is necessary for high-energy production.
Dysfunctional metabolism is one reason why fatigue is such a common symptom of hypothyroidism.
Keep in mind that for coffee to have beneficial effects on your thyroid health, it does NOT have to work by augmenting thyroid hormone levels.
This is a common mistake made by many so-called experts who claim that coffee has no positive effects on thyroid health.
While some see reaching for a morning cup a coffee to help get your day started as a sign of addiction or weakness…
…the fact that some feel like they can’t live without coffee is simply a sign that coffee is helping them to produce energy more efficiently (and in a healthier way too).
Now, let’s get a couple of things straight.
I’m in no way saying that simply drinking coffee will cure anyone of their thyroid dysfunction (or any disease), or that coffee can be used as a replacement for your thyroid medication.
While the health benefits of coffee are quite clear, using coffee cannot completely protect you from thyroid-suppressive dietary (i.e. low-carb), lifestyle and supplement choices. For example, if coffee decreases your risk of heart disease by 15 percent, yet your diet increases your risk by 30 percent, you will still be at a greater risk of heart disease, even though the coffee is still helping.
However, when used properly, coffee can certainly play a BIG role in helping to improve your thyroid health by improving the efficiency of your thyroid function.
Aside from its thyroid-boosting effects, coffee has far too many additional health benefits to ignore.
Simply put, it is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your thyroid and protect yourself from numerous deadly diseases, which you’re about to see.
If you currently drink coffee, then this will help reinforce why you should continue to make coffee a part of your daily life.
If not, then you may find yourself wondering why.
5 Ways Coffee Boosts Your Thyroid Hormone Pathway (and Your Thyroid Health)
To truly understand the full thyroid-boosting benefits that coffee has to offer, you have to first understand that your thyroid health depends on much more than just your thyroid gland.
Instead, your thyroid health depends on an intricate Thyroid Hormone Pathway, which your thyroid hormones must travel before they ever gets to your cells, and before your body can ever use it.
“Statistical analysis revealed a strikingly negative (p less than 0.05) association between benign and malignant thyroid disease and consumption of coffee. After adjustment for possible confounding variables, the association remained statistically significant.”
The protective effects of coffee against thyroid cancer are further supported by additional evidence.
First, caffeine is known to increase cyclic AMP, which inhibits cancer cell growth.
Second, as we’ll cover in detail in just a bit, coffee is also well-known to reduce the risk of numerous other types of cancer.
Unfortunately, some also attempt to argue the thyroid protective effects of coffee based on unreliable studies.
For example, one meta-analysis study found no correlation between coffee and thyroid cancer, however, the author was unable to draw this conclusion due to the unreliability of the study data stating…
“Coffee contains a variety of biologically active compounds that might affect the risk of cancer. For instance, caffeine increases intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate, which has an inhibitory effect on cell (i.e., tumor) growth [13,27]. However, the effects of caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee on thyroid cancer were not studied in this meta-analysis due to limited information. Only one study  reported separate association estimates for caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee with thyroid cancer, showing that drinking caffeinated coffee has a preventive effect on thyroid cancer, whereas decaffeinated coffee was associated with an increased risk … These findings should be interpreted with caution because of potential biases and confounding variables.”
While there is still room for plenty of additional research, the research that is available has demonstrated a significantly lower risk of thyroid cancer among coffee drinkers.
2. Coffee Boosts Your Thyroid By Protecting Your Liver
We say it all the time…
Probably the most important, yet overlooked, piece of the thyroid puzzle is your liver.
Your thyroid gland may produce thyroid hormone, but it’s your liver that must convert that thyroid hormone into its usable form and regulate the amount of thyroid hormone your body needs all day every day.
And that’s just scratching the surface.
Your liver is also responsible for detoxifying numerous thyroid-suppressive hormones and toxins as well as regulating your blood sugar.
All of these are essential for proper thyroid function.
Studies show that both coffee and caffeine protect your liver in numerous ways, including:
Lowering liver enzymes (a sign of stress/damage to the liver).
Protecting against fatty liver disease.
Protecting against fibrosis of the liver.
Effects of coffee consumption against the development of liver dysfunction: a 4-year follow-up study of middle-aged Japanese male office workers.
“CONCLUSIONS: A possible opposite, if not antagonistic, role of coffee with regard to overweightness and insulin resistance, similar to that reported in hepatocarcinoma and cirrhosis, is envisaged in the natural history of NAFLD.”
Association of coffee and caffeine consumption with fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and degree of hepatic fibrosis.
“RESULTS: In premenopausal women, caffeine intake was inversely associated with luteal total and free estradiol, and positively associated with luteal progesterone levels (P-trend = .02, .01, .03, respectively). Coffee intake was significantly associated with lower luteal total and free estradiol levels, but not luteal progesterone levels (P-trend = .007, .004, .20, respectively). Among the postmenopausal women, there was a positive association between caffeine and coffee intake and SHBG levels (P-trend = .03 and .06, respectively).”
Coffee and caffeine have also been shown to protect against thyroid-suppressive estrogen in other ways.
For example, the aromatase enzyme that exists in your fat cells is a common means of estrogen overproduction in hypothyroidism.
This enzyme converts androgens like testosterone in estrogen.
Coffee is a well-known and recognized aromatase inhibitor, meaning that it helps to stop this enzyme from producing excess estrogen.
Caffeine has also been shown to provide additional anti-estrogenic benefits through its ability to directly block estrogen-receptors.
This is evident through the mounting research showing caffeine’s ability to protect against estrogen-receptor (positive and negative) cancers.
Caffeine and Caffeic Acid Inhibit Growth and Modify Estrogen Receptor and Insulin-like Growth Factor I Receptor Levels in Human Breast Cancer.
“RESULTS: Moderate (2-4 cups/day) to high (≥5 cups/day) coffee intake was associated with smaller invasive primary tumors (Ptrend = 0.013) and lower proportion of ER(+) tumors (Ptrend = 0.018), compared with patients with low consumption (≤1 cup/day). Moderate to high consumption was associated with lower risk for breast cancer events in tamoxifen-treated patients with ER(+) tumors (adjusted HR, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.26-0.97). Caffeine and caffeic acid suppressed the growth of ER(+) (P ≤ 0.01) and ER(-) (P ≤ 0.03) cells. Caffeine significantly reduced ER and cyclin D1 abundance in ER(+) cells. Caffeine also reduced the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGFIR) and pAkt levels in both ER(+) and ER(-) cells.”
4. Coffee Boosts Your Thyroid By Lowering Thyroid-Suppressive Stress Hormones
Stress hormones are well known for their thyroid-suppressive effects.
Both stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3 in the liver and increase the conversion of T4 to reverse T3.
Stress hormones are also probably the most controversial topic when it comes to coffee and caffeine.
Many people have been led to believe that coffee is bad because it increases stress hormone levels.
However, this is a very misunderstood topic.
What you need to understand is that most of the benefits of coffee are dose-dependent (the more you drink the more the benefit) and come from long-term use (drinking it daily).
Some studies show that if one has avoided coffee and begins using it, there can be a temporary increase in stress hormone production over the course of a few days.
Yet, studies further show that after a week or two of continual use, coffee actually lowers stress hormone production significantly.
In other words, the daily use of coffee is extremely protective against stress.
(NOTE: If you don’t tolerate coffee well, then it’s most often due to underlying dysfunctions within your own body that need to be fixed. We’ll cover this and how to improve your tolerance to coffee in more detail in an upcoming article. Coffee is something that everyone can and should benefit from.)
Coffee and caffeine lower stress hormones in a number of ways.
The following study shows that coffee directly blocks the 11beta-HSD1 enzyme responsible for the production of cortisol.
The researchers also determined that this effect was not due to caffeine, but rather to other components of coffee.
Coffee inhibits the reactivation of glucocorticoids by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1: a glucocorticoid connection in the anti-diabetic action of coffee?
“Coffee extract blocked 11beta-HSD1-dependent cortisol formation, prevented the subsequent nuclear translocation of the glucocorticoid receptor and abolished glucocorticoid-induced expression of the key gluconeogenic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase.”
While the study above demonstrated the potent anti-stress effects of coffee unrelated to caffeine, caffeine itself has been shown to provide even more anti-stress benefits.
The following study shows that long-term caffeine use also inhibits production of the stress hormone adrenaline.
Chronic caffeine intake decreases circulating catecholamines and prevents diet-induced insulin resistance and hypertension in rats.
“We concluded that long-term caffeine intake prevented the development of insulin resistance and hypertension in HF and HSu models and that this effect was related to a decrease in circulating catecholamines.”
Caffeine also suppresses stress by increasing dopamine and your sensitivity to dopamine.
Dopamine in turn lowers serotonin, another potent anti-thyroid hormone.
Serotonin, a stress hormone commonly elevated in hypothyroidism, activates your pituitary gland to increase cortisol, estrogen, and prolactin, all of which are extremely thyroid-suppressive.
5. Coffee Boosts Metabolism and Active T3 Thyroid Hormone By Reversing Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance (and diabetes), which is extremely common in hypothyroidism, also inhibits the conversion of inactive T4 into active T3 thyroid hormone by your liver.
It does so by preventing your liver cells from properly using glucose (sugar), the inherent problem of diabetes.
As Dr. Raymond Peat states:
“Since glucose is needed by liver cells to produce the active (T3) form of thyroid, diabetes almost by definition will produce hypothyroidism, since in diabetes glucose can’t be absorbed efficiently by cells.”
Studies have confirmed this by showing that those with diabetes develop elevated T4 and low T3 levels, a classic sign that T4 is not being convert into T3.
The Relationship Between Thyroid Function and the Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Euthyroid Subjects.
“CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that decreased FT3, FT3/FT4 ratios, and increased FT4 levels are independently related to a higher prevalence of T2DM in both males and females.”
So, anything that can help reverse or prevent insulin resistance and diabetes will also help improve thyroid function by increasing the conversion of inactive T4 into the active T3 thyroid hormone in the liver.
Well, coffee helps do that too.
Numerous studies have now demonstrated that long-term coffee and caffeine use protects against insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.
Chronic caffeine intake decreases circulating catecholamines and prevents diet-induced insulin resistance and hypertension in rats.
“We concluded that long-term caffeine intake prevented the development of insulin resistance and hypertension in HF and HSu models and that this effect was related to a decrease in circulating catecholamines.”
Both hypothyroidism and diabetes also impair the final stage of your Thyroid Hormone Pathway… your metabolism.
One of the essential functions of active T3 thyroid hormone is to promote healthy oxidative metabolism. This is required for your cells to produce the large amounts of energy they need to maintain their healthy and disease-free state.
If you are hypothyroid (or diabetic), your healthy oxidative metabolism becomes inhibited.
Many studies have demonstrated coffee and caffeine’s ability to stimulate healthy oxidative metabolism and the efficient use of glucose.
This is yet another way that coffee and caffeine help promote healthy thyroid function by supporting a healthy, pro-thyroid state of metabolism.
5 More Undeniable Health Benefits of Coffee
The benefits of coffee and caffeine don’t stop with just your thyroid.
The additional health benefits coffee has to offer may make you question why anyone would not want to drink it. (We’ve had many clients who can’t..