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Do B Vitamins Improve Thyroid Function?

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Do you know the importance of B vitamins? According to research, many Americans are deficient in these vital nutrients. A deficiency in B vitamins can lead to a host of problems, including low energy, concentration problems, and even a sluggish metabolism. Read on to see how B vitamins can influence your metabolism.

The metabolism is run by your thyroid. One of the main functions of the thyroid is to control energy production and use in the body. If you have a sluggish metabolism, it is likely that your thyroid hormone levels are low. B vitamins have been attributed to boosting metabolism and energy release, but do they really help reverse a sluggish thyroid?

Read on to see how B vitamins affect your metabolism and thyroid.

The Role of B Vitamins

B vitamins plan many roles in the body. The B vitamin family is made up of 8 related vitamins.

Thiamin

Thiamin produces cellular energy from foods and supports nervous system function. This is one of the main B vitamins used for thyroid health and metabolism. You can find thiamin in lentils, pork, whole grains, and nuts. Niacin is vitamin B2 and it supports cellular energy production and the metabolism. Specifically, vitamin B2 is known for its support of heart health. You can find vitamin B2 in meat, fish, whole grains, lentils, and peanuts.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is used in over 100 cellular reactions, making it incredibly important for overall health. Vitamin B6 metabolizes amino acids and glycogen, which is one of the biggest functions of the metabolism. Vitamin B6 is found in meat, banana, fish, cereal, and spinach.

Riboflavin

Riboflavin supports energy at the cellular level. You will find riboflavin in milk, eggs, salmon, broccoli, cereal, milk, and eggs.

Folate

Folate, or folic acid, is an essential B vitamin for the nervous system. Folate can be found in leafy vegetables, liver, beets, avocados, and dates.

Biotin

Biotin is used to support healthy hair, nails, and skin. It also is used by the thyroid to metabolize protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Biotin is found in organ meat, cheese, soy, and brewer's yeast.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for energy production, memory, and brain health. The vitamin is used in DNA synthesis and is found in meat, eggs, and milk.

Pantothenic Acid

This B vitamin is found in organ meats, eggs, whole grains, nuts, rice, and milk. This acid is supportive of cellular energy production.

B Vitamins and Your Metabolism

B vitamins are crucial for boosting your energy and preventing fatigue. What happens when you don't have energy? You not only move less and exercise less often, but your body is also suffering from internal fatigue. This actually slows down your metabolism and makes it harder to process food and nutrients, even leading to weight gain.

According to studies, up to 40 percent of adults do not get enough B vitamins in their diet, which could influence energy and stress levels. In extreme cases, a lack of B vitamins will cause mood swings, chronic fatigue, and a metabolism that chugs along at a glacial pace. It will be difficult to live a healthy lifestyle with insufficient vitamin B levels.

Symptoms of B Vitamin Deficiency
  • Lack of energy
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Inflamed tongue
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Tingling in hands and feet

How B Vitamins Boost Thyroid Function

Your thyroid uses all B vitamins to convert and use energy and prevent the accumulation of fat. Your thyroid also uses B vitamins to create thyroid hormones that are used to boost the metabolism. The less thyroid hormones you have, the slower your metabolism will be. Common side effects of low thyroid hormones are fatigue, which also overlap the symptoms of low vitamin B levels. Your thyroid specifically uses large quantities of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and B5.

Foods to Avoid

Did you know that certain foods can interfere with thyroid function and the speed of your metabolism? If you want to reset your thyroid fast, avoid these foods until your thyroid functions normally again.

Soy

Too many soy products in the diet can prevent the enzyme that carrier iodine to the thyroid. This can naturally cause a deficiency in thyroid function and metabolism as iodine is essential for proper thyroid function. Avoid artificial soy products and soy substitutes that replace dairy and meat.

Brassica Vegetables

Vegetables in the brassica family have been linked to low thyroid hormone levels. If you have a sluggish thyroid, you may want to avoid these particular vegetables for a while. The biggest offenders are broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Gluten

You may find that gluten reduces your thyroid hormone levels and lowers the metabolism. Gluten is metabolized differently than many other foods, and too much of it can cause digestive problems that cause a sluggish metabolism. Reduce your gluten intake and your metabolism is likely to increase.

Nutrients that Boost Thyroid Function

In addition to B vitamins, other nutrients have been linked with boosting thyroid function. These nutrients include:

L-Tyrosine

L-tyrosine is necessary to produce the right amount of thyroid hormones. A lack of L-tyrosine in the body has been linked with low thyroid hormone levels. In several studies, supplementing with L-tyrosine improved the production of thyroid hormones and amino acids.

Copper and Manganese

Copper and Manganese are trace minerals that work against thyroid function if you are low in either nutrient. In animal studies it was found that animals low in copper and manganese had thyroid problems, but animals who were low in both nutrients had the worst metabolisms.

Zinc

Zinc is essential for proper metabolism function. Zinc has been shown to improve thyroid function in multiple studies when given as a supplement.

Selenium

Selenium is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones and metabolism regulation. Selenium works with iodine to prevent both thyroid extremes- too little and too much hormones.

Iodine

Iodine has been used to treat sluggish thyroids for decades. Low levels of iodine are chronically linked with a sluggish thyroid and metabolism. Iodine levels should not exceed 600 mcg per day or it can also cause problems.

Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine is used in the production of thyroid hormones. Without proper levels of phenylalanine, thyroid function and metabolism suffers.

Natural Treatments for a Sluggish Thyroid

In addition to supplements and consuming B vitamins for boosting thyroid function, there are a few other steps you can take that will improve your metabolism overall. These steps include:

Eating a Clean Diet

Your diet plays a huge role in your metabolism. Junk food is harder to digest and offers fewer nutrients for your body to use. Simply by replacing junk food with healthy foods you will do wonders for your metabolism. Watch out for vegetable fats, as these are sneaky additives in a lot of "healthy" foods.

Removing Stress

Stress can be a huge barrier to a efficient metabolism. When you are stressed, your body goes into fight or flight mode, which slows the metabolism. This is a evolutionary reaction that was a benefit in past centuries when food was scarce, but today, it largely just causes unhealthy weight gain. Reduce your stress and your metabolism will naturally pick up.

B Vitamins Key for a Healthy Metabolism

If you suffer from a sluggish thyroid and slow metabolism, B vitamins can make a big difference. Increase your intake of B-rich foods and supplement with the right combination of herbs and other nutrients to balance your hormones and reset your metabolism. It will only take a few weeks for your metabolism to start functioning normally.

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