28 blog

19 October 2021

Hashimoto’s and goitrogens

Patryk Mazurek

As you probably already know, Hashimoto’s is a disease of the thyroid gland. It is one of the many endocrine glands in our body – a structure that secretes hormones into the bloodstream that perform important functions. Among other things, the thyroid gland is responsible for producing thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These are some of the most influential hormones in the human body, responsible for many physiological processes and the metabolism of nutrients. In short, they are responsible for the proper functioning of the body. Hashimoto’s disease is a chronic, autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid gland resulting from its hypothyroidism. It is caused by too low levels of thyroid hormones or their malfunction. You’re probably wondering how to raise their levels and what goitrogens are. In that case, welcome to continue!


Do I need to be afraid of goitrogens?

Let me first explain to you what goitrogens are. They are anti-nutrients that, when ingested, can contribute to thyroid goiter in a person with Hashimoto’s. Goitrogens bind to iodine molecules in your body and make it harder for your body to make thyroid hormones. These include substances such as thioglycosides, flavonoids, catechins, goitrins, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates. You’re probably wondering where to find them, I’m already hurrying with the answer. The substances mentioned above can be found in products such as head cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, soybeans, turnips, rutabagas or kale. Do not eat these foods around the time you are taking levothyroxine. However, you can include them in your diet, especially since heat treatment can reduce the goitrogen content to about 30%. Soy is also a product that may have an adverse effect on your thyroid function. However, you don’t have to exclude soy from your diet either, but only limit its amount, remembering about the proper distance from the levothyroxine you take.


Hashimoto’s and goitrogens?

If you suffer from Hashimoto’s you definitely need to avoid eating goitrogen-rich foods around the time you take levothyroxine. However, you don’t have to exclude them from your diet, especially if you make sure you have adequate levels of iodine in your diet. It is a good idea to test your iodine levels – you can do this through blood tests. In case of good results do not be afraid of products rich in goitrogens, you will also find other compounds in them, such as: folic acid, vitamin K, iron.


What is worth remembering?

Remember, Hashimoto’s is a disease associated with hypothyroidism, in which a diet rich in iodine plays an important role. Goitrogens are substances contained in many common foods that, when combined with low iodine concentrations in the body, can lead to thyroid goiter. If you get enough iodine, you can eat goitrogen-rich foods while keeping in mind the levothyroxine spacing and ways to reduce goitrogens, such as cooking, freezing, soaking, slicing, and pocketing. Stay informed, monitor your iodine levels, go get tested!

Patryk Mazurek

I am a third-year student of Dietetics (first degree) at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW). I am mainly interested in sports dietetics and bodybuilding. In the future I would like to guide some people to achieve their desired sports goals. I love to cook and try new flavors. Additionally, I am interested in the motorics of the entire human body - what works how and why?