Vitamin C deficiency wreaks havoc on thyroid function

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woman-throat(NaturalHealth365) With an estimated 30 million Americans having some form of thyroid disease, solutions are necessary as impaired thyroid function can lead to other chronic diseases if not treated. Because the thyroid is a hormone-producing gland that regulates the body’s metabolism, it also affects critical body functions.

Keep in mind, the rate at which your body produces energy from oxygen and nutrients can alter the way your heart, brain, muscles, liver, and other body parts work. If they work too fast or slow, you won’t feel well. Therefore, therapy is essential if you want to feel your best.

An important but neglected vitamin for healthy thyroid function

Numerous studies have confirmed the presence of excess oxidative stress and a deteriorated antioxidant defense system in thyroid conditions. In fact, a large experimental study published in the BMC Endocrine Disorders journal reported that all subjects with benign or malignant thyroid disease had low levels of antioxidants, particularly with selenium, zinc, and vitamin C.

While low levels of selenium and zinc were not found in all subjects, low levels of vitamin C were. This confirms an association with vitamin C deficiency and thyroid function. One reason why vitamin C may be deficient in all people with thyroid conditions could be a result of adrenal fatigue.

Physical, mental, and emotional stress takes its toll on the adrenal gland

The adrenal gland contains the highest concentration of vitamin C in the body. In fact, the vitamin plays a crucial role in both the adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla which are responsible for responding to stress.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin C secretion is part of the body’s stress response. Excessive stress, along with the body’s insufficient intake of the vitamin, can create a deficiency that leads to adrenal stress.

Countless studies show chronic adrenal stress disrupts the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Because thyroid hormone is directed by the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands, anything that disrupts the HPA axis will affect thyroid function.

With studies proving that vitamin C deficiency is a problem for all people who have a thyroid condition, it’s possible that adrenal fatigue could be the cause. Therefore, it’s imperative to include foods and/or supplements containing vitamin C, especially with extreme or ongoing stress.

How does vitamin C boost thyroid medication delivery

Many people who have been diagnosed with a form of thyroid disease often adopt pharmaceutical medication to regulate their thyroid. However, many patients still exhibit symptoms which indicate the medication may not fully work towards thyroid homeostasis. However, studies are showing that natural antioxidant therapy – such as with vitamin C – can reverse thyroid damage and even help those who don’t see improvement with their prescription medication.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism recently studied the effects of vitamin C on the absorption of a synthetic T4 hormone with 31 patients who either had autoimmune thyroiditis or idiopathic hypothyroidism. Prior to the study, all patients were not in good control when taking the synthetic T4. Serum concentrations of T3, T4, and TSH were measured at particular intervals after vitamin C therapy.

All three concentrations were improved while taking vitamin C. TSH decreased in all patients and normalized in nearly 55 percent of them. T4 was higher with 30 of the 31 patients, and T3 was increased with all patients tested. These findings are significant in the role of vitamin C and thyroid function.

Improving thyroid function with vitamin C

Every day is a challenge when it comes to protecting our bodies from damaging chemicals in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. As presented, vitamin C has proven to help prevent adverse effects to health by optimizing thyroid function.

If you suspect or have a thyroid condition, you may want to consider taking a vitamin C supplement. One of the leading experts on treating thyroid disease, the late Dr. John C. Lowe, recommended the highest doses of vitamin C to bowel tolerance for four weeks as therapy.

The supplement should be taken in divided doses throughout the day. Larger amounts taken are less absorbed into the blood. Therefore, you may want to consider 250 to 2,000 milligrams at one time. Absorption rate is 80 to 50 percent respectively.

Dr. Lowe’s requirement for Vitamin C ranges from 8,500 to 20,000 milligrams per day during stressful times and 2,300 to 10,000 milligrams per day for optimal health.

Editor’s note: If you’re looking to learn more about vitamin C – check out our section called, “Vitamin C Benefits” – and, in particular, take a look at “Reversing disease with the multi-C protocol” by Thomas Levy, MD, JD – a featured NaturalHealth365 contributor.

About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.

Lowe, J.C. & Honeyman-Lowe, G. (2003). Your Guide to Metabolic Health. Boulder, Colorado: McDowell Health-Science Books, LLC.

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  • Wendy Allen

    My nails break when I take Vit C. Vit C may be from GMO corn. Muskmelon/berries/citrus fruit makes my fingers/nails more shiny and gums in my mouth more rubbery/ healthier. Vit C may help adrenals…then less coritsol to block thyroid. Vit C as an antioxidant may help thyroid. Vit C may help detox along with glutathione/alpha lipoic acid that may help recycle Vit C and Vit E. Sustained Vit C may help. 2000mg of Vit C daily orally is the most I can take. Vit C IV 25,0000mg with glutathione push helped my Lyme.

  • Lee

    Steve, thanks so much for the link. I read your notes, and especially appreciate the information on how to test for the degree to which lipsomes have formed.

    Regarding the use of a jewelry cleaner machine, I saw an excellent discussion under a YouTube video on homemade liposomal C, where a chemist warned against the use of it. Lipsomal C goes directly into the cells (the good news). But the bad news is that the interior of a jewelry cleaner likely isn’t food grade stainless steel, which means that metals impurities from the metal liner would go into the lipsomal C, and then directly into the cells.

    I’m sorry I didn’t keep the link for that video and its discussion, but the video was made by a guy standing in front of his mobile home, and he looks kind of like a biker. The guy is incredibly sincere, and was hence very open to the chemist’s feedback in the comments section.

    You may (or may not) wish to know that this same chemist expressed strong sentiments regarding the videos put out by Natural Herbal Pharmacy–due to many errors he believes are presented as valid. Moreover, he said that when he tried to post under those videos regarding his (chemist’s) view of what is advocated, the site owner for Natural Herbal Pharmacy blocked his comments. I don’t have a dog in that fight, so please know that I’m not taking sides. I simply know that for myself, I appreciate well-meaning and informed critique, and that it is why I’m mentioning that video and its comments section to you. (If I manage to find that link again, I’ll post it here.)

  • Lee

    Abby Campbell, thanks so much for writing this article. It’s really important information. I think a lot people who suffer from thyroid disorders have depleted adrenals, but they don’t know it. The problem with merely treating the thyroid (while ignoring adrenal depletion) is that the thyroid is not supported in sustaining its functioning–and so one may never really get better.
    As much stress as people contend with every day, I doubt there are many who wouldn’t do well to give a second and third look to their adrenal functioning–even if they are not overtly ill. It’s far better to support adrenal function before they start to bottom out.

  • Lee

    Follow-up post:
    Though I searched, I still haven’t located the link to the YouTube video I had mentioned below. However, the issue of metallic contamination (from the jewelry cleaner basin) did arise in the discussion at this link, where a contributor named Richard recommended using a glass beaker in the machine’s basin:
    http://health-matrix. net/2013/06/17/heal-thyself-with-homemade-liposomal-vitamin-c/comment-page-1/#comments

    In that same discussion, I learned of a thorough site put together by someone who has done a lot of investigation about how to make liposomal C:
    http://qualityliposomalc. com/

  • Heather Verte

    I take vitamin C and it has worked wonders for me. I am sure it helped my adrenal glands and thyroid function. It has not only stopped my hair from falling out, but has increased my energy.

    • montarest

      If your a woman B complex vitamins might help thinning hair.


      Heather, how much and what kind of Vitamin C do you take? It would be interesting to know. I have Hashimotos. Am getting no where with my endo doctor;) there is not an abundance of alternative docs in my city.

  • Ben

    Wikipedia says the LD-50 dose is 11.9 grams. https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Vitamin_C_megadosage#Chance_of_overdose
    I’ve probably had 12-15 grams today. I’m not dead. Is there any actual risk with Vitamin C?

    • Lee

      Ben, my understanding is that when the stool becomes runny, that’s the body’s signal that too much C is being ingested. Even so, apparently, doing a couple days’ worth of runny stool can help to flush the intestines (or so I’ve read).

      Beyond that, you might want to check out the Linus Pauling Institute, because the wealth of vitamin C information there is amazing:
      http://lpi.oregonstate. edu/linus-pauling-biography

      • Christina Kalix

        I started to take a C supplement but my stool has always been runny – ’cause I drink coffee and within 5 minutes “gotta go”. What I read is since our bodies don’t make C, nor does it store C, it comes out in the urine but if you take over 2,000 mg daily you could get diarrhea.

        • Sandika

          OMG, TMI.