Before we look at the 3 biggest causes of thyroid problems women face we need to determine what the symptoms are….
Now that we understand what the symptoms are we can look at some of the causes of thyroid problems women face. The number three culprit for thyroid problems is aging. Though there isn’t a lot one can do about getting older it is possible to minimize the issues one faces with thyroid health by addressing what you eat and how you exercise. The number two cause of thyroid problems is heredity While you can’t pick your family, it is possible to recognize the health issues they have faced so that you can prepare yourself and defend yourself from suffering the same fate they did. This is most easily accomplished by understanding the number one biggest factor in thyroid health issues and that is the food we choose to eat! Of the three the only one that we have any control over is what we consume. Because of the massive amount of genetically modified items offered up as food in our grocery markets today, it is more important now, than it has ever been to be an informed and careful consumer. GMOs come in three main categories.
- Seeds that have been modified to withstand pesticides
- Seeds that produce food that IS a pesticide
- Meat that comes from genetically modified animals
These foods are very pervasive making up 85% of the products on the grocery shelves today! Let’s look at each of these GMO categories and how it causes thyroid problems women face, starting with seeds that have been modified to withstand pesticides. This means that seeds have their DNA modified to live under increasingly adverse conditions and that when these crops grow more dangerous and poisonous chemicals are sprayed on them. The plants absorb these chemicals into their cells so that you can’t simply wash this stuff off, you end up consuming it.
Pesticides and Thyroid Health One study examined the association between the use of organochlorines and risk of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism (9). They found that the use of chlordane, the fungicides benomyl and maneb/mancozeb, and the herbicide paraquat was significantly associated with hypothyroidism. Maneb/mancozeb was the only pesticide associated with both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. That data in the study showed that there was a role of organochlorines and fungicides in the etiology of thyroid disease. Another study investigated the effects of chronic exposure to organochlorine pesticides on thyroid hormone levels in children (10), and the data showed that exposure of children to organochlorine pesticides produced a significant increase in serum total T3 concentrations. Another study looked to assess the burden of organochlorine pesticides and their influence on thyroid function in women (11). Out of the analyzed pesticides, the concentration of p,p’-DDT and its metabolites was higher in all the subjects, but dieldrin was found to be significantly high in the hypothyroid women. Yet another study evaluated the pesticide effects on reproductive and thyroid hormones of cotton farmers (12). The study concluded that pesticide exposure is associated with thyroid and reproductive hormone level disturbance. There is also evidence that pesticides, along with other environmental factors, can also be a factor in thyroid autoimmunity (13)(14). The paraoxonase-1 enzyme (PON1) plays an important role in the toxicity of some organophosphate pesticides, with low PON1 activity being associated with higher pesticide activity (15). One study looked at the interaction between exposure to organophosphate compounds and PON1 enzyme activity on serum levels of TSH and thyroid hormones in a population of workers occupationally exposed to pesticides (15). The results of the study suggest a strong association between organophosphate pesticides and thyroid function in individuals with lower PON1 activity. [full article here]
And here is a complete study done on how pesticides in our diet affects thyroid health.
Pesticide Use and Thyroid Disease Among Women in the Agricultural Health Study
There is increasing evidence that environmental exposures, specifically to pesticides, should also be considered potential risk factors for thyroid disease. Certain insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides have been previously reported to be endocrine disruptors and, more specifically, thyroid disruptors acting through diverse mechanisms (7–9) such as inhibition of thyroidal iodine uptake, interference at the thyroid hormone receptor, binding to transport proteins, interference with iodothyronine deiodinases, increased clearance of thyroid hormones, interference with cellular uptake of thyroid hormones, and interference with thyroid hormone gene expression (7, 9). Animal studies have shown that pesticide exposure to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), amitrole, and chemicals from the thiocarbamate family can serve as goitrogens (10, 11) and can cause decreased total T4, free T4, total T3, and free T3 levels as well as increased TSH levels (12).
The next GMO items up are food that become pesticides themselves. With the addition of Bt genes the plant itself becomes a pesticide. Here is a short explanation of what this is and how it works:
Since 1996 plants have been modified with short sequences of genes from Bt to express the crystal protein Bt makes. With this method, plants themselves can produce the proteins and protect themselves from insects without any external Bt and/or synthetic pesticide sprays. In 1999, 29 million acres of Bt corn, potato and cotton were grown globally. It has been estimated that by using Bt protected cotton, the United States was able to save approximately $92 million.
Bt GM crops are protected specifically against European corn borer, southwestern corn borer, tobacco budworm, cotton bollworm, pink bollworm and the Colorado potato beetle. Other benefits attributed to using Bt include:
- Reduced environmental impacts from pesticides – When the plants are producing the toxins in their tissues there is no need to spray synthetic pesticides or apply Bt mixtures topically.
- Increased opportunity for beneficial insects – Bt proteins will not kill beneficial insects.
- Reduced pesticide exposure to farm workers and non-target organisms.
Potential risks to using Bt:
- Invasiveness – Genetic modifications, through traditional breeding or by genetic engineering can potentially change the organism to become invasive. Few introduced organisms become invasive, yet it’s a concern for the users.
- Resistance to Bt – The biggest potential risk to using Bt-crops is resistance. Farmers have taken many steps to help prevent resistance.
- Cross-contamination of genes – Although unproven, genes from GM crops can potentially introduce the new genes to native species.
So essentially you are eating bio-engineered food that IS a pesticide. (Easy to see the connection between this thyroid problems women face right?)
Foods in this category include; wheat (ever wondered why gluten intolerance is going through the roof?), soy, alfalfa (You don’t eat that you say? Well every cow in America is feed alfalfa), corn (Another animal staple food.), cotton (we use cotton seed oil), Canola (rapeseed), tomatoes and rice. A little side story on GMO corn, which is EVERYWHERE. When farmers offer their cattle and pigs the choice between GMO corn and non gmo corn, they will always eat only the non gmo corn! Speaking of cattle and pigs, as we mentioned above Dr. Huber covers how GMO crops are infecting our meat supply! This hour long video talks about how GMOs affect our health and the environment. Who is Dr. Don Huber?
- Dr. Don Huber, an agricultural scientist and expert in microbial ecology, has issued stern warnings about shockingly devastating effects of genetically engineered food crops after discovering a brand new organism in GE animal feed—an organism that has since been clearly linked to infertility and miscarriage in cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and poultry
- Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, and this new-to-science microbe are now linked to a new phenomenon referred to as “Sudden Death Syndrome” (SDS)
- Herbicides and pesticides are metal chelators, which means they immobilize specific nutrients, rendering them unavailable to the plant and any animal or human who consumes that plant
- The nutritional efficiency of genetically engineered (GE) plants is profoundly compromised. Micronutrients such as iron, manganese and zinc can be reduced by as much as 80-90 percent in GE plants
At 10:20 in this video you have to hear what Dr Huber says about how these genetically modified plants impact the nutritional value of plants and how that transfers to us as consumers… 19:50 he talks about the impact of add bt to alfalfa – truly terrifying… 26:47 the impact these GMO organisms are having on our metabolic process.
What does glyphosate do to the thyroid?
Glyphosate and Thyroid Health There are a few different ways in which glyphosate can impact thyroid health. First of all, lactobacillus converts inorganic selenium into more bioavailable forms such as selenocysteine and selenomethionine (14). However, lactobacillus is negatively impacted by glyphosate (15), which in turn can lead to a depletion of selenomethionine and selenocysteine. Numerous studies show how selenium plays an important role in thyroid health, not only in the formation of thyroid hormone (16), but numerous studies show how selenium can help to lower thyroid antibodies (17)(18)(19). In addition, having a leaky gut and intestinal dysbiosis are also factors with regards to thyroid autoimmunity. I already mentioned how glyphosate can cause intestinal dysbiosis, but there is also evidence that glyphosate can disrupt the barrier properties of intestinal cells (20). In other words, exposure to glyphosate might cause a leaky gut in some people, increasing their risk of developing an autoimmune condition such as Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. So hopefully you have a better understanding of the potential risks associated with glyphosate. The research shows that glyphosate exposure can lead to numerous health conditions. Glyphosate is mainly used on genetically modified crops, and so if you are eating any processed or refined foods then there is a pretty good chance you are being exposed to this chemical. Plus, keep in mind that in the herbicide Roundup, glyphosate is combined with ethoxylated adjuvants, which makes it even more toxic. Glyphosate can impact thyroid health by decreasing the bioavailability of selenium, which can potentially cause intestinal dysbiosis and/or a leaky gut, which in turn can increase the risk of developing an autoimmune thyroid condition such as Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. [complete article here]
There is a detailed article about which foods are genetically modified and the impact they have on us.
Ultimately GMOs are significantly impacting our thyroid health. What can we do to avoid this? Some steps you can take to minimize the amount of toxins you are ingesting would be to eat as close to organic as possible. Stay away from processed foods that rely heavily on GMO produced crops as they are less expensive to produce (theoretically). Eat Fresh, eat close to raw, and know where your produce is coming from is one of the best ways to over come thyroid problems women face.
Eat organic and food that you have grown yourself as much as possible. Shop at farmer’s markets. Purium offers a quality solution that you use to supplement your diet with organic premium foods.
GMO Food: A Reference Handbook GMO Free Diet: The Ultimate Guide on Avoiding GMO Foods and keeping Your Family Healthy with a GMO Free DietAmazing Grass Green SuperFood Original 30 Servings 8.5 Ounces