Environmental Toxins And The Thyroid

Environmental Toxins

A significant number of functional doctors have now sounded out about the role of the thyroid and the fact of it’s being quite susceptible to damage from exogenous influences such as environmental toxins. Observation shows the last 150 years has bought about a massive change in the use and infiltration into our daily lives. As part of that damage. This partly due to the fact that several types of environmental toxins bear a molecular similarity to thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland has a naturally high predilection for halogens and metals. So to draw iodine (a halogen) and selenium (a metalloid) into the thyroid for the production and metabolism of thyroid hormones, it can also lead to the accumulation of harmful halogens and metals within the gland. So toxic sources include industrial, drugs, chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, toxins in consumer goods, cosmetics and heavy metals.

What is the thyroid?
Again one of the doctors has described the thyroid as a small but vitally important endocrine gland located in the base of the neck. It releases a steady stream of hormones that are intrinsically involved in the regulation of metabolism, as well as endocrine, cardiovascular, neurological, and immune function. Industrial and environmental pollution is increasing at a worrying rate worldwide. Three common industrial pollutants are perchlorate, polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxin. These three pollutants have been found to significantly disrupt
thyroid function.

Perchlorate is used in military applications, including fuels and explosives, and also the production of leather, rubber, paint, and batteries. It is cumulative in drinking water, grains, farm produce, and dairy products from animals raised on contaminated soil all contain elevated levels of perchlorate. Perchlorate in urine measurements signify decreased thyroxine, known as T4 and increased thyroid-stimulating hormone, known as TSH. Research shows that perchlorate can disrupt thyroid function at both high and low doses, So toxicologists belief that poison is parallel to the size of the dose is out the window. A significant part of the problem stems from the chlorine content in perchlorate, which is a halogen with the same ionic charge as iodine. Perchlorate thus competes with iodide, an essential component of T4, for uptake by the thyroid gland. The result is reduced thyroid hormone production.


Dr. David Brownstein has discovered, through his research and clinical experience with over 6,000 patients, that approximately 96% of people are deficient in iodine in the United States alone. Iodine concentrates in the glandular tissue and its job is to maintain the proper structure of that tissue. When we are iodine-deficient for long periods of time we begin attracting problems like cysts, nodules and eventually cancer in the thyroid and other glands. And low iodine increases one’s vulnerability to the effects of perchlorate. A greater intake of iodine may help protect the thyroid from the disruptive effects of perchlorate. Polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, are the next group of industrial toxins that harm the thyroid. These manufactured chemicals are resistant to temperature and pressure and are therefore used in electrical equipment, as lubricants, and in the production of plastics, adhesives, and paints. Although banned in some countries they still exist and suppress the production of the thyroid hormone receptor, reducing the number of receptors with which thyroid hormone can bind in the body. PCBs bind to thyroid transport proteins, decreasing circulating T4, and impair liver enzymes responsible for converting T4 to T3. PCBs also raise thyroid antibody levels and promote enlargement of the thyroid gland. Again chlorine is involved.

Dioxin is a byproduct of pesticide and plastic production. Exposure at even low levels is connected to decreased T4 and reduced thyroid function. Dioxin mimics thyroid hormone structure and appears to decrease T4 by binding to cell receptors that enhance a biochemical process that speeds the excretion of hormones from the body mistakenly. Pesticides and herbicides are another group of highly prevalent environmental toxins that adversely affect thyroid function. Exposure to organochlorine pesticides, the herbicide paraquat, and the fungicides benomyl and maneb/ mancozeb is associated with an increased incidence of hypothyroidism in women. Additionally the use of a wide variety of other pesticides, including organophosphates and carbamates, has been associated with hypothyroidism in
men. In some countries compounding with lack of understanding to cause terminal conditions of cancer and liver at ages around 40 to 50 quite commonly. Again the disruption is with the uptake of iodine and disruption of cellular uptake of thyroid hormone. Ideally, a person’s home should be a safe retreat from the outside world. However, modern-day homes unfortunately contain a surplus of toxins, most of which have a significant impact on the thyroid. Flame retardants, known as (PBDEs), are a class of toxins found in consumer goods that harm the thyroid. They are found in items such as furniture, fabrics, computer and TV screens and carpets. PBDEs again contain a halogen (bromine), and thus have a predilection for the thyroid damage, disrupting oestrogen use, displacing T4 and preventing its transport In the blood. This interaction makes postmenopausal women especially susceptible to
the thyroid-disrupting effects of PBDEs.


Plastics are omnipresent, everywhere in our homes, garages and work places. Food storage containers, water bottles, personal care products, children’s toys, office equipment and cars. Same deal, they mimic the molecular structures of hormones to disrupt the endocrine system. BPA is one of the many, found in food-can linings and plastic bottles, has been found to alter thyroid structure from the other end as an antagonist to T3 at thyroid hormone receptors. Flooring, adhesives, plastics, and as emollients in personal care products, also disrupt thyroid function by inhibiting the binding of thyroid hormone to its receptors. Finally, two more common household toxins that disrupt thyroid function are the antibacterial chemical triclosan, found in products such as liquid hand soap, and PFOA,
used in non-stick cookware and stain-resistant fabrics. So lets face it, it is everywhere and was nowhere only 130 years ago!


Heavy metals is next on the list and everybody has heard these are dangerous. Heavy metals are now pervasive in our environment, and research continues to emerge demonstrating their harmful effects on human health. The heavy metals with the most significant impact on thyroid function are cadmium, lead, mercury, and aluminium.Cadmium is a heavy metal that is released into the environment through mining and smelting and a component in phosphate fertilizers, sewage sludge, batteries, pigments, and plastics. Exposure has been found to induce goiter, reduce the secretion of thyroglobulin, and initiate thyroid cell hyperplasia, which leads to thyroid cancer.


Lead has been banned for almost all product uses but still exists everywhere. It is one which does go back a century or two. Again it is associated with altering thyroid function by causing deiodination of T4(activation or deactivation via peroxidase enzyme) Mercury is in dental fillings and immunisations, general pollution and it is cumulative in the body. It reduces iodide uptake! Sources of aluminium include antacids, body care products such as deodorant, food additives, vaccines, and aluminumbased cookware. Aluminium has similar cumulative properties and contributes to Alzheimers as well as having similar effects on the thyroid. It also triggers an unfortunate immune response against the thyroid. So if you have any level of thyroid malfunction avoid all the above toxic substances, drink pure spring water and eat organic foods. Taking Iodine and Selenium can help a lot!

September 26, 2018

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