GOITROGENS, DO THEY MATTER?
Goitrogens are substances that suppress the thyroid gland by interfering with thyroid hormone production. As a compensatory mechanism, the thyroid will enlarge to counteract the reduced hormone production. This enlargement is also known as a goiter.
You may have heard that you should avoid goitrogenic foods if you have a thyroid condition. This is only partially true, as all goitrogens are not created equally. Different goitrogenic substances are contained in various foods.
Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower contain glucosinolates, substances that block iodine uptake into the thyroid. Eating too many in the raw state can cause symptoms of hypothyroidism in someone with otherwise well controlled symptoms.
Luckily, cruciferous vegetables are only goitrogenic in the raw state. Cooking or lightly steaming will deactivate the glucosinolates, as will fermenting the vegetables (as in sauerkraut), thus diminishing the goitrogenic activity. While consuming fermented and cooked cruciferous vegetables is preferred, occasionally eating small amounts of these foods in the raw states should not aggravate autoimmune thyroid conditions.
The amount of raw crucifers you can tolerate without suppressing your thyroid function will depend on whether you are on thyroid medication and on what dose.
Goitrogens and thyroid medications
Some professionals have said that goitrogens don’t matter in those who take medications. Again, this is only partially true once more.
Generally, if you are not taking medications or taking a low dose of medication where your thyroid is still making some hormone, you will be more sensitive to eating crucifers. If you feel cold, this would be one sign that you had too many.
If you are on a high dose of thyroid medication where your own thyroid is no longer making its own hormone, raw crucifers should not matter.
On the other hand, canola oil, a goitrogen found in processed foods, should be avoided in all individuals with Hashimoto’s. Soy is a goitrogen that works on a different way; it blocks the activity of the TPO enzyme. Soy has been linked to the development of autoimmune thyroiditis and should be avoided by those with Hashimoto’s
For a full list of goitrogens go to http://www.thyroidrootcause.org/1/post/2013/07/what-are-goitrogens-and-do-they-matter-with-hashimotos.html