The Connection Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Your Thyroid from The Connection Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Your Thyroid
The Connection Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Your Thyroid
Vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50 percent of the population worldwide. An estimated 1 billion people across all ethnicities and age groups lack enough of this vitamin, which is crucial for your overall well-being, according to research. The vitamin functions as a hormone, and every single cell in the body has a receptor for it, which is why it affects many functions and processes that keep a person healthy and happy.
Leaky and inflamed GI tract
Since the vitamin D that is consumed in food or as a supplement is absorbed in the part of the small intestine immediately downstream from the stomach, according to Harvard Medical School, inflammation in the GI tract, which causes the cells lining the intestines become “leaky,” reducing the absorption of vitamin. This is also very common in people with low thyroid function.
Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and Vitamin D
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where the body makes antibodies to the thyroid gland. Studies have shown that vitamin D may lead to the development of Hashimoto’s, the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the U.S. In an unrelated study, researchers found a significantly higher rate of vitamin D deficiency in children with the condition –73.1 percent, compared to healthy children –17.6 percent.
Low thyroid and normal Vitamin D levels
People with normal levels of vitamin D can still suffer from deficiency symptoms. The problem is that patients with autoimmune conditions may have a genetic variation that prevents vitamin D from activating its receptor, known as VDR. This way the biological activity of the vitamin is reduced. Some studies show that many patients with autoimmune Hashimoto’s disease have VDR polymorphisms.
The immune system can be unbalanced
Research has shown many times that low levels of vitamin D increase the risk of developing autoimmune disease such as Multiple Sclerosis, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Medical reviews have shown that among people with early-stage MS, those with higher blood levels of vitamin D had better outcomes during five years of follow-up. The immune system can become overactive if it doesn’t have enough vitamin D. If unbalanced, it can attack the body’s organs.
Low Vitamin D can mean higher risk of thyroid antibodies
Vitamin D and thyroid cancer
A study found that vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency was prevalent – 84 percent – in the group of people with thyroid carcinomas. Other research has shown a linear trend was observed between decreasing vitamin D levels and increasing tumor size, according to the Vitamin D Council. When comparing women below or above the median vitamin D level of 18.5 ng/ml, the researchers found that lower vitamin D levels were independently associated with a 60 percent increased risk for stage 3 and 4 cancer compared to those above the median.
Receptors for Vitamin D in immune cells
Both vitamin D and thyroid hormone bind to similar receptors called steroid hormone receptors. A different gene in the vitamin D receptor was shown to predispose people to autoimmune thyroid disease. Immune cells contain a lot of receptors that are waiting to bind with vitamin D. A VDR genetic mutation means the receptors don’t do a good job of taking in the vitamin.
Vitamin D, inflammation and the thyroid
Lower level of Vitamin D linked to larger thyroid
In a study researchers found vitamin D deficiency in 63.2 percent of the patients, compared to almost 37 percent in the control group, according to Holtorf Medical Group. Among the Hashimoto’s patients, a lower level of vitamin D was associated with a higher level of thyroid-stimulating hormone and larger thyroid.
Vitamin D supplements are not always a good idea
Vitamin D supplementation is a murky topic. You don’t know how much you really need. Also, there are several mechanisms that reduce the absorption of the important vitamin. The opposite can also occur. Vitamin D toxicity, also called hypervitaminosis D, is a rare but potentially serious condition, according to Mayo Clinic. Some signs include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and lack of appetite.