The prevalence of thyroid disorders nowadays has provided an opportunity for enterprising marketers to massively produce over the counter thyroid supplements. At first glance the availability of these supplements can appear advantageous to anyone with thyroid problems.
However, the widespread selling of over-the-counter thyroid supplements may soon be changed as researchers have found that some products may cause more harm than good to some. The following are some details of the study about thyroid supplements.
Why Thyroid Support Supplements are Regulated by the FDA
A range of thyroid support pills contain hormones T3 triiodothyronine and T4 thyroxine. The use of these hormone pills has been regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which means that they can only be used in prescription medications and used incorrectly may lead to palpitations, faster heart rate and other heart irregularities. Improper use of these thyroid support pills are also known to cause diarrhea and nervousness.
Derived from Animals with Very High to Zero T3 and T4 Content
The researchers studied 10 thyroid hormone pills which were bought commercially from different websites and stores, available without a prescription. With the use of high-liquid chromatography, researchers discovered that nine out of the 10 pills tested contained T3. Five of these pills were found to deliver 50% more T3 than what the body can normally produce on a daily basis. Four out of the ten supplements contained T4 and some of them had twice the normal amount that an adult needs to take in a day.
Chromatography testing also showed that one tested supplement had no traces of T3 or T4 hormones. The other nine thyroid support pills contain hormones that were apparently obtained from chopped animal thyroid glands. Researchers were concerned that some of these supplements contain doses that are far too high compared to those that have been prescribed by doctors for an individual thyroid patient.
Endocrinologist Victor Bernet, the senior investigator of the said study also revealed that these over-the-counter thyroid pills were not found to actually help people find relief from fatigue or get rid of their excess weight. These symptoms were the main reasons for purchasers buying these products. Dr. Bernet said that for a normal person to lose weight they would have to take thyroid hormone pills in dangerously high doses.
These findings showed that there is a great need for further investigation and monitoring of OTC thyroid supplement manufacturers as well as a wide health and information campaign so that patients will be better oriented with the risks associated in taking OTC thyroid pills.
If you have been diagnosed with any thyroid problem, always consult your doctor first before taking any supplements and pills. Avoid relying solely on what these OTC supplements claim to do and always seek the advice of a professional.
It is imperative to obtain a diagnosis of your specific problem before taking any medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter.