Gluten, Selenium Deficiency, and Thyroid Disease

I recently got a message on Face Book from a woman desperate to lose weight. She had part of her thyroid removed, exercised regularly, ate a clean diet and hadn’t lost a pound or inch in a year. Talk about frustration!

I checked with my good friend and gluten expert, Dr. Peter Osborne and asked for some input. First of all, here’s a video I did to ask Dr. Osborne some questions about gluten intolerance:

And here’s what he had to say regarding my client’s issue:

A new study sheds light on the fact that selenium deficiency can be caused by gluten induced mal-absorption.  The researchers go on to say that Selenium deficiency can cause thyroid diseases and can lead to unregulated inflammatory damage…

It is no medical mystery that gluten can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  Selenium is a mineral with multiple functions within the body.  A short list of some of selenium’s more common roles is listed below:

  • It plays a role in the production of active thyroid hormone (see chart below).
  • It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps to regulate immune function.
  • It plays a role in blood viscosity (reduces excessive clotting of the blood).
  • It drives the most powerful antioxidant system in the body.

This study points out that no only does gluten induced selenium deficiency cause abnormal thyroid hormone production, it leads to excessive inflammation and autoimmune disease.

I have discussed how going on a gluten free diet can lead to fat loss.  This is one of those mechanisms as hypothyroid disease is a common manifestation of gluten intolerance.

It is time for doctors to start ruling out gluten sensitivity and celiac disease in patients with thyroid disease.   It is time for doctors to start recognizing the therapeutic benefit of a gluten free diet.

If you think that this information will help someone you love suffering with a thyroid problem, please forward this along and send them to Dr. Osborne’s blog: