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What is Goitrogen and how does it relate to food and health?

Everyone desires to be at peak physical and mental condition. That’s why it’s important to read avidly on different medical terms, diets, and conditions in order to maintain optimum health! In fact, one condition that people know very little about is Goitrogen. So what is it? It’s a medical term that is used to denote any substance that obstructs with the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. The term itself originates from the word ‘goiter’, which is defined as the enlargement and swelling of the thyroid. In the process, the thyroid becomes impaired, and does not have the ability to produce thyroid hormones effectively. As a result, the thyroid gland begins to grow in size as it attempts to keep up with the body’s daily recommendation for thyroid hormones.

Effects of Chemical toxins and drugs

One thing to keep in mind is that any substance that hinders with the normal functioning and production of the thyroid hormone is defined as goitrogen. That’s because it will medically induce the condition known as goiter.

The most widely studied effects of human goitrogens have been identified as chemical toxins and drugs that people ingest. In some special cases, goitrogenic drugs have been manufactured intentionally to purposely interfere with thyroid hormone production.

These specific drugs, known as antithyroid drugs, are used to treat people with hyperthyroid complications, specifically Grave’s disease.

Other drugs, while not having the intent to interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, can have sever goitrogenic effects.

For example, iodine-containing prescription drugs, salicylamides, and sulfonamides, can cause goitrogenic effects when ingested in large quantities.

Glucosinolates present in food

Glucosinolates are phytonutrients containing sulfur that are synthesized naturally by plants from amino acids and sugars. While they are not exclusively present in cruciferous vegetables, they are highly concentrated in this particular food family. Of note is that about 125 varying glucosinolates have been discovered in cruciferous vegetables.

Further studies on these glucosinolates have shown to possess strong anti-cancer properties. However, the anti-cancer properties do not stem directly from the glucosinolates, but rather their conversion products which are known as thiocyanates.

The thiocyanates are then broken down into isothiocyanate by the help of a special enzyme known as myrosinase. In fact, there are number of great meals one can whip up to tap into these amazing anti-cancer properties. Check out these incredible recipes at pocketchangegourmet.com

It is these isothiocyanates that have the potential to reduce thyroid functioning especially when they are given in high concentrations.

Other goiter-related complications

Apart from glucosinolate issues and cruciferous vegetables, the major cause of goiter the world over is the deficiency of iodine. In fact, iodine is the most essential mineral for comprehending thyroid function.

That’s because it serves as a major factor in the whole thyroid functioning process. Not only does it serve as the primary regulator in the thyroid functioning process, but is the key component in a majority of the thyroid hormones. Selenium deficiency is also another major dietary issue that can result in increased susceptibility to goiter

Hence, avoiding iodine and selenium deficiency is key in the prevention and treatment of goiter. If one has recently gotten a goiter diagnosis, it is essential that they receive effective nutrition with food rich in iodine and selenium to reverse the goiter-related problem.

 

 

About the Author

Amanda Acuña an influential Mom Blogger. She created MommyMandy as an online resource to the parenting community. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has three daughters, ages 15,12, 6 and a son who is 2. They currently reside in Texas.

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