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Thyroid Nutrition

It almost seems more common than not for females over the age of 40 to be on some sort of Thyroid based medication. I cant claim to be an expert in this area, but i have come across some interesting publications that i wanted to share. These articles focus on the nutritional aspects related to Thyroid function, not the issues related to endocrine disruptors or heavy metal toxicity related to Thyroid function, both worthy of their own article(s) in themselves. The highlights from these articles are below, and the articles themselves are listed in the references.

"Correlation of serum levels of micronutrients and thyroid markers was studied in a group of 387 healthy individuals tested for thyroid markers (T4, T3, FT4, FT3, TSH, anti-TPO, RT3, and anti-Tg) and their micronutrient profile at Vibrant America Clinical Laboratory. &e subjects were rationalized into three groups (deficient, normal, or excess levels of micronutrients), and the levels

of their thyroid markers were compared."[1]

1. "Deficiency of vitamin B2, B12, and B9 and Vit-D25[OH] significantly affected thyroid functioning" [1]

2. " micronutrients such as calcium, copper, choline, iron, and zinc have a significant correlation with serum levels of free T3"[1]

3. " Amino acids asparagine and serine were found to have a strong positive correlation with TSH" [1]

4. "Valine, leucine, and arginine also exhibited a significant positive correlation with serum levels of T4 and FT4"[1]

Iodine, Vitamin A, Iron, and Zinc

"Inadequate intake of iodine impairs thyroid function and results in a spectrum of disorders. Other common deficiencies of micronutrients such as iron, selenium, vitamin A, and possibly zinc may interact with iodine nutrition and thyroid function. Randomised controlled intervention trials in iodine- and iron-deficient populations have shown that providing iron along with iodine results in greater improvements in thyroid function and volume than providing iodine alone. Vitamin A supplementation given alone or in combination with iodised salt can have a beneficial impact on thyroid function and thyroid size. Despite numerous studies of the effect of selenium on iodine and thyroid metabolism in animals, most published randomised controlled intervention trials in human populations failed to confirm an impact of selenium supplementation on thyroid metabolism. Little evidence is available on interactions between iodine and zinc metabolism."[2]

Iodione, Selenium, Vitamin A, Iron

"Micronutrients, mostly iodine and selenium, are required for thyroid hormone synthesis and function."

"Three different selenium-dependent iodothyronine deiodinases (types I, II, and III) can both activate and inactivate thyroid hormones, making selenium an essential micronutrient for normal development, growth, and metabolism. Furthermore, selenium is found as selenocysteine in the catalytic center of enzymes protecting the thyroid from free radicals damage. In this way, selenium deficiency can exacerbate the effects of iodine deficiency and the same is true for vitamin A or iron deficiency. Substances introduced with food, such as thiocyanate and isoflavones or certain herbal preparations, can interfere with micronutrients and influence thyroid function. "[3]


Asparagine synthetase (ASNS) converts aspartate and glutamine to asparagine and glutamate in an ATP-dependent reaction. ASNS is present in most, if not all, mammalian organs, but varies widely in basal expression. Human ASNS activity is highly responsive to cellular stress, primarily by increased transcription from a single gene located on chromosome 7. Elevated ASNS protein expression is associated with resistance to asparaginase therapy in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. There is evidence that ASNS expression levels may also be inversely correlated with asparaginase efficacy in certain solid tumors as well. Children with mutations in the ASNS gene exhibit developmental delays, intellectual disability, microcephaly, intractable seizures, and progressive brain atrophy. Thus far, 15 unique mutations in the ASNS gene have been clinically associated with asparagine synthetase deficiency (ASD)[4]

Asparagine synthetase (ASNS)4 catalyzes the synthesis of asparagine and glutamate from aspartate and glutamine in an ATP-dependent amidotransferase reaction. The recent discovery of a neurologic disorder associated with asparagine synthetase deficiency (ASD) and its long recognized importance in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) highlight the clinical relevance of ASNS as a topic of current interest.[4]

"The precursor to asparagine is oxaloacetate, which a transaminase enzyme converts to aspartate. The enzyme transfers the amino group from glutamate to oxaloacetate producing α-ketoglutarate and aspartate. The enzyme asparagine synthetase produces asparagine, AMP, glutamate, and pyrophosphate from aspartate, glutamine, and ATP. Asparagine synthetase uses ATP to activate aspartate, forming β-aspartyl-AMP. Glutamine donates an ammonium group, which reacts with β-aspartyl-AMP to form asparagine and free AMP." [5]

Sounds like glutamine, oxaloacetate and Aspartic Acid may be good considerations.


De novo synthesis of serine provides precursors for a variety of biosynthetic pathways, and accordingly, a pivotal aspect of the serine de novo synthesis is the conversion of serine to glycine by serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT1, SHMT2). As indicated above, glycine is a major source of methyl groups for the one-carbon pools required for the biosynthesis of glutathione (GSH), protein, purines and DNA/histone methylation. Glycine can also be generated from threonine by threonine dehydrogenase (TDH) and glycine C-acetyltransferase (GCAT) (Figure 2). Intracellular glycine can also come from many other sources, such as betaine, choline, N-methylglycine and dimethyl-glycine following a series of demethylation reactions.[6]

Serine is important for proper brain development, and it plays a critical role in the synthesis of proteins, neurotransmitters, nucleotides and lipids. Research exploring the Ogimi people, whose average life expectancy exceeds 85 years for women, consume extraordinarily high amounts of L-serine, with seaweeds and tofu staples in their diets. Their diet may offer neuroprotection and contribute to their neurological health in this community. Serine may boost immune function, promote regular sleep and fight chronic fatigue syndrome, may play a role in brain function and the health of the central nervous system. It is involved in the formation of phospholipids for cell membranes, and in protein synthesis and intracellular metabolism, and the functioning of RNA, DNA, immune function and muscle formation. Serine is needed for the production of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that’s used to make serotonin. It is also converted into D-serine in the cells of the nervous system. D-serine is known to boost cognitive health. D-serine activates NMDA receptors in the brain that work as neurotransmitters. Research shows that it may work as a therapeutic agent for schizophrenia, depression and cognitive dysfunction. It plays a vital role in the synthesis of phosphatidylserine, a component of neurons in the brain, and it’s known to have a critical role as a neuromodulator in the brain. When looking at serine vs. phosphatidylserine, L-serine is essential for the synthesis of phosphatidylserine, a type of lipid. Phosphatidylserine is taken to improve memory and boost brain powder. This is why taking L-serine for dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s is popular. [7]. Seriphos is a popular supplement with Phosphatdyl Serine, and helps regulate cortisol, improves sleep. See my blog article on the inner membrane of the mitochondria, and the special transporter for Phosphatdyl Serine into the inner membrane.

Research suggests that some people struggling with fibromyalgia may have a serine deficiency, which alters the body’s ability to make tryptophan and serotonin. Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome had their urine tested and compared to controls, patients had serine levels that were significantly reduced. [8]

Serine is needed to produce the amino acid tryptophan, which serves as a natural stress reliever and relaxant. Increased tryptophan helps ease anxiety and symptoms of depression, as it’s used to make serotonin, a calming chemical that occurs naturally within the body. Because serine is crucial for the production of tryptophan and serotonin, maintaining normal levels may help relieve symptoms of stress. Studies conducted in Japan found that taking L-serine before going to bed may improve human sleep. Serine plays a role in the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies that are used by the immune system.

Foods high in L-Serine: Soybeans, Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Sweet potatoes, Eggs, Dairy products, Grass-fed beef, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Wild fish, Seaweed (spirulina), Lentils, Lima beans, Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Hemp seeds, Pumpkin seeds


1. Effect of Micronutrients on Thyroid Parameters. Hari Krishnan. Hindawi. Journal of Thyroid Research. Volume 2021, Article ID 1865483, 8 pages.

2. The impact of common micronutrient deficiencies on iodine and thyroid metabolism: the evidence from human studies. Sonja Y Hess. Best Practice Research Clinical Endocrinol Metabolism. PMID: 20172476. DOI: 10.1016/j.beem.2009.08.012

3. Role of iodine, selenium and other micronutrients in thyroid function and disorders. Vincenzo Triggiani et. al. PMID: 19594417. Endocrine Metabolism Immune Disorders and Drug Targets . 2009 Sep;9(3):277-94. doi: 10.2174/187153009789044392. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

4. Asparagine synthetase: Function, structure, and role in disease. Carrie L. Lomelino, et. al. Journal Biology and Chemistry . 2017 Dec 8; 292(49): 19952–19958. Published online 2017 Oct 30. doi: 10.1074/jbc.R117.819060. PMCID: PMC5723983. PMID: 29084849

5. Berg, Jeremy; Tymoczko, John; Stryer, Lubert (2002). Biochemistry (5th ed.). New York: W. H. Freeman. p. 968. ISBN 0716746840. Retrieved 27 May 2021.

6. Serine and glycine metabolism in cancer Ivano Amelio Trends Biochem Sci. 2014 Apr; 39(4): 191–198. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2014.02.004. PMCID: PMC3989988. PMID: 24657017

7. Amino Acid L-Serine in Preventing Neurodegenerative Diseases Associated with BMAA September 5, 2017Adam Remick.

8. Urine Metabolomics Exposes Anomalous Recovery after Maximal Exertion in Female ME/CFS Patients Katherine A. Glass, et. al. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Feb; 24(4): 3685. Published online 2023 Feb 12. doi: 10.3390/ijms24043685. PMCID: PMC9958671. PMID: 36835097

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Threasa Melton
Threasa Melton
Nov 06, 2023

I wonder I serine or aspartic acid would be ok for those who have glutamate issues? Since it seems taking them would increase glutamine which in some processes to glutamate?

or may this combo help With exitotoxicity from glutamate?

I can’t take glutamine ( I get excitotoxicity ) I tried Oxalacetate the 500.00 bottle and I can’t say if it helped or not.

thank you once again for a great article.


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