More than 21 million women in America suffer from thyroid dysfunction — and the chances are their doctors aren’t telling them it could be a precursor to breast cancer.
I’m not telling you this to scare you, but to let you know that hyper- and hypothyroidism can be prevented — and so can your risk of breast cancer.
In a minute, I’m going to tell you about a key nutrient you should include in your diet that can reduce your risk of both.
Thyroid dysfunction is an especially important issue for women. Of the 27 million diagnosed cases in America, around 80% of them are women. A further 13 million Americans are believed to have a thyroid disorder, but they haven’t been diagnosed yet.
Here Are Some Of The Thyroid Disorder Symptoms:
- You feel unusually tired for no reason;
- You’re hypersensitive to cold;
- You have trouble concentrating and are abnormally forgetful;
- You gain or lose weight inexplicably.
While mainstream medicine continues to regard the connection between thyroid disorders and breast cancer as “inconclusive,” I’ve seen the link myself with patients at my Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine.
And I’m not alone. For instance, in an effort to get to the bottom of an 18th century cancer epidemic in the Austrian city of Graz, the monarch Empress Maria Theresa passed a law that mandated autopsies on all hospital deaths in the city. They discovered many of the deceased also had suffered from hypothyroidism.
And in a study in 1976, data collected from 26,546 autopsies done in Graz between 1944 and 1958 revealed a link between hypothyroidism and a breast-cancer rate that was 10 times higher than the U.S. rate.1
In 2012, a meta-analysis was conducted on 28 related studies and researchers discovered “significant evidence of an increased risk of breast cancer in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis.” 2
And most recently, a study in the European Journal of Endocrinology concluded that women with overactive thyroids, or hyperthyroidism, have an 11% increased risk of breast cancer.3
Though thyroid dysfunction is now one of the most commonly diagnosed medical conditions in America, mainstream medicine doesn’t know how to treat it. They treat your symptoms instead of getting to the root of the problem.
Most doctors prescribe synthroid or similar drugs for underactive thyroid disorders, andmethimazole for overactive thyroid. But these Big Pharma meds merely divert treatment away from the real cause.
You see, synthroid is a replacement for thyroid hormones T3 and T4 that regulate your body’s energy and metabolism. Methimazole inhibits the production of these hormones. And the side effects of both drugs can be horrible — headaches, sweating, diarrhea, hair loss, mood swings and heart palpitations.4
But there’s something else mainstream medicine doesn’t know about — thyroid dysfunction is often driven by your diet.
More specifically, I’m talking about a lack of iodine, your thyroid’s number one nutrient that’s also key to the health of breast tissue.
Let me explain…
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck that drives the metabolic rate of every cell in your body. But to function properly and to produce thyroid hormones T3 and T4 it needs iodine.
Iodine is a trace mineral, and you don’t need much. But it’s tough to get it from your diet these days. Trace minerals used to be easy to find in your water and soil and, therefore, in your food supply… until modern industry and commercial farming made them scarce.
Most fruits and vegetables these days are grown in nutrient-depleted soil that lacks iodine. And more and more people have stopped using iodized table salt in or on their food.
There is increasing evidence to suggest that iodine deficiency may be the key to helping prevent thyroid dysfunction and breast cancer.
Compelling evidence comes from looking at the Japanese diet. You see, Japanese women eat about 25 times more iodine than the average American woman.5 And Japanese women also have a 66% lower rate of breast cancer than American women.6
And here’s the clincher. When Japanese women move to the U.S. and begin eating the typical American diet, their breast cancer rates shoot up to American levels.
But your body can’t make iodine. That means you have to get it through your diet or supplementation.
The U.S Dietary Reference Intake for iodine is only 150 mcg per day. That’s not enough. And most people aren’t even getting this much. You need at least 300 mcg of iodine a day for optimal health.
Foods that are rich in iodine include: salmon, yogurt, cranberries, potato with the peel and baked and boiled eggs.
But the best of all is seaweed, a breast-cancer-fighting and thyroid powerhouse that’ s rich in iodine. Wakame, nori, arame, kombu, kelp and dulse are good choice. You can buy these in most Asian food markets or health stores.
Just be careful to avoid any seaweed from Japan because of the Fukushima nuclear accident. I recommend kombu that’s been harvested in Iceland.
I also recommend supplementing with Iodoral tables, which contains iodine and potassium iodide, the two molecules that are essential for healthy thyroid and breast tissue. Take 6.25 mg per day.
There are also three other minerals your body MUST have to ensure a balanced thyroid:
- Selenium helps convert the thyroid hormone T4 into the active form of T3 your body needs for strong metabolism and more energy.7
- Magnesium supports many of your thyroid’s day-to-day processes. It also affects the way your cells use glucose for energy and metabolism, so it’s important for maintaining your weight.
- Zinc is another trace metal your thyroid needs to make hormones. The picolinate form of zinc is more easily absorbed than others, like zinc sulfate.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Broda Barnes, PhD. Thyroid Supplements and Breast Cancer. JAMA 1976;236(24):2743-2744
2. Hardefeldt, P.J., Eslick, G.D., Edirimanne, S. Benign thyroid disease is associated with breast cancer: a meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 June; 133(3):1169-77
3. Sogaard M., Kormendine, D., Ehrenstein, V. et. al., “Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism and breast cancer risk: a nationwide cohort study.” European Journal of Endocrinol. 2016.
4. Federal Register 62, No. 157, 14 August 1997, p. 43535-8.
5. Aceves C, Anguiano B, Delgado G. “Is iodine a gatekeeper of the integrity of the mammary gland?.” J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2005. 10(2):189-96.
6. Ziegler RG, Hoover RN, Pike MC, et al. “Migration patterns and breast cancer risk in Asian-American women.” J Natl Cancer Inst. 1993;85(22):1819-27.
7. Schomburg L. “Selenium, selenoproteins and the thyroid gland: interactions in health and disease. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2011 Oct 18.