Thyromine is the “latest and greatest” natural alternative to prescription thyroid-boosting drugs. That’s according to the online advertising, anyway. I’ve received quite a bit of visitor interest in Thyromine, largely due to the exposure it has received on the Net on high profile “thyroid supplement review” sites.
These thinly disguised affiliate sites (sites that generate revenue by directing you to the product retailer for a commission) boast of Thyromine’s effectiveness, its overwhelming customer approval rating, yada, yada, yada.
“Customer approval ratings” or ranking products on the basis of visitor feedback is highly subjective and anecdotal, even when it is completely genuine (I’ve written an entire article about this here, on my blog).
I can tell you from experience that rarely does any product garner more than a 50% approval rating… and even that is rare.
So is there anything to the “hype” behind thyromine? Well, none of the weight loss claims made in the advertising spiel are backed by any credible study. A few of the ingredients “may” have some effect on thyroid levels. Let’s have a quick look at them…
1. Tyrosine (l-tyrosine, reviewed here): because tyrosine is a precursor to the thyroid hormone thyroxine, supplementation might boost thyroid levels (American Journal Clinical Nutrition 2001;73:153-7). So far, however, data indicating this is so, is well… scarce.
2. Guglipid: usually standardized for guggulsterones, several studies validate this ingredient’s thyroid-stimulating activity (Planta Med 1988;54:271-7, Curr Ther Res 1999; 60:220-7).
It is thought guggulsterones increase the synthesis of T3, by the conversion of T4 to T3.
3. Nori (also known as Japanese seaweed): seaweed or kelp is found in most natural thyroid boosters because of its iodine content.
Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to make the various thyroid hormones necessary for optimal performance.
Low or sluggish thyroid performance can lead to low energy levels or overweight. Of course, iodine supplementation is only helpful if you actually have low levels of thyroid hormone.
If you are not iodine deficient, kelp may possibly induce hyperthyroidism. According to the Natural Database, “prolonged, high intake of dietary iodine is associated with goiter and increased risk of thyroid cancer.
4. Thyroid Powder from Bovine: contains thyroglobulin, another thyroid hormone precursor. Supplementation may increase thyroid levels.
Several other ingredients touted to have thyroid-boosting properties (eg, Piper longum Extract) do not have any evidence backing thyroid-boosting claims.
Compared to some of the other natural thyroid boosting products I’ve seen, Thyromine actually boasts a fairly comprehensive formula. However, I urge extreme caution when considering supplementing with any natural alternative to thyroid-boosting drugs, however…
If you suspect you have a thyroid problem, the first step is a trip to your doctor’s for a simple blood test to confirm or deny the suspicion. The way the retailers of natural thyroid boosting products put it, almost any malady could be construed to be the result of a malfunctioning thyroid. So don’t guess — find out for sure. Also…
Taking these natural products is not without risk. Most contain kelp (a natural source of iodine), and high doses could actually worsen an existing thyroid condition (another concern with kelp supplementation is heavy metal toxicity). Same goes for supplementation of tyrosine — it could actually worsen existing hyperthyroidism conditions.
So trust your doctor for the state of your thyroid hormones — don’t try diagnosing yourself… you may find yourself in a heap of trouble.