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January 02, 2023 5 min read

Green tea is one of the most popular drinks all around the world and has been since it was first introduced in Japan in the 6th century. Now, with so many people enjoying a cup of green tea daily, it's only natural that those who suffer from hypothyroidism start to wonder: Is it safe for me to drink green tea? The answer isn't always straightforward.

It's important to understand the potential risks and benefits of consuming this beverage, especially if you have hypothyroidism. So if you're wondering whether or not drinking green tea is a good idea, keep reading!

What are the health benefits of green tea?

Green tea is a versatile beverage that not only tastes great but also has a wide range of health benefits since it's loaded with antioxidants and plant compounds. From aiding weight loss to lowering cholesterol levels, here are some of the health benefits of green tea.

Weight loss

Green tea is a popular drink among those trying to shed some pounds, including those who struggle to maintain a healthy weight due to hypothyroidism. This is because it's rich in antioxidants. According to studies, a cup of green tea boosts the level of antioxidants in your blood. The main antioxidant compound in green tea is caffeine and catechin. Both of them can speed up your metabolism and increase the amount of energy your body uses. Plus, catechin is known to be able to break down excess fat.

Cancer prevention

Rich in powerful antioxidants, green tea is believed to help prevent cancer. Numerous research has linked the compounds in green tea with a reduced risk of cancer. One research found that women who drank the most green tea had a 20% - 30% lower risk of breast cancer. A meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in 2015 included nearly 3,000 patients with thyroid cancer. The study found that higher tea consumption may be closely associated with a decreased risk of thyroid cancer.

Help with cholesterol problems

With the high content of catechins, green tea may help you with cholesterol problems by reducing Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and increasing High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol, which is certainly good for your body.

Is green tea safe for hypothyroid patients?

Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a condition that occurs when your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones. When you have this condition, you might experience symptoms like weight gain, constipation, fatigue, high cholesterol, and anxiety.

Drinking green tea might seem like a great idea to help you ease some of these symptoms, but you may want to be careful before drinking too much of this tea.

While green tea is generally safe for people with hypothyroidism, some studies suggest that green tea has the potential to lower your thyroid hormone levels, as well as reduce deiodinase enzymes. These enzymes have a vital part in activating thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), the two main thyroid hormones. Aside from reducing levels of T4 and T3 in your blood, green tea may also raise your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. However, the research was conducted on rodents, so the conclusions may not necessarily apply to people.

In addition to lowering your thyroid hormone levels, green tea also contains caffeine. As you probably already know, caffeine can interact with your thyroid medication, making it less effective.

So, what does this mean for you as a hypothyroid patient?

The good news is that you don't have to eliminate green tea from your life if you don't want to. You can still enjoy a cup or two of green tea every day as long as you don't drink it at the same time as your thyroid medication. As a general rule, it's best to drink green tea an hour after taking your thyroid medication.

As for green tea extracts, it might be a good idea to stay away from them. Some studies found that taking these extracts may lead to liver damage.

What other teas are good for hypothyroidism?

If you want to include organic tea into your diet, the following teas are known to be good for your thyroid health and may even improve your hypothyroidism symptoms.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is an herbal tea made from chamomile flower petals that are rich in antioxidants, which may have a role in lowering your risk of certain diseases like cancer and heart disease. It's also caffeine-free, making it a great alternative to green tea. Besides, this tea has a soothing floral aroma and earthy taste, as well as properties that may help you sleep better and ease digestive problems. It may also help with anxiety, a common symptom of hypothyroidism.

Ashwagandha tea

Ashwagandha tea is possibly among the most important herbal tea in Ayuverdic medicine. It has been used for thousands of years to increase energy levels, improve concentration, and reduce anxiety, making it a great tea to help you ease hypothyroidism symptoms.

The tea is particularly known for its adaptogenic properties, which can help balance, restore and protect the body, especially when fighting stress.

Sage tea

Sage is known as a food flavoring. However, it's also often made as tea because it's rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Hypothyroid patients may drink this tea to stabilize their mood because hypothyroidism often causes mood swings and depression.

Can you rely on these teas to treat hypothyroidism?

Although these teas can certainly provide some relief from some of the uncomfortable symptoms of hypothyroidism, they won't be able to replace the missing hormones that your body needs. Therefore, you still need to take thyroid hormone replacement medication.

Levothyroxine, such as Synthroid and Levoxyl, is the most commonly prescribed thyroid hormone replacement medication. It's a synthetic form of T4, and it's generally well tolerated by many hypothyroid patients. However, there is another option that isn't as talked about: natural desiccated thyroid (NDT).

Unlike levothyroxine, which only contains T4, NDT contains natural forms of both T4 and T3. Not only is it the preferred thyroid hormone medication by most patients, but it's also associated with more weight loss than its synthetic counterpart. Therefore, if you've been thinking about consuming green tea to aid in weight loss and you're currently taking levothyroxine, you might want to consider switching to NDT instead.

There are numerous brands of NDT available in the market. You can even buy natural desiccated thyroid online, such as VitaliThy. This NDT supplement is made of Thyroid (USP). Thanks to its complex consistency, it's very effective in managing your hypothyroidism, restoring your thyroid function, and providing relief from the symptoms.

Conclusion: green tea and hypothyroidism

Drinking green tea in moderate amounts is not harmful to those who struggle with thyroid dysfunction. However, since green tea has the potential to lower your thyroid hormones, it might be a good idea to avoid green tea extract if you have hypothyroidism. Aside from green tea, there are other teas you might want to consider to improve your thyroid health and even help you prevent thyroid cancer. Some of the tea that is good for your thyroid function include chamomile tea, Ashwagandha tea, and sage tea.

It's important to remember, however, that these teas can't be used as substitutes for thyroid hormone replacement medication. You still need to take your thyroid medication, such as VitaliThy - natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online, to improve your thyroid function and live an active life even with hypothyroidism.

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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