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May 02, 2023 8 min read

If you're thinking about taking T3 supplements to help improve your thyroid function, it's important to know what you're getting into first. In this article, we're going to go over all the important stuff you need to know before adding these supplements to your daily routine. We'll talk about the possible side effects and give you advice on the right amount to take so you can make an informed decision.

1. Thyroid hormone and its role in your body

The thyroid hormone plays a significant role in maintaining your body's optimal functioning. Produced by the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland located in the front of your neck, these hormones are essential in regulating various bodily processes.

Primarily, thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine or T3 and thyroxine or T4) help control your body's metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy, and a well-regulated metabolism ensures that you have the right amount of energy to carry out daily activities.

Additionally, thyroid hormones contribute to healthy growth and development. They play a crucial role in the development of the nervous system in infants and children, promoting proper brain growth and function. For adults, the hormones facilitate the maintenance of healthy bones, muscles, and organs.

Furthermore, thyroid hormones have a hand in regulating your body's temperature, ensuring that you stay warm and maintain a stable internal environment. They also influence heart rate, digestion, and even mood.

2. The difference between T4 and T3 thyroid hormones

There are two primary hormones that the thyroid gland produces: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). While both T4 and T3 hormones play crucial roles in maintaining your body's optimal functioning, they differ in terms of structure, biological activity, and conversion. Understanding the differences between these two hormones is essential for a comprehensive knowledge of thyroid health.

Molecular structure

T4 and T3 hormones differ in their molecular structures. T4 contains four iodine atoms, while T3 contains three. This difference in iodine content affects their biological activity and the way they interact with cells.

Biological activity

T3 is the more biologically active thyroid hormone, meaning it has a stronger effect on cells than T4. T3 binds to receptors within cells and influences various bodily functions, such as metabolism, growth, and development. Although T4 can bind to receptors, its effect is much weaker in comparison, making T3 the primary hormone responsible for regulating your body's activities.


The thyroid produces predominantly T4 and a smaller amount of T3. However, T4 is converted into T3 in the liver and other tissues. This conversion is essential because T3 is a more potent hormone, as mentioned above. The process of converting T4 to T3 is regulated by an enzyme called deiodinase, which removes one iodine atom from T4, resulting in the formation of T3.

Blood levels

Generally, the circulating levels of T4 in your blood are higher than those of T3. This is because T4 serves as a reservoir for the production of T3, ensuring that your body has a consistent supply of the more active hormone when required.

3. Hypothyroidism and its treatments

Sometimes the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of these essential hormones, leading to a thyroid disease called hypothyroidism. The imbalance in thyroid hormone production can cause various symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, depression, and sensitivity to cold temperatures. This condition can be caused by autoimmune thyroid diseases like Hashimoto's disease, surgical removal of the thyroid gland,

Treatment for hypothyroidism involves replacing the missing thyroid hormones through thyroid hormone replacement therapy. By restoring the balance of thyroid hormone levels in the body, this therapy effectively alleviates the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.

4. Adding T3 may help you deal with your hypothyroid symptoms

The most common treatment for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine, a synthetic hormone that closely mimics the naturally produced T4 hormone and helps regulate the body's metabolism. Healthcare professionals will typically prescribe this thyroid medication and adjust the dosage according to your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels and symptoms.

In some cases, patients may not respond well to levothyroxine alone, or they may have specific conditions that warrant the addition of synthetic T3 hormone, liothyronine. Liothyronine, such as Cytomel, can be prescribed alone or in combination with levothyroxine to address the deficiency of both T3 and T4 hormones.

Study shows that taking T3 supplements in conjunction with levothyroxine (T4) can offer some potential benefits for individuals with hypothyroidism. Some patients report improved energy levels, enhanced mood, and a decrease in hypothyroidism symptoms when taking levothyroxine and T3.

Another option for those who need to add T3 into their treatment is natural desiccated thyroid (NDT). Derived from the pig thyroid glands, NDT contains both T3 and T4 hormones. It's like a two-in-one deal, so you don't need to buy separate medications. Research has shown that people who have tried both levothyroxine and NDT tend to prefer NDT, as it offers better relief from hypothyroidism symptoms and is associated with greater weight loss results.

Moreover, NDT is popular among patients who prefer natural thyroid hormone. NDT is available both as a prescription drug and as a supplement. You can buy desiccated thyroid online, like VitaliThy.

5. T3 might help with weight loss

T3 thyroid supplements have been suggested as a potential weight loss aid due to their metabolic effects. Increasing the levels of T3, it is thought that weight loss can be facilitated. However, it's important to note that taking T3 supplements for weight reduction is not a straightforward or safe approach, and it should only be done under medical supervision. T3 is a potent hormone, and changes in T3 levels can significantly impact the body's hormonal balance, leading to potential side effects.

In addition, weight loss is a complex process that involves many factors, including diet, exercise, genetics, and lifestyle. Taking T3 supplements alone is unlikely to produce substantial weight loss, and it should be used in conjunction with other weight loss strategies, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise.

6. More isn't always better when it comes to T3 supplements

When it comes to T3 supplements, more is not always better because it can lead to hyperthyroidism. It is important to find the right dosage of T3 supplementation that works for you, and this can vary depending on individual factors such as age, weight, and overall health.

The right dosage of T3 supplementation is typically determined by a healthcare provider and can be adjusted over time based on regular hormone level monitoring results. The goal is to achieve a balanced thyroid hormone level that relieves symptoms without causing any adverse effects.

7. The risks and precautions of taking T3 medications

When taking T3 medications, whether in synthetic form (liothyronine) or natural desiccated thyroid (NDT), it's essential to be aware of the potential risks and necessary precautions to ensure safe and effective treatment. Here is an overview of the risks and precautions associated with T3 medications:

  • Overdose: Taking too much T3 medication can lead to an overdose, resulting in symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, increased appetite, and weight loss. It's crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and consult your healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms.

  • Heart-related complications: Excessive T3 levels can put a strain on the heart, leading to an increased risk of heart-related issues such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure. Individuals with pre-existing heart conditions should be closely monitored by their healthcare professionals when taking T3 medications.

  • Drug interactions: T3 medications can interact with other medications, such as blood thinners, antidepressants, and certain diabetes medications. It's essential to inform your healthcare professional of any medications or supplements you are taking to avoid potential drug interactions.

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult their healthcare professional before starting or adjusting T3 medication, as thyroid hormone levels may require monitoring and dosage adjustments during this time.

  • Monitoring and dosage adjustments: It's crucial to have regular check-ups and blood tests to track thyroid hormone levels when taking T3 medications. This ensures that the dosage is appropriate and can be adjusted if necessary.

8. You don't actually need to take T3 on an empty stomach

You do not need to take T3 supplements on an empty stomach. The general recommendation is to take T3 with a meal to help ensure that it is absorbed properly and to minimize any potential for adverse effects such as nausea.

9. The right way to take T3 for optimal results

The right way to take T3 for optimal results will depend on individual factors. However, the following are general guidelines for taking T3 supplements for optimal results:

Under medical supervision

T3 supplementation should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare provider, who will determine the right dosage and frequency of use.

Gradual increase

It's crucial not to start with high doses of T3 medications such as Cytomel or NDT immediately. Instead, a gradual increase in T3 supplementation is essential for safety and effectiveness. By slowly raising the dosage of T3 supplementation over time, you can minimize the risk of adverse effects and allow your body to adjust to the new hormone levels comfortably.

Along with a healthy lifestyle

Taking T3 supplementation along with a healthy lifestyle is crucial for optimizing its effects and minimizing the risk of adverse effects. A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • A balanced diet: Consuming a balanced diet that includes a variety of healthy foods, such as lean protein, fruits, and vegetables, can help ensure that the body has the essential nutrient to metabolize T3 properly.

  • Regular exercise: Exercises, such as moderate-intensity cardio and strength training, can help improve overall health and promote a balanced hormonal system.

  • Adequate sleep: Getting adequate sleep, usually 7-9 hours per night, can help improve energy levels, enhance overall health, and reduce the risk of adverse effects from T3 supplementation.

  • Stress management: Practicing stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being.

By incorporating a healthy lifestyle along with T3 supplementation, you can optimize its effects, reduce the risk of adverse effects, and improve your overall health and well-being.

10. Where you store your T3 supplements can affect their dose

The storage conditions of T3 supplements can impact their potency and effectiveness. Be sure to store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture.

Exposure to heat and moisture can cause T3 to degrade, reducing its potency and effectiveness. Keeping T3 supplements in a cool, dry place will help ensure their stability and maintain their potency.

It's also important to keep T3 supplements in their original packaging and tightly sealed to protect them from moisture and other environmental factors.

11. The surprising drugs that can interact with T3

study shows that there are several drugs that can interact with T3 supplementation, which can cause changes in hormone levels and increase the risk of adverse effects. Some of the surprising drugs that can interact with T3 include:

  • Amphetamines: Drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall and Ritalin, can interfere with T3 metabolism, leading to changes in hormone levels.

  • Anticonvulsants: Drugs used to treat seizures, such as Phenobarbital and Carbamazepine, can reduce T3 levels and interfere with T3 metabolism.

  • Corticosteroids: Drugs used to treat inflammation and other conditions, such as Prednisone and Cortisone, can reduce T3 levels and interfere with T3 metabolism.

  • Estrogens: Drugs used to treat hormonal imbalances, such as birth control pills, can reduce T3 levels and interfere with T3 metabolism.

  • Opioids: Drugs used to treat pain, such as Oxycodone and Fentanyl, can reduce T3 levels and interfere with T3 metabolism.

The takeaway: T3 can help alleviate symptoms of hypothyroidism more effectively

Since T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone, taking medications or supplements that contain this hormone may be more effective for some people. This is especially true for people whose bodies can't properly convert T4 to T3. But before taking T3 supplements, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional, start with a gradual dosage increase, and monitor your thyroid hormone levels regularly. Being aware of potential risks and considering alternative treatments if needed will help ensure a safe and effective approach to managing your thyroid health. Keep these key points in mind to make informed decisions on your journey to optimal well-being.

If you're interested in adding T3 into your treatment regimen, VitaliThy, a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online, is a great option.

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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