Can You Take Zinc If You Have Thyroid Problems?


Zinc is known to increase thyroid function and may be taken in combination with other metallic minerals. You may take zinc if you have an underactive thyroid as it may help to increase thyroid production. Though it may seem counterintuitive, you may take zinc if you have an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidsm, as the thyroid may process zinc too quickly, creating a deficiency in your bloodstream.


The thyroid gland, located in your neck, produces thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism. Many minerals, including iodine, zinc, copper and iron are key to thyroid function and may be added or subtracted from your diet depending on your thyroid condition.

What is Zinc?

Zinc is a metallic mineral that plays a role in the function of protein synthesis, healing, DNA synthesis and cell division, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. It is also important to the function of about 100 enzymes.

Effect of Zinc on Thyroid

According to the website, your body may have too much zinc if the thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroid) or too little zinc if the thyroid is underactive (hypothyroid). A 2007 study conducted on two college-aged women at the universities of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania showed a direct link between thyroid activity and zinc levels. In the study, two zinc-deficient women were administered 26.4 mcg of zinc ,and at the end of four months both had increased levels of the T-3 hormone produced by the thyroid.

Getting Zinc

Zinc may be added to your diet through pill-form supplements or by adding more foods high in zinc, such as oysters, crab, beef shank, pork shoulder, fortified cereals or yogurt, to your diet, according to the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Zinc is not stored in the body and must be replenished regularly. The recommended daily allowance for zinc for adults is 8 mg for women and 11 for men.

Other trace minerals

While zinc is critical to thyroid function, copper and iron are, as well, and these three minerals should be considered together. For an overactive thyroid, recommends supplementing copper, then iron and, finally, zinc. Those with underactive thyroids should use zinc supplements first.

Absorption of Thyroid Replacement Hormones

If you are taking thyroid replacement pills, be aware that zinc may inhibit the body's ability to absorb the synthetic hormone. Thyroid replacement pills should be taken at the same time daily, on an empty stomach and any additional supplements should be taken later in the day to avoid interactions, according to Revolution Health.

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