Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Use of over-the-counter thyroid support pills is risky, Mayo Clinic Researcher finds

28.10.2011
People who use over-the-counter "thyroid support'' supplements may be putting their health at risk, according to a study being presented at the annual meeting of the American Thyroid Association. The supplements contain varying amounts of two different kinds of thyroid hormones apparently derived in large part from chopped up animal thyroid glands, says the study's senior investigator, Victor Bernet, M.D., an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

The hormones are known as T3, or triiodothyronine, and T4, or thyroxine. They are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and intended for use only in prescription medication because they can cause significant health issues, such as an increase in heart rate, heart irregularities and palpitations, nervousness, and diarrhea, Dr. Bernet says.

"These hormones have effects throughout the body, which is why they are controlled," he says.

Not only did nine of the 10 supplements studied have animal hormone, the amount of hormones in the products varied significantly, sometimes exceeding doses used for individual patients and comparable to levels found in prescription thyroid medication, Dr. Bernet says.

The supplements likely do not give most people the results they are seeking, such as weight loss or less fatigue, he says.

"The amount of thyroid hormone a normal person would have to take to lose weight would be dangerously high and there is no evidence that use of thyroid hormone effectively treats fatigue when used in people without actual hypothyroidism," he says.

Because physicians have seen a number of abnormal thyroid tests from patients using over-the-counter supplements, Dr. Bernet became interested in this issue when he heard reports of such cases as chairman of the American Thyroid Association's public health committee. He worked with researchers including endocrinologists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he practiced at the time.

The researchers bought 10 commercially available thyroid supplements from stores or websites and used high-pressure liquid chromatography to separate and identify the chemical components of T3 and T4. Nine of the 10 contained T3 and five of them would deliver as much, or more, than 50 percent of the total amount of T3 produced by the body daily.

Four of the 10 supplements contained T4, and some of those contained a dose that could be twice as much as what an adult needs each day. Only one supplement had no detectable T3 or T4.

The results show there is a need for more effective monitoring of the contents of over-the-counter thyroid support products and more patient education about the products' potential health risks, Dr. Bernet says.

The study was funded by the Department of Clinical Investigation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which, in August 2011, became the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit MayoClinic.com or MayoClinic.org/news.

Kevin Punsky | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inselspital: Fewer CT scans needed after cerebral bleeding
20.03.2019 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

To proliferate or not to proliferate

21.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Magnetic micro-boats

21.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Motorless pumps and self-regulating valves made from ultrathin film

21.03.2019 | HANNOVER MESSE

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>