Ancient Root Extract Improves Thyroid Function, Reduces Fatigue in Mild Hypothyroid Patients

Views 12694

Do you find yourself increasingly sensitive to cold? Is mental fog or unexplained weight gain starting to become the norm? You may be among the fast-growing group of subclinical hypothyroid cases flying under the radar - but this clinical trial offers hope of taming symptoms and avoiding pharmaceuticals with an ancient adaptogenic herb.

The Epidemic of Borderline Low Thyroid

Cases of subclinical hypothyroidism, where thyroid hormones start declining but don't quite meet cutoff for full blown hypothyroidism, have risen sharply in recent decades.1 Estimates suggest up to 10% of adults now have modestly elevated TSH with symptoms like fatigue, weight gain and depression.2

While not warranting thyroid medication according to conventional guidelines, subclinical hypothyroidism does increase future risk of cardiovascular diseases and progression to overt hypothyroidism.3 Supporting healthy thyroid function early on is prudent.

First line treatment is typically thyroid hormone replacement with synthetic levothyroxine.4 However this fails to holistically address underlying causes of thyroid slowing. Adaptogens like ashwagandha that gently rebalance whole body physiology represent an appealing natural alternative.

Efficacy and Mechanisms of Ashwagandha  

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is among the most highly regarded botanicals in Indian Ayurvedic healing traditions. Extensive research has documented ashwangandha's adaptogenic properties for bolstering resiliency to stress, enhancing cognition and reducing inflammation among other benefits.5 The database contains research on its potential therapeutic value in over 120 conditions.

This new randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial tested whether 170mg twice-a-day of standardized ashwagandha root extract could improve thyroid indices and quality of life over 8 weeks in 50 adults with subclinical hypothyroidism.6

Encouragingly, ashwagandha treatment decreased serum TSH levels by 41%, almost restoring to the reference range (P<0.0001 versus placebo). Concurrently, ashwagandha increased fT4 by 14.3% (P= 0.002) and significantly decreased miserable symptoms like fatigue by 41% versus only 5% improvement for placebo group.6

These clinically relevant improvements in hypothyroidism severity likely owe to ashwaganda's abilities to enhance cellular thyroid hormone status and counter inflammation locally that can compromise thyroid function.5,7

The impressed researchers concluded ashwagandha may serve as a "good adjuvant treatment in subclinical hypothyroid patients having prominent symptoms despite standard thyroxine therapy" and help avoid excessive thyroxine usage.6

With wide-ranging benefits, excellent safety record and affordability as a botanical supplement, ashwagandha indeed holds real-world therapeutic potential for early intervention in hypothyroid spectrum disorders.

Learn more about the profound qualitative differences between synthetic levothyroxine and desiccated thyroid extract here.

Learn more about other natural approaches to low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) here, such as black seed.

Learn about the potential, underreported toxicity of levothyroxine here, as well as the problem with the synthetic conformational state of synthetic T4 here.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Key Research Topics

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2024, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.