Developing a truly effective diet for optimal thyroid function can be difficult because we still don’t understand exactly how the thyroid functions. There are dozens of natural supplements that many physicians believe can help improve thyroid function, though there is little concrete research to support these claims. Recently, coconut oil has seen a surge in popularity within the health market. As such, many people have been left wondering if they can take advantage of the potential thyroid-related benefits by increasing their coconut oil intake.
A Look at Current Research
Currently, there is evidence that the intake of coconut oil may help stimulate your thyroid gland and increase production of thyroid hormones. One of the most prominent studies was outlined in a report released by the American Dietetic Association. Essentially, these studies note coconut oil could significantly limit or eliminate the symptoms associated with a hypothyroid condition. One the other hand, researchers at the Mayo Clinic strongly deny any claim coconut oil can stimulate thyroid function. Unfortunately, there simply isn’t enough evidence to prove a direct link between the intake of coconut oil and improving hypothyroid conditions. All of the available studies have focused on relatively small groups of people, which makes it difficult to draw broad conclusions.
Coconut Oil Isn’t a Cure
While coconut oil may potentially be used to help improve hypothyroid conditions, it definitely should not be considered a cure. An easy way to understand what coconut oil may offer is by comparing it to popular herbs and supplements which have been shown to stimulate thyroid hormone production. While taking these herbs and supplements alone will not cure a hypothyroid condition, they can be beneficial by reducing the severity of symptoms. To find a comprehensive solution, you need to look at other factors such as nutritional deficiencies, your immune system, various hormone production levels, and adrenal function.
Should People with Hyperthyroidism Avoid Coconut Oil?
If coconut oil can be beneficial to people suffering from hypothyroid symptoms, the next question is how will it affect people with hyperthyroid symptoms? To date, there is no research which indicates that consuming coconut oil will be detrimental or dangerous to anyone with hyperthyroid conditions. While you would not be actively encouraged to increase your coconut oil consumption, you probably don’t need to specifically avoid it either. In fact, there are a growing number of people with hyperthyroidism who include coconut oil in their diet on a regular basis without experiencing any worsening of their symptoms.
What Should You Do?
Without enough evidence supporting coconut oil as a possible method for improving hypothyroid conditions, it is impossible to recommend it with any certainty. At the same time, enough evidence does exist to believe it could be beneficial. If you want to integrate more coconut oil into your diet, it is important to keep everything in perspective. While coconut oil may be able to improve your metabolism and give you more energy, it cannot completely cure a hypothyroid condition. It is important to take a whole body approach to improving your thyroid function. This includes managing stress effectively, taking the right daily supplements, altering your diet, exercising regularly, and developing a long-term treatment with your thyroid practitioner.