What Are Goitrogenic Nutrients?
What Are Goitrogenic Nutrients?

Goitrogens are data that emerged as a result of an experiment conducted by scientists in 1928. During the experiment, the chickens were fed with fresh cabbage and after a while it was observed that the thyroid glands of the chickens enlarged.

It is recommended that people with goiter or thyroid gland disorders do not consume foods containing goitrogen. However, the effect of each goitrogenic food is not the same, and the effect of goitrogenic foods is not the same for every thyroid patient.

Goitrogens are substances that affect thyroid gland functions. In addition, it affects the auxiliary mechanisms of the thyroid gland, peripheral metabolism and production of thyroid hormones. It changes the body's normal thyroid production pattern and the production of thyroid hormones in the body seem to decrease when goitrogenic foods are consumed. As the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood decreases, the thyroid glands are stimulated and increase their volume to secrete more hormones. In this case, it can cause goiter discomfort.

How Do Goitrogenic Foods Affect the Thyroid Gland?

If individuals with thyroid disorders consume high amounts of goitrogenic foods, their thyroid disorders may worsen. Goitrogen prevents the use of iodine, which is necessary for the production of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland, and prevents the production of TSH, which is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones.

The iodine molecule is a necessary molecule for growth, development, neural development and thyroid hormone production. Iodine deficiency is a symptom of mental retardation. Iodine deficiency can cause important disorders such as goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland) and hypothyroidism (inability of the thyroid gland to work adequately).

In the consumption of goitrogenic food, iodine uptake into the thyroid gland becomes difficult, and goitrogens prevent the entry of iodine into the thyroid gland. In the absence of iodine molecule, the production of T3 and T4 hormones secreted from the thyroid gland does not occur. The hypothalamus region of our brain is stimulated due to this situation. The hypothalamus recognizes thyroid hormone deficiency and provides TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) production from the pituitary. As TSH production increases, the thyroid gland wants to increase its hormone production. However, since goitrogens prevent iodine uptake, the thyroid gland cannot produce hormones, only growth is observed.

The low level of goitrogen amount in the body can be eliminated by using iodine supplement. However, iodine supplementation is not effective for high doses of goitrogen.

What Are the Types of Goitrogens in Foods?

There are 3 types of goitrogens. These can be listed as goitrins, thiocyanates (sulphurous cyanide) and flavonoids.

Goitrins and thiocyanates are formed when plants are damaged, that is, when they are cut or chewed. Flavonoids occur naturally in a variety of foods. Examples of flavonoids are resveratrol in red wine and catechins in green tea. Some of the flavonoids, also known as antioxidants, can be converted into goitrogens by intestinal bacteria.

What Are Goitrogenic Nutrients?

Many foods contain goitrogens. Especially people who have thyroid problems have to be careful about knowing and not consuming these foods. Goitrogens containing foods are bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, brussels sprouts, radishes, kale, spinach, turnips, corn, peaches, peanuts, pears, pine nuts, strawberries, sweet potatoes, almonds, blackberries, soy milk, tofu, and soybeans. There is no reason why individuals who do not experience thyroid problems should avoid goitrogenic foods. Therefore, they can include it in their diet as they wish.