Alterations in thyroid function have been closely linked with weight gain for decades.
Unfortunately, more than 1 in 10 women over the age of 50 now have a thyroid issue. In fact, it’s estimated that over 850,000 Australians have a thyroid problem, with about half of those being undiagnosed.
There can be many causes for a thyroid disorder, some of which are believed to come from our environment.
Perfluoroalkyl acids are suspected thyroid toxicants
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFASs) are common in the everyday household.
They are used as stain, water and grease repellents in paper food packaging, carpets, carpet and upholstery-cleaning liquids, fire fighting foams, paints and many other consumer products. But several experts now suspect they are thyroid toxicants.
In a new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers examined associations between serum PFASs and thyroid hormones (THs) in a representative, cross-sectional sample of US adults. They found evidence of PFAS-associated thyroid disruption in a subset of US adults with high TPOAb (a marker of autoimmune hypothyroidism) and low iodine status, who may represent a vulnerable subgroup.
Other toxic effects of these compounds include cancer, physical development delays, endocrine disruption, and neonatal mortality.
This last effect is arguably the most dramatic result of laboratory animal tests with PFOS and PFOA (both PFAS’s). Animals are born, they look quite healthy and pink, and then they die quite rapidly. Other studies show that the compounds can impact growth and development and disrupt the body’s hormone and immune systems.
In older animals, toxicological studies have shown that the compounds cause liver and pancreatic tumors. A number of studies have demonstrated the ability of both PFOS and PFOA to bind to peroxisome proliferator–activated receptors (PPARs), a class of receptors associated with carcinogenesis. In addition to being investigated as a cause of the cancers seen in laboratory animals, PPAR activation is believed to affect fetal growth and immune function.
Worryingly, these compounds have now spread throughout the environment—from polar bears living in Greenland, to giant pandas in China, to albatrosses on the Midway Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and are also widely dispersed in surface waters.
In our homes PFASs are found in teflon cooking appliances, which is why we strongly recommend you use alternatives. They are also present in stain and water resistant treatments for materials, including clothing.
We can help with thyroid management
Darwin Dietitians can help you with thyroid management for weight loss.
The main aspects we address include:
- Dietary iodine and selenium intake
- Possibility of avoiding Goitrogens
- Avoiding suspected environmental thyroid toxicants such as PFASs
- Reducing dietary and physical stress
- Sleep quality.
Click here to inquire or make an appointment.