Thyroid extracts are thyroid extracts derived from the thyroid glands of usually bovine (beef) sources.
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Refer to label instructions
Thyroid extract is used by some doctors as an alternative to synthetic thyroid hormones. One doctor reported that thyroid extract worked better than standard thyroid preparations for many of his patients with hypothyroidism.
Desiccated thyroid, also called thyroid extract (e.g., Armour Thyroid), is used by some doctors as an alternative to synthetic thyroid hormones (such as thyroxine [Synthroid or other brand names]) for people with hypothyroidism. Thyroid extract contains two biologically active hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine), whereas the most commonly prescribed thyroid-hormone preparations contain only thyroxine. One study has shown that the combination of the two hormones contained in desiccated thyroid is more effective than thyroxine alone for those with hypothyroidism.1 One doctor reported that thyroid extract worked better than standard thyroid preparations for many of his patients with hypothyroidism.2 Glandular thyroid products, which are available from health food stores, have had most of the thyroid hormone removed and would therefore not be expected to be effective for people with hypothyroidism. Intact desiccated thyroid is available only by prescription. Hypothyroidism sufferers who want to use desiccated thyroid must first consult with a physician.
The recommended intake depends on the concentration, method of preparation, and quality of the thyroid extract. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on the label.
Thyroid extracts are available as nutritional supplements in capsules and tablets.
As thyroid extract is not an essential nutrient, therefore, no deficiency state exists.
No side effects or adverse reactions have been reported. However, people taking prescription thyroid hormones should consult their doctor before using non-prescription thyroid extracts.
Last Review: 07-08-2014
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