B12 deficiency associated with autoimmune thyroid disease

Your thyroid gland makes hormones that control many of your body’s metabolic functions. That means it helps turn food into energy and keep your body functioning normally. If it’s not working, you’re not working. Strangely, your own immune system can attack your thyroid gland and cause autoimmune thyroid diseases like Hashimoto’s Disease. A simple vitamin may help you defend yourself . . . against yourself.

Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is very common. Hashimoto’s disease affects at least 2% of people and about 5% of people in the US. Because your immune system has damaged your thyroid, it can no longer make enough thyroid hormones. Because it no longer makes enough hormones that help turn food into energy, you run out of energy, your body slows down, and you don’t function normally. You may gain weight, feel tired and have foggy thinking. Menstrual problems and sexual dysfunction can also result.

A just published study has found that low levels of vitamin B12 may be involved. There were 306 people in this study. Some of them had autoimmune thyroid disease and some didn’t; some were vitamin B12 deficient and some weren’t.

The study found that the people with autoimmune thyroid disease had significantly lower levels of B12. Their levels were about half that of people with healthy thyroids. The people with B12 deficiency also had significantly higher levels of anti-TPO. TPO, or thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme found in the thyroid that plays a crucial role in the production of thymic hormones. The B12 deficient people had higher levels of antibodies against TPO, meaning they had autoimmune thyroid disease.

This study suggests that vitamin B12 deficiency may play a role in autoimmune thyroid diseases like Hashimoto’s disease.

Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2022 Jun 27. doi: 10.2174/1871530322666220627145635

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