What is the impact of soy on thyroid function? Is it unsafe to consume soy products if you have hypothyroidism? Dr. Sonal Chaudhry explains it all.
What is the impact of soy on thyroid health? Is it unsafe to consume soy products if you have hypothyroidism? Endocrinologist Dr. Sonal Chaudhry explains everything you need to know about soy and thyroid function.
Soy products may take up some of the iodine that would be normally used to make thyroid hormone. However, this is only really an issue if you are iodine deficient.
Studies have shown that soy, even in supplement form, that exceeds what is consumed in a normal diet has a very limited impact on thyroid function. Real clinical consideration is with patients who have hypothyroidism and are taking thyroid hormone. Soy products can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medication.
However, these patients can still safely eat soy products. Hypothyroidism patients should take their thyroid medication on an empty stomach and they should wait at least four hours before consuming soy products. If you don't have iodine deficiency and you're consuming normal amounts of soy, you don't have to worry about it impacting your thyroid health - you can feel free to enjoy one or two servings of soy daily if you'd like!
Dr. Chaudhry is an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health in New York City.
Thyroid Diseases. Bethesda, MD: US National Library of Medicine, 2015. (Accessed on November 20, 2015 at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/thyroiddiseases.html).
Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy. Washington, DC: Endocrine Society, 2015. (Accessed on November 20, 2015 at http://www.hormone.org/patient-guides/2012/hypothyroidism-after-pregnancy).
Hashimoto’s Disease. Bethesda, MD: National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service, 2015. (Accessed on November 20, 2015 at http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/endocrine/hashimotos-disease/Documents/hashimoto_508.pdf).
Soy and your Thyroid: How much is too much. Endocrineweb. Montclair, NJ. 2018. (Downloaded 11/12/2018.
Soy: Does it worsen hypothyroidism? Mayo clinic. Rochester, MN. 2016. (Downloaded 11/12/2018 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/expert-answers/hyperthyroidism/faq-20058188)
FDA Package Insert for Synthroid. FDA. Bethesda, MD. 2005. (Downloaded 11/12/2018 at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2008/021402s011lbl.pdf)