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What You Need to Know About Hypothyroidism and Caffeine, Sea Salt, Coconut Oil


What can you tell me about hypothyroidism and caffeine, sea salts, coconut oil etc? I’ve heard that the 2 latter are beneficial for improving if not, completely reversing hypothyroidism.


Hi Mary, thank you for your question.

Whenever someone is experiencing any kind of health problem, dysfunction or unwanted symptom, it is my philosophy to first get back to basics and make sure the foundational principles necessary for good health and well-being are being met.

Hormonal problems and hypothyroidism in particular are becoming alarmingly common. Although individual symptoms of hypothyroidism vary among individuals, the most common include deep fatigue, depression, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, constipation.

Addressing hypothyroidism holistically involves a comprehensive treatment combining laboratory test results, basal body temp and individual symptoms. It must be kept in mind that the thyroid is one gland among several in an entire hormonal system. Nothing in the body operates in isolation. The scope of our discussion will include dietary and lifestyle components involved in ensuring optimal thyroid health.

We want to be sure certain foods that are necessary for the thyroid to function properly are consumed regularly. Equally important is to identify and discontinue any foods, substances or behaviors that might be disrupting proper function.

Here are some basic dietary and lifestyle guidelines for you:

Foods and Nutrients to Include

  1. Drink only mineral water from a pristine source or reverse osmosis water. The detrimental effects of lead and mercury are vast and contribute directly to hormonal dysfunction, namely T4 to T3 conversion of the thyroid. Properly filtered water is also important in order to avoid chlorine and fluoride which block the activity of iodine. Chlorine and fluoride are halogens and their molecular structure similar to that of iodine, so instead of iodine attaching to the cell receptor sites like it should, fluoride does and the body then tries to make thyroxin, a thyroid hormone out of fluoride rather than iodine. Remember, fluoride is in dental products too.
  2.  Ensure proper iodine levels in the body. Good sources include sea salt, kelp, organic butter.
  3. Be sure to consume an adequate amount of quality protein daily
  4. As much as possible eat organic vegetables and fruits mainly to avoid the estrogen-disrupting effect of pesticides.
  5. Minimize or avoid all sugars (this involves controlling grains and fruit)
  6.  Eliminate caffeine
  7.  Consider Betaine HCl to replace missing stomach acid
  8.  Consider digestive enzymes
  9.  Eliminate all polyunsaturated vegetable oils
  10. *Consume raw, unrefined, virgin coconut oil (more on this below) Some other nutrients that have proven helpful for people include:
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Eggs
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Fish oil

Foods to Avoid

  1. All non-fermented soy and soy products.
  2. Avoid or minimize RAW cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts.) When raw, these veggies block absorption of iodine.
  3. Avoid tea. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, tea is very high in fluoride content. Fluoride in tea is much higher than the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set for fluoride in drinking water. Tea leaves accumulate more fluoride (from pollution of soil and air) than any other edible plant.
  4. Avoid bromine which is found in pesticides, pasta and table salt. Like chlorine and fluoride, it is a halogen that disrupts T4 to T3 conversion.

Lifestyle Factors

  1. As much as possible, avoid all exposure to plastics! Plastics function in the body as xenoestrogens, which mimick estrogen and wreak havoc throughout the body! It can be quite hard to avoid plastic in this day and age because in our modern lifestyle plastic and plastic by-products are everywhere! Common sources are drugs, food (especially soy), water, pesticides (eating any thing non-organic) and sometimes even air. Excess estrogen interferes with the conversion of T4 to the active T3 and xenoestrogens block the activity of iodine which stimulates thyroxin.
  2. Ensure all bathing and cooking water is also properly filtered.
  3. Avoid exposure to chlorinated water which also interferes with the T4 to T3 conversion. Common sources include swimming pools, unfiltered water, cleaning products, etc.
  4. Get outside and some direct sun exposure on your skin for about 15 minutes a day to increase oxygen intake and thyroid gland activity.
  5. Eliminate nicotine and second hand smoke.
  6. Avoid fluoride dental products.
  7. Exercise properly. This means not too little, nor too much! Exercise stimulates thyroid gland secretion and increases tissue sensitivity to thyroid hormones.
  8. Ensure adequate, quality sleep to allow optimal organ regeneration and hormonal balance
  9. Control emotional stress.
  10. Be aware that certain medications can disrupt proper thyroid and hormone function, namely beta blockers, birth-control pills and estrogen replacement therapies.

As you mentioned, *coconut oil and butter are particularly helpful in supporting proper thyroid function. Coconuts have been used for thousands of years by millions of people in Asia, the South Pacific Islands, Polynesia, Africa and Central America. Coconut oil has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. A highly-beneficial and very unique component of coconut oil is that like breast milk, it is a saturated fat and contains lauric acid. Also, since it is a medium-chain fatty acid, coconut oil actually increases metabolism which aids in weight loss!

I hope you find these dietary and lifestyle guideline helpful. Please let me know how they work for you!

Here are some additional references that you might find helpful:

  • Hypothyroidism, the Unexpected Illness, Broda O. Barnes, M.D.
  • Overcoming Thyroid Disorders, David Brownstein, M.D.
  • Google search articles on
  • Google search articles by Ray Peat
  • The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil, Bruce Fife, N.D.



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