Does Glutathione Cause Thyroid Problems?

Glutathione is important in the conversion of thyroid hormones, reports PubMed. A deficiency or lack of glutathione might therefore affect the amount or function of thyroid hormone in the body.

The thyroid produces two main hormones, explains EndocrineWeb. These hormones are thyroxine, or T4, and triiodothyronine, or T3. The thyroid produces about four times as much T4 as T3, but the body needs some T4 for conversion into T3.

Some people may produce enough T4 but have symptoms of a thyroid deficiency because the body does not convert enough T4 into T3, according to Metabolic Healing. This problem may have multiple causes, but one possible cause is a lack of glutathione. Research reported by PubMed shows that glutathione and other thiols are essential to the conversion of T4 into T3.

This does not mean, however, that glutathione supplements help people with thyroid problems. The body does not absorb glutathione from supplements, notes WebMD, and studies have shown that glutathione supplements may not raise blood levels of glutathione at all. Taking these supplements may also reduce levels of zinc or exacerbate symptoms of asthma.

Certain foods and supplements may help to increase the body's glutathione production, reports WebMD. Supplements that boost glutathione production include curcumin, selenium, vitamin E and vitamin C. Foods that boost glutathione production are rich in sulfur and amino acids and include avocado, spinach, broccoli and garlic.