Dr. Mark Starr has made a comment strongly favoring desiccated thyroid

Dr. Mark StarrI have been driving all day, bringing my husband back home after serious hand surgery yesterday. And while I was away from the computer, I received the below via the Contact Me form of STTM, written by Mary Budinger for the Arizona Net News journal, September 16, 2009:

Dr. Mark Starr’s office team wanted to send over a portion of an article just written for an Arizona health magazine:

Desiccated thyroid from pigs is a bio-identical, complete hormone preparation, containing the entire spectrum of thyroid hormones including T4, T3, T2, and T1 that are in the human thyroid gland.

Current FDA approved thyroid medications include Synthroid, Unithroid, Levoxyl, and Levothyroxine (all only contain T4), and Cytomel (only T3). These hormones are synthetic and contain only a portion of the thyroid’s hormones.

Dr. Mark Starr of Phoenix, Arizona, said patients have called him, frantic that desiccated thyroid is unavailable. “It is so key to my practice, I have enough for my patients. So far, it appears that when supply catches up with demand in a few months, the shortage will be over.”

Dr. Starr is the author of “Hypothyroidism-Type 2.” He said synthetic thyroid acts energetically differently in the body. “All living things have a right spin, and synthetic medications have a left spin. The desiccated thyroid is better tolerated.”

Dr. Broda Barnes did a study that revealed a relative intolerance to a synthetic thyroid product containing T3 and T4 (Thyrolar). One-fifth of the patients who had done well on desiccated thyroid developed rapid heart beats and palpitations when switched to Thyrolar. Dr. Barnes also did a major research study on desiccated thyroid that involved thousands of patients over 30 years; it showed a 94 percent reduction in the number of expected heart attacks. This study is the subject of the 1976 book “Solved: The Riddle of Heart Attacks.”

Lipitor is the best selling drug in the world. But for the first half of the 20th century, desiccated thyroid was the standard treatment for high cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides are one of the myriad symptoms of hypothyroidism. Dr. Barnes’ book included a chapter entitled “The Demise of the Cholesterol Theory.” Desiccated thyroid normalized cholesterol and triglycerides in 95% of the patients Dr. Barnes treated. The 5% who had persistently elevated levels had no increased incidence of heart attacks. Desiccated thyroid therapy also resolved a long list of other hypothyroid symptoms such as fatigue, cold intolerance, joint and muscle pain, dry skin, inability to lose weight, headaches, and menstrual problems. One of the most important benefits that Dr. Barnes demonstrated in studies on both animals and his patients was that desiccated thyroid increases immunity and allows the body to fight off infections. As we come into swine flu season, this is particularly important.”

Dr. Starr, I love the way you put it: “All living things have a right spin, and synthetic medications have a left spin. The desiccated thyroid is better tolerated.” And that’s exactly why the website Stop the Thyroid Madness exists–patients all over the world have found out what a far better “right spin” treatment desiccated thyroid has been for them!  So we present this information, hoping that more and more patients can learn from the paths walked before them, and take this right into their doctors offices.

And about Thyrolar, which is a combination of synthetic T4 and synthetic T3:  we’re glad it exists. But…there have been numerous patients over the years who tried the combination of synthetic t3/ synthetic T4, and who then switched to desiccated thyroid. And they identically report on the NTH thyroid group that they got far better results from desiccated thyroid. That is powerful information.

And yes, Dr. Starr, we are looking forward for supply to catch up, because natural desiccated thyroid is a godsend.


Join the Thy­roid Patient Com­mu­nity Call on Talk Shoe this Friday. UPDATE: the President of Hook’s Apothecary, a compounding pharmacy that serves Illinois and Indiana, will be in the chat to talk about compounding desiccated thyroid.

Also check out the post below concerning possible hints that we are closer to seeing more desiccated thyroid on our shelves?

21 Responses to “Dr. Mark Starr has made a comment strongly favoring desiccated thyroid”

  1. Tina

    I love Dr Starr, and I have his book (as well as books written by Dr Barnes, Dr Durrant-Peatfield and yourself), and it was quite heart-warming to know that there *are* doctors who know (Dr Starr himself is hypothyroid) what hell we go through if we’re forced to take synthetic thyroid!!

  2. Lisa

    I placed a test order for Thyroid-S at a site called 12buys.com. I wasn’t happy with the result and would NOT buy from them again. I recieved 2 bottles with typed labels NO manufactuers labels, NO safety seal and a piece of bubble wrap stuffed in them. I ordered a product called Thiroid and Thyroid extract from their site. But both bottles look the same and are labeled the same even though I placed two seperate orders and tablets look the same in both. A friend said they smelled like my Nature-throid (my sense of smell is gone) But I would be too afraid to take them. The order was sent from Thailand. The safest product I have recieved so far is from Canada from a site already listed on here.
    I will keep searching and let you know, if I find anything.
    But I am not panicing. Where there is a demand there will be a suppply eventually. Everyone wants to make a buck.
    Also, if you find a site in Canada whose prices have gone through the roof do not use them. The Gov’t regulates drug prices in Canada and it is illegal for them to over charge you.
    Good luck, remain calm.
    There is plenty of dessiccated thyroid out there.
    Thank you Canada.
    May the makers of Synthroid drown in their product for all the lies and misinformation they have told our doctors!

  3. Linda

    I agree with Tina that there is a lot to be said for doctors that are also hypo and know exactly what we are going through. That describes my doctor, who has completely turned my life around for the better. I just talked to him yesterday about the shortage. And he is already using a compounding pharmacy that has let him know they have plenty of dessicated thyroid. So I’ll be getting that until NT or Armour is back on the shelves.

  4. Kathleen


    Sorry you had a bad experience getting Thyroid-S from Thailand. It sounds like they opened a bottle (they come 1,000 pills at 60 mg. each in a brown properly-labeled bottle) and sold you part of it.

    I was more fortunate and received my order from another company (MP) in Bangkok yesterday (took 5 days). The 1,000-pill bottle had its original label and was sealed in an original box which was shrink-wrapped. It was also dated for use by 2012. That was placed in a sturdy box tied with string, which I had to sign for. They track all shipments.

    I am very pleased and would recommend them. However, be sure and work with your credit card company since that took a couple of phone calls and emails back and forth with the company to process the order.

    I am thrilled to have this alternative to Naturethroid until they are up and running again.

  5. Cat Dromont

    I have read the writings of Mark Starr, and I cried reading some of the chapters. My ancestors came from Austria and Graz, and it is quite possible that some were in those original autopsies. Both my mom and I are on Armour but uninformed “care-providers” do not know how to dose Armour and rely solely on TSH. Guess what? She is still sick and I cannot find anyone who wants to allow me to continue on Armour. So I am rationing my meds. My Grandmother saw Mark Starr at Northwestern University in Chicago when he was a resident. He wasn’t involved with Thyroid and hormones then. Love all you guys. Love Dr. Starr.

    Winter will not be easy.

  6. Jay


    DO NOT waste that precious medication. From your post, it sounds like you did not even take the medication.

    You usually get a REPACKAGED bottle when you order Thyroid-S or Greater Pharma from Thailand. But most patients are getting excellent results. American pharmacies put pills into pharmacy bottles all the time.

    Please do not waste. There are many desparate patients that don’t have the internet skills to get the medication or have not yet realized the shortage and have been blindsided, please help them.

  7. Lisa

    Thanks Kathleen. I don’t know why the site asks for your SS# and birthdate (I didn’t give it)
    The bottle you described is what I thought I was getting. I will see what this new site sends.
    Thanks for the tip.

  8. Andrea

    This idea of left spin is interesting. Where did he get that information? Where would I look to find more information on this?

  9. kendra

    I got both the Thyroid s and Efra, for which I did have to pay out the bum for, they doubled the prices! but I have 1000 Efra and they are the closest thing to the old Armour yet, they are totally dissolvable under the tongue and sweet. i am storing the rest in the freezer.

  10. Dr. Starr former patient

    This is VERY interesting to me especially since this same dr. just told me that since I have hashi’s I won’t be able to tolerate desiccated thyroid and he wanted me to start taking compounded SYNTHETIC T4/t3??? Buyer beware with Dr. Starr. He writes a great book, but doesn’t practice his own medicine.

  11. Elenor

    My assumption is that the good doctor is referring to ‘left and right spin’ not as some kind of “energetic medicine” but as a short-hand for left-handed and right-handed molecules. — it’s a description of the direction in which the molecules twist.

    From: http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55510/ :
    “Amino acids come in left-handed and right-handed forms, which, like a pair of human hands, are mirror images that cannot be superimposed onto each other. Yet living organisms use only the left-handed version …”

    That would most likely align with his words to signal that natural thyroid is left-handed (left “spin”) and therefore usable by humans; and right “spin” is not (or not so much).

  12. carolyn hunter

    re: left handed and right-handed…that is a dumb-ed down version of what reallyb happens when a ray of light is shown through the substance.

    natural vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol ) for instance, when a ray of light is shown through it, the LIGHT IS REFRACTED TO THE RIGHT.

    While…on the other hand, regarding The Synthetic
    Vitamin E, ( dl-alpha tocopherol ) When a ray of light is shown through it, the ray of light refracts to the LEFT.

    That’s why there’s a tiny letter “L” after the “d”

    The tiny “l” stands for lextra, …in latin, …which means “refracted to the left”.

  13. carolyn hunter

    Please add this below to my original comment so it may make more sense?…..

    With regard to a description of a right handed or left handed SPIN…a more scientificly accurate explanation is about the way light affects a substance …..and the way the substance affects light.

    In this case, one could use vitamin E as an example, in comparing the synthetic and the natural, and how light is “BENT” when shot or reflected through them..

    It is only reasonable to discern ….that if light reacts differently, between the natural, and the synthetic substance,…which is deemed by some…. to be exactly “the same”. That the human BODY COULD ALSO react differently , ……while using a natural substance ,versus the synthetic imitation of that substance.

  14. Sharon

    Correction to Latin:

    “Sinister” is the Latin word for “left”.

    “Dexter” is the Latin word for “right”.

  15. Shara Khodaparast

    I need a refferal Of a good doctors in Dallas for thyroid . I am homebound and I have MS( i have been blined and paralized for over 12 years . Please respond here and let me know the name of a good doctor in Dallas.
    I do thank you for your consideration.

    (From Janie: try Dr. Stephanie Elmore in Irving or Dr. Bessie Owens in Mesquite. Removed your phone number as it’s not a good idea to post it)

  16. Belinda

    I was on synthroid quite a few years ago and actually got pregnant with my 3rd child after starting it.however a few years down the road it seemed like I began to get puffy and have less energy and “Slow” and I was gaining weight.
    I stopped taking it and of course my Tsh was ok and so the Dr did not restart it.I felt ok initially but several years after now I am having the same symptoms again.My joints are more sore now.
    I had a subtotal thyroidectomy and only have the rt lobe remaining.The surgon said that I did not need to have my tsh rechecked and I was surprised.My surgery was due to a nodule on my left lobe causing dysphagia.2 months after surgery I had bonchitis and saw a family practice MD and had my tsh rechecked there and it was 4.4 which is within the lab values norm.still did not feel good.
    Went to see Dr.Sult in St.Cloud,Mn and he said that my tsh was too high—so was put on armour Thyroid 30 mg daily.it helped me but then I felt at times that I was too buzzed from it—so I was instructed to stop it and recheck the tsh levals.
    Long story short,I think that I do better with only 15 mg of Armour and I have started and stopped it becuz I thought that it was causing me to have headaches—which could have been my sinus problem.I am trying to feel good again and Ive felt so aweful sometimes that I feel like I dont have the energy to do my job or enjoy life at all.
    What Im doing now is taking childrens chewable vitamins and also painting a small section of iodine tincture on my skin about every other day.The vits have vit b’s in them and I can tolerate them better than adult vits with all the other junk in them.I also am experimenting with taking the armour 15 mg daily.My joints have been terribly sore and have been unable to sleep much at all.
    I will say that the mainstream MDs out there are not very informed about thyroid issues.If a lab value comes back normal they file it in your chart—end of story.The MD’s need to be taught to look at the pt and notjust the lab value!!! I know this cuz I’m an RN.
    The best you can do out there with any of your health care is to advocate for yourself!!!!! And don’t give up!!!
    Doctors are there to be your advisors;they serve you and they are there mostly to make recommendations to you—most MD’s forget this!!!!

  17. Mary

    I have been seeing an endo for approx. 2 1/2 years now because of nodules on my thyroid. She is now treating me for diabetes. Before moving to Tennessee in 2006, my Texas docs had me on armour thyroid for “low thyroid” as they called it. However, Tennessee endo said I don’t need it, and that my “numbers are within range.” However, I don’t feel well at all. Can anyone recommend a good physician for me in and/or around Chattanooga, TN area? Thank you so very, very much!

  18. Chereen

    Hi Dr. Starr former patient;

    I too am a Hashimoto patient. Dr. Starr put you on synthetic hormones, like he said, because you will not tolerate the Armour because the pig thyroid messes with the antibodies from your gut and can cause more problems then cure. I am on compounded T3, T4 as well for the same reason. I’m currently taking steps to heal my gut thus heal Hashimotos. You must get to the root of the problem. All autoimmune diseases are caused by leaky gut and you can heal that.
    Blessings to you as you do your search for wellness.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Chereen, MANY Hashi’s patients report that they do far better on NDT than the two synthetics. They feel it’s because NDT improves the immune system dysfunction far better than the synthetics. Granted, some do see a rise in antibodies when they first get on NDT…but as they keep raising, they see those antibodies go down, which also points to an immune issue, not just a gut issue.

      • Chereen

        The gut is 90% of our immune system and a LEAKY gut why we get ALL kinds of autoimmune diseases even cancer. I was on Armour for about 18 years and things didn’t get better. Then I found I tested positive for Hashi. I’m starting from the ground up with a naturapath and I do feel better. She is stabilizing my thyroid FIRST while I’m healing from leaky gut. It is tricky though because I have other hormonal issues as well. Detoxing the liver has helped a lot and eating clean. I do not eat grains or dairy while I’m trying to heal my gut. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid not a thyroid disease. If the NDT works for some that is great.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Chereen, patients don’t disagree with you about the importance of the gut, nor do they disagree that Hashi’s is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid. We agree! We are just relaying to you that there are many patients who have reported that their use of NDT was enough to lower their antibodies i.e. not everyone with Hashi’s has reported that they had to “heal their gut” to be well again. Remember that STTM is about patient experiences, not just “opinion”. So it impressed us that some needed gut health strategies as you may, while others didn’t seem to need that to feel well again. P.S. it’s really a matter of opinion how much of the gut is about our immune system. Some say 70%, some say 80%, as well. lol.


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