***You can read more about the potential broccoligoitrogen problem in the revised STTM book!

Did you know that there are certain foods which if eaten in excess can affect your thyroid in a negative way??

They are commonly known as Goitrogenic foods, which means they contain substances which can prevent your thyroid from getting its necessary amount of iodine.  If eaten in excess, they interfere with the healthy function of your thyroid gland, tilting you in the direction of being even more hypothyroid, or making you susceptible to having a goiter, or enlargement of your thyroid. If you look closely at the word itself, you can see the root word is goiter (goitro-gen).

Foods which you have to be careful with most revolve around soy-related products and ingredients, as well as certain cruciferous veggies, nuts and some fruits.

Now luckily for the owner of this site, chocolate is NOT considered a Goitrogenic food. :lol:  But here are foods that ARE:

bok choy
broccoli
brussels sprouts
cabbage
cauliflower
garden kress
kale
kohlrabi
mustard
mustard greens
radishes
rutabagas
soy
soy milk
soybean oil
soy lecithin
soy anything
tempeh
tofu
turnips

Also included in the goitrogen category, even if mildly, are:

bamboo shoots
millet
peaches
peanuts
pears
pine nuts
radishes
spinach
strawberries
sweet potatoes

But, don’t panic: it’s about avoiding “excess” rather than avoiding altogether!

Cooking does appear to help minimize or inactivate the goitrogenic compounds found in these foods, since they are heat sensitive.  Also, just because you eat these foods uncooked does NOT mean you will have problems…if you remember the word “moderation”. The owner of this site eats a few strawberries in her Greek plain yogurt several mornings a week. She also enjoys spinach here and there (because she can’t stand most other vegetables) as well as peanuts. And with soy being added to many products, it’s hard to avoid. The key is to not eat any goitrogens excessively, pay attention to those labs for hidden soy, and use moderation.

(And now you know why those of us “in the know” cringe when we see the heavy emphasis on soy products in the supermarket, including infant soy formulas–the latter which babies consume daily! )

There are also certain chemicals which can have a goitrogenic effect on your thyroid function. They include:

Amiodarone
carbamazepine
iopanoic acid
Lithium
phenobarbitone
phenytoin
potassium perchlorate
propylthiouracil
rifampin
sulfadimethoxine
SSRI’s like Celexa and others

Iodine and goitrogens: Dr. Brownstein states that taking more iodine will counteract eating some goitrogenic foods. And fluoride, chlorine and bromides are goitrogens too.  www.iodine4health.com www.optimox.com)

  • To read more about the dangers of soy and it’s history, go here:
  • You can also read some personal experiences with the negative effect of excessive soy here: http://www.westonaprice.org/soy/complaints.html
  • Australians have done a class action lawsuit against the makers of soy milk here.

REMEMBER: this is about excess, not abstinence.

Want to order your own labwork?? You can!! Check out facilities here.