The following is written by thyroid patient and advocate Christina, who wanted to help those who are concerned about NDT being pork.

In April 2006, I started calling the wide variety of Jewish synagogues and Chabads here in Berkeley, California to ask about keeping Kosher and needing to take natural desiccated thyroid (NDT).

In the Reformed denomination, there is no problem with eating pork as they aren’t required to keep Kosher (observe ancient dietary laws). The Conservative denominations said there wouldn’t likely be a problem – “particularly if Armour is needed to “save a life/mind.”

The very best help I got on the subject was from Orthodox Rabbi Silverman. He stated that if indeed Armour is unique and required to save a life or mind (and it is definitely a unique medication that works!), he could see two ways that it would be fine to take Armour. First, it must be swallowed and not taken sublingually. This way it doesn’t violate the Dietary Laws. Second, if it is necessary for saving a life/mind, this always takes precedence. He suggested to talk this over with your own rabbinical authorities, but he said he’d be happy to talk with any Jewish people who are concerned about this.

Then the good rabbi blessed all of our efforts to help people.

This discussion doesn’t cover people who are vegetarian although I think that if Kosher Dietary Law can be accommodated, that vegetarians might have some basis to reconsider taking Natural Desiccated Thyroid.

Also, this doesn’t address allergy to pork. IMHO, allergies are related to chronic hypoadrenal issues as well as leaky gut which has a number of proposed etiological factors. My guess is if your adrenals are well supported, a trial of Natural Desiccated Thyroid is worth a try, regardless.

So now we have a good answer from the Orthodox rabbi that swallowing NDT circumvents Dietary Law (he used words like Haruchuch [or halachah] and Kashrut if that helps anyone…)

Hope this helps. Shalom!!

Christina

**A bovine over-the-counter (OTC) version of NDT is here and here. The first one seems to be stronger than the second, say patients. Because these are OTC, the amounts of both T4 and T3 are not measured, so patients pay close attention to symptom removal. 

**To read about being a Vegetarian or Vegan and thyroid treatment, go here.

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