Smart Fat Series: Eat Fat Lose Weight
Nutritional short falls may not be the direct cause of thyroid imbalances but they sure can magnify unpleasant symptoms. The ones I find most lacking are vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin E, zinc, iron, iodine, potassium, selenium and the amino acid tyrosine. Please note that iodine may be contraindicated with those who have Hashimoto's.
Viral overload is the last, but by no means, the least underlying cause of thyroid disorders, in fact it may be the most powerful root trigger of all. At least that's what my friend, Anthony William believes.
He recently wrote a book entitled Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal (Hay House, 2015) which I had the privilege of reviewing and endorsing. His take on viral overload as a precipitating cause of many modern day maladies like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Lyme disease, Multiple Sclerosis and so much more is nothing short of enlightening for all of us.
Here's what Anthony has to say about the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and your thyroid: "Medical communities aren't yet aware that EBV is the actual cause of most thyroid disorders and diseases—especially Hashimoto's, but also Graves', thyroid cancer, and other thyroid ills. (Thyroid disease is also sometimes caused by radiation; but in over 95 percent of cases, the culprit is Epstein-Barr.)" Medical research has not yet uncovered the true causes of thyroid disorders, and it's still decades away from discovering that EBV is the virus that causes them. If a doctor gives you a Hashimoto's diagnosis, it really means that she or he doesn't know what's wrong. The claim is that your body is attacking your thyroid—a view that arises from misinformation.
In truth, it's the EBV—not your body—attacking the thyroid. Once in your thyroid, EBV begins drilling into its tissues. The virus cells literally twist and spin like drills to burrow deep into the thyroid, killing thyroid cells and scarring the organ as they go, creating hidden hypothyroidism in millions of women, from mild cases to the more extreme. Your immune system notices this and tries to intervene, causing inflammation; but between EBV's neurotoxin, viral byproduct, and poisonous corpses confusing things, and with EBV hiding in your thyroid, your immune system can't tag the virus for complete destruction.
While the above may sound unnerving, don't let it rattle you; your thyroid has the ability to rejuvenate and heal itself when it's given what it needs. And never underestimate the power of your immune system.
As a fallback option, your immune system tries to wall off the virus with calcium, creating nodules in your thyroid. However, this doesn't hurt EBV. First, most of its cells evade this attack and remain free. Second, a virus cell that your immune system successfully walls off typically remains alive and turns its calcium prison into a comfortable home, where it feeds on your thyroid, draining it of energy. The virus cell might even eventually transform its prison into a living growth, called a cyst that creates further strain on your thyroid.
Meanwhile, these attacks against EBV can hurt you if you aren't eating enough calcium-rich foods. That's because if your immune system can't get the calcium to wall off the virus from your bloodstream, it'll extract what it needs from your bones... which can lead to osteoporosis.
Simultaneously, the hundreds of virus cells that aren't imprisoned in nodules can weaken your thyroid, making it less effective at producing the hormones your body needs to function. This lack of adequate thyroid hormones, coupled with EBV's toxins, can in turn lead to weight gain, fatigue, mental fogginess, impaired memory, depression, hair loss, insomnia, brittle nails, muscle weakness, and/or dozens of other symptoms.
Some especially rare, aggressive varieties of EBV go even further. They create cancer in the thyroid. The rate of thyroid cancer in the U.S. has been rising rapidly. Medical communities don't know that the cause is an increase in rare, aggressive forms of EBV.
Game ON?They include the following oils and foods:
Let's start to address low thyroid along with all the other reasons behind a metabolic slowdown by looking at an even bigger picture. No matter what the metabolic trigger, there are lots of easy fixes and all of them focus on fats. By creatively using Smart Fats in your everyday diet, you will be utilizing the very best medicine of all—which has never tasted so good! The Smart Fats that can makeover your metabolism from top to bottom include a select group of saturates and omegas from the -6 and -7 families of fats.
- Coconut Oil
- GLA (gamma linolenic acid) from hemp seeds and hemp seed oil, spirulina, borage, evening primrose and black currant seed oil
- CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) from safflower oil, grass-fed whey, butter and cream
- Omega-7 (palmitoleic acid) from anchovies, macadamias and sea buckthorn
- Pastured Butter—The Coconut Cure—From a metabolic perspective, coconut can do no wrong. It feeds the thyroid and is the only source of saturated fat that does not require bile to break it down for your body to use it. Coconut oil actually bypasses the gallbladder. This is great news for anyone with a gallbladder condition or fatty liver.
The Epstein-Barr virus invades your thyroid for a strategic reason—it's seeking to confuse and place stress on your endocrine system. The strain on your adrenal glands produces more adrenaline, which is a favored food of EBV that makes it stronger and better able to go after its ultimate target: your nervous system.
Please don't overreact and panic because there are many natural therapies that can vanquish viruses. The bottom line about all of this is that you can turn around a damaged metabolism and correct a sluggish thyroid. You will first have to carefully identify the right underlying root cause and then target it with all the appropriate remedies. In the case of virus, this may mean medication like Zovirax (acyclovir) for some individuals. There are also a plethora of time-tested herbal formulas that will help recovery.
Remember that we are all very unique on a biochemical level. Not every strategy will work for everybody so you may want to keep careful tabs on your progress or work with a health care practitioner who can more specifically tailor the recommendations to fit your exact needs.
A functional medicine and integrative practitioner would be my recommendation.
It is a rich source of medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) that really can improve the efficiency of your thyroid and boost metabolism over 50 percent. The MCTs in coconut oil are fast burners that create a most efficient food fuel not only for your thyroid but also for your brain where it can aid cognitive function. In fact the MCTs produce ketones, substances your body produces when it breaks down fats for energy, which can play a major role in treating Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
At least two studies document the effectiveness of coconut oil on belly fat burn for both sexes. Both received a daily dose of two tablespoons of coconut oil for a period of 12 weeks. At the end of the study, both men and women evidenced a reduction in waist circumference while the women also saw their HDL cholesterol levels rise.
This newly revived ancient oil, which has become so wildly popular has very few drawbacks. It does seem however, to work best for those that have an A blood type due to the presence of dietary lectins (proteinbased antigens) in other blood types. When it is not tolerated well, it may be due to this type of allergic response as lectins can disrupt digestion, impair immunity, and create agglutination of blood cells.
Still in all, coconut oil has been proven to be not only safe but also extremely effective at targeting abdominal fat in both men and women. With just the addition of two or more tablespoons of this delicious Smart Fat to your diet, it can reduce your belly fat and elevate your good HDL cholesterol levels. Many clinical studies have demonstrated an increase of 12 to 36 pounds per year for lasting and delectable weight loss with a Smart Fat addition of daily coconut oil intake.
As a rich source of lauric and caprylic acids, coconut functions as a marvelous anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic food.
Let me also say a word about red palm oil, because I know you are probably curious. Although it has a Smart Fat composition even more impressive than coconut oil in some respects, I am not recommending red palm oil, in spite of its stellar carotenoid content, due to the environmental, ethical and moral implications and controversy surrounding its manufacture.
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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS
Visionary health expert Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, has always been a trendsetter. With millions of followers nationwide, she has the uncanny ability to pinpoint major health concerns and provide solutions years ahead of anybody else.
Highly respected as the grande dame of alternative health and award-winning author of 30 books, she single-handedly launched the weight loss/detox revolution in her New York Times bestseller The Fat Flush Plan. A Connecticut College and Teachers College, Columbia University graduate, Dr. Ann Louise was recognized as one of the top ten nutritionists in the country by Self magazine and was the recipient of the American Medical Writers Association award for excellence. She has been a popular columnist for First magazine since 2003.