Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Acai Berry For The Treatment Of Thyroid Symptoms

The thyroid gland

The thyroid gland is the structure located just in front and below your larynx or voicebox, weighing about 15-20 grams. It has 2 lobes joined by the isthmus. It is classified as an endocrine gland whose principal function is to synthesize and secrete thyroid hormones.

What are hormones?

Hormones are substances that are formed in specific tissues, acting like a messenger that delivers instructions to the different tissues and organs of the body. These hormones have a limited capacity for storage therefore its release in the bloodstream is controlled by the rate at which it is formed.

What are the thyroid hormones found in the body?

The thyroid gland has two main hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).

Triiodothyronine (T3) is more potent than T4. It is mostly produced in the liver, muscles, kidney, and anterior pituitary. Only 20% of it is produced in the thyroid gland.

Thyroxine (T4) has higher levels are found circulating in the blood than T3. 80% of it is produced in the thyroid gland

How do these thyroid hormones affect the body?

1. They regulate fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism in all cells (make one lose or gain weight)

2. They are important for fetal brain development and skeletal maturation

3. Increase oxygen usage, basal metabolic rate and heat production in various tissues

4. Responsible for maintaining the normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the respiratory center of the brain

5. Gastrointestinal movement, like having diarrhea in hyperthyroidism and constipation in hypothyroidism

6. Influence the turnover of essentially all substrates, vitamins and hormones including the thyroid hormones themselves

7. Affect the heart rate

8. Affect the speed of muscle contraction and relaxation

What happens if our body has excess or insufficient amount of thyroid hormones?

When there is an insufficient production of thyroid hormone, it is called hypothyroidism. It is characterized by the following symptoms: fatigue and lack of energy, stiffness and cramping of the muscles, deepening of the voice, dry hair and skin, inability to stand the cold, slowing of intellectual and motor activity, weight gain, constipation, prolonged and heavy menstruation, impaired libido and fertility in both sexes, decreased heart rate, and neurologic impairment and mental retardation in newborns.

On the other end, the excess in the production of thyroid hormones is known as hyperthyroidism, which manifests with the following symptoms: increased sweating and thirst, weight loss despite adequate food intake, nervousness, tiredness, tremors palpitations and increased in heart rate , increased frequency in bowel movements, inability to sleep, skin is warm and moist, fine and silky hair, difficulty in breathing, and loss of muscle strength. For females, there could be decreased fertility, increased incidence of miscarriages, and absence of menses.

What are the goals for treatment of thyroid symptoms?

For hyperthyroidism, the goal of treatment is to limit the production of thyroid hormones

For hypothyroidism, the goal of treatment is to produce adequate amount of thyroid hormones in the body to normal.

How can acai berry help in the treatment of thyroid symptoms?

The acai, a native plant from Central and South America, has a global demand for its nutritional content. Aside from having a high anti-oxidant content, the fruit also is high in fiber, amino acids, fatty acids, sterols and vitamins. It could help relieve the following symptoms of thyroid disorders:

Ø Constipation/diarrhea: fiber may increase tool weight, frequency in defecation and decreases gastrointestinal transit time.

Ø Fatigue and lack of energy: antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals preventing premature aging and death of cells. With more cells, more energy is produced and released resulting to a greater sense of well being

Ø Weight gain/weight loss: fatty acids aids in the transport and absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) while maintaining the level of good cholesterol (HDL) hence providing proper nutrients

Ø Slowing of intellectual activity: antioxidants reduces the rate of destruction of cells, including brain cells, therefore helps in maintaining concentration and enhance memory

Ø Antioxidants also help to maintain the immune system as some of the causes of thyroid disorder are autoimmune, meaning, the body creates cells that competes and destroys the same cells of a specific tissue or organ


What Kind of Acai Berry Supplement Should I Choose?

You could either drink the acai berry juice or pop in the pill form. In terms of concentration of acai, you get more of its beneficial properties with the capsule form because of the 100% content of acai in it. In the juice form, although it is pleasant to taste, it contains other fruit juices and preservatives to improve its taste and prolong its shelf life.

The juice form uses the whole fruit. If it has to be exported from another country, it needs to be irradiated to kill pests and microorganisms before it could be transported to the United States for processing. The radiation in the food that you eat could potentially expose you to cancer- causing agents.

The capsule form only makes use of the husk of the fruit, where all the healthy stuffs are in. It only needs to be freeze-dried before transport for processing. No radiation or other harmful procedures has to be done in its manufacturing process.

In spite of all the beneficial effects of acai, it is important to note that the acai berry helps in relieving the symptoms brought about by the conditions related to thyroid hormone imbalance. It does not treat the condition itself. It is wise to seek medical advice before taking any of these including supplements.


Post a Comment