Your Thyroid on Keto & Intermittent Fasting

Your Thyroid on Keto & Intermittent Fasting

Your Thyroid on Keto & Intermittent Fasting

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be careful the keto and low-carb monster is gonna gobble up your thyroid and it’s not gonna be able to function anymore guys and gals like no that’s not what happens the ketogenic diet and the low carb diets do not render your thyroid useless as I have so many contact form submissions and so many things that come through with people that are concerned about the ketogenic diet affecting their thyroid okay there’s one thing I want to get out in the open right here carbohydrates caused a spike in thyroid hormone so what ends up happening is generally speaking when you’re consuming carbs your thyroid levels are going to remain and show elevated because you have an elevation of t3 thyroid hormone literally just to process those carbs nothing else just to process those carbs so yeah your t3 levels might show a little bit lower on a key to our low-carb diet but let’s go ahead and let’s dive into this and do a deep dive hey you were tuned into the Internet’s leading performance fat loss and nutrition channel new videos coming out every single Tuesday Friday and Sunday at 7 a.m. Pacific time and heck why not put videos out the rest of the week as well so we usually do also turn on that little bell button see you can turn on notifications whenever I go live and never ever miss a beat alright let’s go ahead and let’s get into the details here so I want to start with one study that was published in the Journal of diabetes and metabolism and the reason I want to start with this is because this is the study that a lot of people reference when they talk about thyroid function and a low carb diet so what this study did is it did a deep dive into a lot of participants that were following a low carb acute edenic diet and it found that when on a low carb diet they had an increase in fatty acid substrates they had like glycerol they had all these things that are related with fatty acid metabolism beta-hydroxybutyrate increase they also had a decrease in glucose and a decrease in plasma insulin levels but additionally they found a decrease in t3 dun dun dun and then they found no change in t4 let me give you a quick breakdown on thyroid function real quick t3 is just what is active at that point in time t3 is your active thyroid hormone it’s gonna evan flow depending on the time of day to any how cold it is depending on active you are etc etc t4 thyroxine is the precursor to try I at o’the irony t3 so if t4 is unchanged then you’re usually not having any issue if your t4 levels were suppressed then that would mean the precursor to t3 would have a problem and then you might have a thyroid problem okay let me explain in a little bit more detail why this isn’t concerning and I’ll reference another study you see there’s a study that was published in metabolism clinical and experimental and it took a look at healthy test subjects that were consuming a normal carbohydrate rich diet and what they did is they had them go ahead and start a keto diet so they were eating approximately 48 percent carbohydrates okay these are twelve healthy men and then they had them go onto a keto diet but what they found when they win on the keto diet is they had a decrease in fat mass of three point four kilograms that’s pretty good amount it’s about 10 pounds close to 10 pounds okay then they had an increase in lean body mass one point one kilogram increase in lean body mass okay then they had a decrease in glucose decrease in insulin slight slight elevation in t4 so thyroxine and no change in t3 why is this important to know so what this shows us is that on the keto diet you’re able to lose weight and build muscle something that would be extremely difficult if you had poor thyroid function so it goes to show that it’s not a matter of the thyroid being rendered useless by the ketogenic diet sometimes the thyroid hormone is simply suppressed because of calorie restriction when we reduce our calories our thyroid function slows down you see our thyroid is like a barometer for everything that’s going on if we are less active thyroid hormone generally comes down a little bit if we are not eating as much thyroid hormone comes down a little bit it’s a simple barometer for what we’re experiencing and what we’re exposed to at that point in time so the fact is whether you lose weight on a keto diet where you lose weight on another diet your thyroid function is probably going to diminish and sometimes it’s simply masqueraded by the fact that you have carbs in the system so you have sort of this ancillary amount of t3 that’s just actively doing its thing just to process cars but has zero effect on your metabolism or weight loss whatsoever in fact the journal thyroid published a study that took a look at 47 participants that lost weight over the course of a year they lost about five to ten percent of their overall body weight and they found at the end of that year they had a big decrease in t3 they went from 112 nanograms per deciliter down to 101 nanograms per deciliter that’s pretty significant and this was all done through a variety of different weight loss mechanisms through different calorie restrictions so it doesn’t that just one particular way is going to do it it means that in the aggregate losing weight is going to slow down your thyroid function it’s going to make it so that you have less t3 floating around through your system but as long as you can take care of yourself and consume some things that actually support the conversion of t4 to t3 you’re going to be in good shape so that’s what it comes down to so let me give you some tips and tricks to help that conversion process out because that’s what we need to be paying attention to is that conversion from t4 into t3 now let me tell you this every single one of these foods that I’m going to mention right now you can get at an extreme discount by heading over to thrive marketplace okay so they’ve sponsored this video because they know the importance of this so you can head on down to the link that’s down in the description and you can get the things I’m going to talk about super super cheap like waiti per than the grocery store and you’re gonna get them delivered to your door that’s the cool thing about thrive so they make it totally possible to get what you want without ever having to leave your house and have things dropped right on your doorstep but to make things better it’s literally cheaper it’s even better than Amazon quite honestly with a lot of things so these foods that you want to be getting a lot of are gonna be seaweed seaweed and kelp are very very high in iodine okay iodine supports that conversion process it is super necessary okay t4 cannot convert to t3 without iodine our thyroid gland has actual iodine receptors on it to go out and grab the iodine we don’t get a lot of iodine unless you’re eating a low quality iodized salt which you shouldn’t be doing anyway that’s why they put it in that salt in the first place because they saw that people were deficient in iodine just eat seaweed little seaweed snacks they’re awesome and you can get them right at thrive and you can get them cheap okay the next thing you want to be consuming is going to be Brazil nuts you don’t have that you can assume a lot of these honestly just two or three of them does the trick they’re super high quality nut and they’re super high in selenium which is exactly what we need to allow this iodine process to occur you see the selenium is a precursor to the iodine process that t4 needs to convert to t3 so very very important and the quickest and easiest and keto friendly way to get selenium is going to be through Brazil nuts the other thing you want to get is good high-quality yogurt okay good high quality forms of getting or probiotics in 20% of your thyroid function is dependent on your gut bacteria so if your gut bacteria is aloof and completely out of whack you’re rendering 20% of your thyroid function use so that’s exactly why I include it in this list and again another product you can get cheaper than the grocery store just by hitting thrive marketplace so don’t be afraid of the ketogenic diet because of your thyroid trust me is a lot more to losing weight than just that the land that we call the thyroid trust me there’s a lot more so make sure you check out thrive and a huge thank you to thrive marketplace for making this video possible and for being a major sponsor of this channel as well I will see you all in the next video

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Your Thyroid on Keto & Intermittent Fasting – Thomas DeLauer

A study published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolism looked at the effects of a keto diet on thyroid function is 6 healthy subjects

During the keto diet, concentrations of fat derived substrates (free fatty acids, glycerol and 3-hydroxybutyrate) rose significantly and glucose levels decreased, and there was a fall in insulin levels and a rise in glucagon concentration

A significant fall in triiodothyronine (T3) and rise in reverse triiodothyronine were observed, while thyroxine (T4) levels remained unchanged

Why This isn’t a Cause for Concern

There is evidence that following a ketogenic diet may lower T3 levels, but this does not necessarily qualify as causing hypothyroidism and may actually be beneficial

Study – Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental (Volek)

Looked at the effects of a 6-week keto diet on total and regional body composition and the relationships with fasting hormone concentrations

12 healthy normal-weight men switched from their habitual diet (48% carbs) to a carbohydrate-restricted diet (8% carbs, 61% fat, 30% protein, with 25% calories coming from SFA, 25% from MUFA, and 11% from PUFA)

8 men served as controls, consuming their normal diet

Fat mass was significantly decreased (-3.4 kg) and lean body mass significantly increased (+1.1 kg) at week 6. There was a significant decrease in serum insulin (-34%), and an increase in total thyroxine (T(4)) (+11%) and the free T(4) index (+13%) – T3 was not directly measured, but there was no significant change

The high-fat group had normal T4 and lost significant body fat, which is very hard to do if you’re hypothyroid

Study – Thyroid

47 subjects underwent a 12-month individualized dietary intervention aimed at achieving a 5-10% weight loss – they lost an average of 6.5%

After weight loss, T3 decreased significantly in the absence of significant changes in TSH or free T4 (fT4). The decrease in serum T3 correlated with the decrease in weight


A study published in JAMA looked at the association of thyroid function and life expectancy – the mean age of the 7785 participants was 64.7 (9.8) years

They found that in the at the age of 50 years, participants with low-normal thyroid function live up to 3.5 years longer overall and up to 3.1 years longer without cardiovascular disease (CVD) than participants with high-normal thyroid function


Many people who convert to a ketogenic diet have drastically changed the types of foods they eat in a short amount of time

Important to ensure you are still receiving all necessary conversion factors in your diet for healthy thyroid hormone levels:

Iodine, tyrosine, Vitamin A, Selenium, Zinc, B Vitamins, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E are all important for the production of thyroid hormones
Thrive Products

Seaweed – Iodine

Your thyroid, which has tiny cells that capture the circulating iodine, takes in and oxidizes it so it can begin to be used to create triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4)

Brazil Nuts – Selenium

Iodine – the building block and key ingredient of thyroid hormone – actually requires selenium in order to be synthesized properly into thyroid hormone

Greek Yogurt – Gut Thyroid Link

20% of thyroid function depends on a sufficient supply of healthy gut bacteria to convert T4 to T3


1) Fery F , et al. (n.d.). Hormonal and metabolic changes induced by an isocaloric isoproteinic ketogenic diet in healthy subjects. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
2) Human longevity is characterised by high thyroid stimulating hormone secretion without altered energy metabolism. (n.d.). Retrieved from
3) Life Expectancy Within the Reference Range of Thyroid Function. (2017, November 1). Retrieved from
4) Volek JS , et al. (n.d.). Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
5) Agnihothri RV , et al. (n.d.). Moderate weight loss is sufficient to affect thyroid hormone homeostasis and inhibit its peripheral conversion. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from 6

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