Thyroid supplements support the function of your thyroid, which is a small organ in your neck that produces hormones that are critical to maintaining healthy energy levels, weight, and mood.
A thyroid that’s overactive or underactive can create fatigue, weakness, tiredness, depression, and other mood disturbances.
While outright thyroid disease requires medical care, certain supplements can help keep your thyroid functioning optimally and improve both your physical and mental health.
We’ve reviewed and ranked the ten best supplements on the market for supporting your thyroid’s ability to produce hormones essential for staying fit, healthy, and emotionally stable.
1. Zhou Nutrition Thyroid Support
Zhou Nutrition Thyroid Support provides a wide range of nutrients to keep your thyroid function in top shape. First, it’s got iodine derived from Atlantic kelp, which is essential for synthesizing thyroid hormones.
In addition, it has a large dose of vitamin B12 to augment your energy levels, plus the trace minerals selenium, copper, manganese, and molybdenum—all essential for the proper function of the hormones in your body.
These are provided alongside herbal extracts like ashwagandha root powder, kelp, and cayenne pepper, which are thought to have hormone-supporting benefits as well. With all of these ingredients and very little in the way of fillers and artificial ingredients, it’s our top pick.
2. 1 Body Thyroid Support
1 Body makes a thyroid supplement that’s focused on delivering high doses of the vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts that best enable your thyroid to function at its best.
It has high doses of the trace minerals, and better yet, these trace minerals are provided in an amino acid chelate, which makes them far easier to absorb than the typical mineral salt form.
In addition, you’ll find herbal ingredients like kelp, forskolin, and ashwagandha root powder. This versatile and highly bioactive mix makes it a great choice.
3. Necessity Nutrition Natural Thyroid Support
Necessity Nutrition’s thyroid supplement is heavily focused around boosting vitamin B12 levels: its dosage is among the highest of any thyroid supplement.
The vitamin B12, along with the mineral and herbal ingredients, are also more bioactive thanks to the inclusion of BioPerine, a proprietary black pepper extract that boosts absorption of many of the active ingredients.
4. LES Labs Thyroid Support
LES Labs Thyroid Support is the way to go if you just want to focus on the most important vitamins and minerals that directly enable thyroid function.
The only herbal extract included is ashwagandha, which is perhaps the best-supported herbal ingredient for thyroid function. Aside from that, the focus here is entirely on vitamins B, D, and E, as well as iodine and trace minerals that help your thyroid function properly.
5. Pure Encapsulations Thyroid Support Complex
Pure Encapsulations targets thyroid function with a supplement that’s weighted more heavily towards herbal ingredients than vitamins or minerals.
It doesn’t have the wide range of ingredients that many other thyroid supplements have, but it does have a few herbal extracts you won’t find in many other thyroid supplements, like turmeric and guggul extract.
It might be a good choice if other thyroid supplements haven’t worked for you in the past.
6. HerbalGist ThyroControl
ThyroControl is from a smaller manufacturer, but is surprisingly well-received by its users.
It has a fairly well-balanced vitamin, mineral, and herbal extract profile, and while it’s not the most versatile, highest-dose, or cutting-edge thyroid supplement, it’s certainly effective for many people.
7. Optimox Iodoral
If your thyroid problems can be traced directly to a lack of dietary iodine, Iodoral is the supplement you need. It has a massive dose of iodine in two easily-absorbed forms.
It’s a good place to start if you don’t want to mess around with herbal extracts and high doses of B vitamins, but if you do need a more robust supplement to support thyroid function on multiple fronts, look elsewhere.
8. VitaStrength Thyroid Support Complete Formula
VitaStrength puts a lot of emphasis on vitamin and mineral ingredients in this thyroid supplement, which comes at the cost of fewer and lower doses of herbal extracts.
If you’d like to focus more on micronutrients and less on less well-understood herbal ingredients, it’s a decent supplement, but if you want the most powerful thyroid support supplement, it might not be the best choice.
9. ForestLeaf Thyroid Support
ForestLeaf has many of the typical thyroid support ingredients, like selenium, copper, and manganese, but it’s distinguished by two things.
First is its very high dose of vitamin B12, as well as its a much higher dose of iodine than other thyroid supplements.
The other distinguishing trait is the fact that the herbal ingredients are all mixed together into a “proprietary blend” which obscures exactly how much of each ingredient is in the supplement. This makes its efficacy more of a roll of the dice than the competition.
10. Women’s Health Network T Balance Plus
T Balance Plus is specifically formulated for women and has several herbal ingredients not found in other thyroid support supplements, like hops flower, sage leaf extract, and bacopa.
Unfortunately, it’s also missing some of the core ingredients for a thyroid support supplement. You won’t find any trace minerals like copper, manganese, or molybdenum, nor is there anything in the way of vitamins.
This makes it hard to recommend unless you’re specifically looking for the herbal ingredients you find in this thyroid supplement.
Thyroid supplement benefits and side effects
Thyroid supplements help support the function of your thyroid, which is a relatively obscure organ that plays a critical role in regulating your weight, mood, and energy levels.
The thyroid pumps out critical hormones that stabilize everything from your weight to your mood to your energy levels throughout the day.
Suboptimal thyroid function can manifest as fatigue, listlessness, irritability, weight gain, depression, anxiety, and other general, nonspecific health complaints.
If thyroid function deteriorates, you can even end up with hypothyroidism, a medical condition that requires taking prescription thyroid hormones.
Even if this isn’t the case, you can still benefit from a supplement that ensures your thyroid is functioning in optimal condition.
A supplement with iodine can improve your thyroid function. Iodine, a trace element that is lacking in many people’s’ diet, is linked directly to thyroid function.
It’s a necessary precursor for the production of thyroid hormones, and when iodine intake is not optimal, thyroid problems can be the result. This was the conclusion of a scientific review published by by Hye Rim Chung at Seoul National University in Korea (1).
In it, Chung reviews a raft of evidence that suggests that insufficient intake of iodine can cause thyroid problems. In children, excess iodine intake can cause thyroid dysfunction too, though in adults high thyroid intake does not appear to pose risks, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health (2).
If you think your thyroid function is not as strong as it should be, iodine intake is the first place you should look.
Including ashwagandha in a thyroid supplement could directly increase thyroid hormone concentrations. So far, research on herbal extracts and thyroid function has been in the early stages, but some animal-based studies have suggested that ashwagandha could have a potent effect on thyroid function.
A paper published in 2011 in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology examined the effects of administering ashwagandha extract to lab mice (3).
After 20 days of administering ashwagandha extract to the mice, the researchers found that levels of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones increased significantly. In addition, the supplement also appeared to have a protective effect on the mice’s liver function.
The trace mineral selenium is particularly important in a thyroid supplement. Selenium, an obscure element found only in trace amounts in most foods, plays an outsized role in thyroid function.
According to research by a team of endocrinologists in Germany, selenium protects thyroid cells during the thyroid hormone manufacturing process (4). One step of the thyroid hormone synthesis process creates hydrogen peroxide as a byproduct, which is highly destructive if not dealt with.
Selenium fills this role, keeping thyroid synthesis moving smoothly. Among the organs of the body, the thyroid gland has the highest concentration of selenium, which underscores its importance.
Some research has even traced thyroid deficiency directly to low levels of selenium. A paper published in 2001 cited research that suggested that mood disruption and impaired cognitive function, common symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, can be linked to low levels of selenium (5).
This problem is particularly acute in regions that have low selenium levels in the soil. Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology drew a direct correlation between selenium levels in the body and cognitive performance among elderly people in China (6).
In this study, the people with the highest selenium levels had the highest levels of cognitive functioning, a relationship which was likely mediated in large part by thyroid function.
Other trace elements, like copper and zinc, are also essential for proper thyroid function. This was the recommendation of a review paper published in the British Medical Bulletin by John Arthur and Geoffrey Beckett, two researchers in the United Kingdom (7).
While the function of trace minerals like zinc, copper, and iron is not as well-understood as the role of selenium when it comes to thyroid synthesis, it’s nevertheless clear that they play a critical role. When people are deficient in these trace minerals, they start to manifest all of the problems associated with poor thyroid function.
With hormones as influential as those produced by the thyroid, a supplementation strategy focused on altering thyroid function is necessarily a bit complex. While excessive intake of iodine is unlikely to be a problem for adults, it can cause thyroid dysfunction in children (just like thyroid insufficiency can) (8).
Ashwagandha, one of the most effective herbal ingredients for thyroid supplements, can also cause problems if taken in excess.
One case study presented by a team of doctors in the Netherlands discussed a woman who reported to the hospital with excessive thyroid hormone levels, which were associated with an ashwagandha supplement the woman had recently started taking (9).
In this case, it appears the supplement worked too well: high thyroid hormone levels can cause problems just like low thyroid hormone
When looking for a thyroid supplement, you should ensure that the dose of iodine is sufficient to protect deficiency.
The National Institutes of Health recommends 150 micrograms of iodine per day for both men and women, and this demand increases to 220 micrograms per day for women who are pregnant and 290 micrograms per day for women who are breastfeeding (10).
When it comes to selenium, you should make sure your thyroid supplement includes at least 55 micrograms per day (11).
Like with iodine, recommended levels increase for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, to 60 and 70 micrograms per day, respectively.
Herbal ingredients are harder to prescribe direct dosages for, given that the research is still emerging on their efficacy, but with ashwagandha, you should avoid high doses when you initially start taking a thyroid supplement.
Thyroid supplements can provide the vitamins and minerals your thyroid gland needs to produce the right levels of thyroid hormone.
The wide range of functions of thyroid hormones mean that poor thyroid function can affect everything from your weight to your mood to your cognitive function. Trace elements like iodine, selenium, copper, and zinc appear particularly important when it comes to thyroid function.
The herbal extract ashwagandha is very well-suited for increasing production of thyroid hormones, but large doses taken on a regular basis might cause your body to produce too much thyroid hormone.
With the right formulation, a thyroid supplement can improve your physical health, cognitive function, and emotional well-being.