Non-stick chemical in cookware linked to thyroid disease
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 by: E. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A British study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found that people with high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in their blood also have higher rates of thyroid disease. PFOA is a chemical used in the production of many industrial and consumer products including non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpet coatings, and fabric waterproofing treatments.
Nearly 4,000 American adults over the age of 20 were tested for PFOA between 1999 and 2006 and evaluated based on thyroid function. Researchers found that those with the highest blood serum levels of PFOA, above 5.7 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), were twice as likely to have thyroid disease than those with the lowest levels below 4.0 ng/ml.
Despite the fact that thyroid disease is typically more common in women rather than in men, researchers found that the link between PFOA and thyroid disease is as just as prevalent in men as it is in women.
Researchers seemed to tiptoe around the results of the study, however, carefully avoiding making a direct link between PFOA and thyroid disease. Tamara Galloway, lead author of the study and professor of ecotoxicology at Exeter University, explained that further research is needed to determine exactly how the chemicals affect people's bodies.
Ashley Grossman, professor of neuroendocrinology at Queen Mary, University of London, warned that declaring a connection between PFOA and thyroid disease based on studies like this should be avoided. She believes that until research is able to verify exactly how the chemical interferes with the thyroid, a definitive link cannot be inferred.
Located in the neck, the thyroid gland secretes the necessary hormones that regulate a person's growth and development. Hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland is operating below the healthy level, is a common disorder that is increasingly being linked to toxic chemicals like fluoride and chlorine which disrupt proper hormonal production. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include hair loss, weight gain and chronic fatigue.
The connection between toxic chemicals and thyroid disease is undeniable, yet many refuse to accept it. Unless exact causation can be established, many will refuse to believe that there is even an association.
Even so, there are many ways to help improve thyroid function and overcome thyroid disease. Since toxic halogens like chlorine and fluoride block the uptake of necessary iodine in the thyroid, supplementation with a high-quality form of iodine can bring improved function. Other steps include detoxifying, improving one's diet, and avoiding the sources of toxic triggers.
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