Dietary supplements in hypothyroidism

Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment. 2021 Oct-Dec;20(4):375-381. doi: 10.17306/J.AFS.0985.


Background: According to Statistics Poland (GUS, 2021), 15.8% of women and 2.5% of men suffer from thyroid disease. Although pharmacotherapy is the primary treatment, there is evidence that some vitamins and minerals can alleviate the symptoms of thyroid disease. A well-balanced and varied diet should cover the individual demand for energy and all necessary nutrients. However, dietary supplements are prevalent in Poland. This study aims to evaluate the frequency and reasons behind dietary supplementation in patients with hypothyroid diseases.

Methods: 232 volunteers (203 women and 29 men) from Poland participated in the research. The research was conducted using a questionnaire. Participants were asked to provide information on their diagnosis, clinical manifestations of the disease, their lifestyles, and the use of dietary supplements with the effect on their health.

Results: The medium age of participants was 27 years. Of them, 85% took dietary supplements. The most popular were vitamin D, magnesium, omega-3 acids, selenium, multivitamins, vitamins B, iron, vitamin C, and zinc. In addition, 53% of patients implemented lifestyle changes after a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. There was a correlation between the participants’ age and the willingness to introduce lifestyles modifications: the younger the participants were, the eager they were to introduce modifications (r = −0.243, p = 0.010, 95% CI: −0.410 to −0.060). In addition, there was a correlation between the participants’ age and the willingness to change their diets: the older the participants were, the more eager they were to change diets (r = 0.283, p = 0.003, 95% CI: 0.103–0.445). Patients indicated numerous health benefits of using dietary supplements. The vitamin D and vitamin and mineral complexes were indicated as the most beneficial.

Conclusions: Dietary supplementation is prevalent in Poland, especially among hypothyroidism patients. Patients take a variety of supplements, claiming that they improve the condition of their skin, nails, memory, and others, which may be controversial. Therefore, it seems advisable to deepen the patients’ supplementation knowledge (via contact with a physician, dietitian, etc.). Furthermore, reliable guidelines on  supplementation for hypothyroidism patients based on clinical trials should be developed.

Keywords: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; dietary supplements; hypothyroidism; vitamins and trace minerals supplementation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism* / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Selenium*
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamins


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Selenium