Thyroid: Be a perfectionist 27. July 2009 William Davis (18) If you'd like to reduce LDL cholesterol with nearly as much power as a statin drug, think thyroid. When thyroid is corrected to ideal levels, LDL cholesterol drops 20, 30, 40 mg/dl or more, depending on how poor thyroid function and how high LDL are at the start. The poorer the thyroid function (the higher the TSH or the lower the T3 and T4) and the higher the LDL cholesterol, the more LDL drops with thyroid correction. (For those of you minding LDL particle size, such as Track Your Plaque Members, the "dominant" LDL species will drop: If you are genetic small LDL, small LDL will drop. If you have mostly large LDL because of being wheat-free and sugar-free, then large LDL will drop.)One of the problems is that many healthcare providers blindly follow what the laboratory says is "normal" or the "reference range," which is usually nothing more than a population average (actually the mean +/- 2 standard deviations, a common method of developing references ranges). In other words, a substantial degree of low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, can be present when your doctor adheres to the reference range provided by the laboratory. What does it mean to achieve ideal thyroid status? My list includes:--Normal oral temperature of 97.3 F first upon arising. (The thyroid is the body's thermoregulatory organ.)--TSH 1.0 mIU/L or less--Free T3 upper half "normal" range--Free T4 upper half "normal" range--You feel good: mental clarity, energy, upbeat mood. You lose weight when you try. Iodine replacement should be part of any thyroid health effort. Iodine is not an optional trace mineral, no more than vitamin C is optional (else your teeth fall out). The only dangers to iodine replacement are to those who have been starved of iodine for many years; increase iodine and the thyroid can over-respond. I've seen this happen in 2 of the last 300 people who have supplemented iodine. In my view, neglecting T3 replacement is absurd. While it is not clear to me why many otherwise healthy people have low T3 at the low range of "normal" or even in the below-normal range, people feel better and have better health--faster weight loss, reduced LDL, reduced triglycerides, they are happier and enjoy more energy--when T3 is increased to the upper half of the reference range. (Crucial question: Why is the 5'-deiodinase enzyme that converts T4 to T3 inhibited, resulting in reduced free T3? What is in our diets or environment that is exerting this effect? I don't have answer, but we sorely need one.) It pays to be a perfectionist when it comes to thyroid. Not only do you feel better, but LDL cholesterol can drop with a statin-like magnitude, but with none of the adverse effects. If interested, Track Your Plaque offers fingerstick blood spot testing that you can perform in your own home. Each test kit will test for: TSH, free T3, free T4, along with a thyroid peroxidase antibody (a marker for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune inflammatory condition of the thyroid).