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How Kale & Other Vegetables Can Cause Thyroid Problems

This is John Kohler with okraw.com, today we have another exciting episode for you,
I’m here at the 2014 Woodstock Fruit Festival, have the opportunity to interview many of
the different pioneers and presenters here at the Woodstock Fruit Festival, one of which
I greatly admire and look up to, it’s Dr. Rick Dina, DC. He’s been into a 100% vegan,
predominantly raw food whole foods diet for the last 27 years now. You can learn more
about him and his wife, Dr. Karen Dina, DC at rawfoodeducation.com. The reason why I
wanted to have Rick on the show today is actually to share with you his experiences with can
kale mess up your thyroid? I know many of you guys have heard that, that’s probably
why you turned this video on. Kale and other cruciferous vegetables they say will mess
up your thyroid, and you shouldn’t eat kale, because although it’s good, it’s also
bad, and I hate how they always say these good things for us are bad, so we’re going
to get Dr. Rick with all his experience in doing this particularly, and eating lots of
cruciferous vegetables, his opinions on that for you guys. So Dr. Rick what do you think
about can kale mess up your thyroid? Hey John that is an awesome question, and
I’m really glad you asked me that question. As my YouTube subscribers know, I recently
made a video about my personal raw cruciferous vegetable consumption over the last 27 years,
and my recent thyroid panel. So you can go watch that video on my Raw Food Education
YouTube site, although at some point I’m going to be changing it to my name, Rick Dina,
R-I-C-K D-I-N-A, depending on when you’re watching this it may have changed. You can
always go to rawfoodeducation.com and follow the link from there. But in any case I made
a video talking about my raw cruciferous vegetable consumption over the last 27 years. And pretty
much most days of my life in the evening, I have one medium-size head of raw cauliflower.
And I did the math and everything and you can watch the details on the channel, but
I figured over the last 27 years, I’ve consumed approximately 8,000, not hundred, 8,000 heads
of raw cauliflower. Most days of my life also I put several leaves of either kale or more
recently thanks to John’s inspiration with his Growing Your Greens channel, tree collards
from the backyard, a couple of huge leaves of tree collards in a fruit and green smoothie
that I’ll have during the day. So every day I eat pretty large quantities of raw cruciferous
vegetables. I had a recent thyroid panel done, thyroid stimulating hormone, 3T3, 3T4, and
thyroid peroxidase antibodies, and all of that stuff was absolutely in the optimum range.
So massive amounts of raw cruciferous vegetables for almost 30 years, perfect thyroid function.
So then number one, that’s the first way I can answer this question, I hope you’re
getting the idea that kale does not have to mess up your thyroid. But why do people say
that? There are so many examples out there where there’s a little bit of information
and people come to conclusions based on a little bit of information, and I see that
as sort of the tip of the iceberg. But once you go underwater, there’s a lot more iceberg
under there, and you might when you get the bigger picture come up with some different
conclusions. So I am a certified nerd, and my wife is even nerdier than I am. We have
in addition to our personal experience, she’s been eating a raw vegan diet for 24 years,
vegan for 25, we have a lot of education in our doctoral degrees, we’ve had a lot of
clinical experience over the years, and we’ve done tons of research in the [inaudible] of
literature about raw food and about nutrition, to put together our Science of Raw Food Nutrition
series of classes. We’ve got about 100 hour curriculum. And here’s how it goes, here’s
the little bit of information that gets people – cruciferous vegetables contain these substances
called glucosinolates, it’s a family of compounds that are really beneficial for us
and they’re really good. When we chew our food, we liberate enzymes. A lot of you have
heard out there that raw food contains enzymes, and that enzymes help digest our food. That’s
true. There are some enzymes that do other things in our food. So when we chew up our
food there’s an enzyme called myrosinase. When we chew up cruciferous vegetables, raw
ones, there’s an enzyme liberated called myrosinase. And myrosinase acts upon glucosinolates
and turns them into other substances known as isothyocyanates. Try saying that ten times
fast. And isothyocyanates are even more cancer protective than glucosinolates, so they’re
absolutely awesome for you. Now, it has been thought though, that these isothyocyanates
can actually block the uptake of iodine. So then here’s how the logic goes: isothyocyanates
in raw cruciferous vegetables block iodine uptake. You need iodine to make the thyroid
hormones T4 and T3. They are named based on how many iodine atoms they have in there.
So the main hormone that your thyroid gland makes is T4. And then in your peripheral tissues,
mostly in your liver and your kidneys, there’s an enzyme, some of you nerds will be excited
to hear this, it’s called five prime deiodinase. It takes an iodine off of T4 in a certain
position, and turns it into T3. And T3 is the thyroid hormone that’s most metabolically
active. So the whole idea is if you don’t have enough iodine because isothyocyanates
are blocking your iodine uptake, that your thyroid gland won’t be able to function
because it won’t have some of the most important raw materials that it needs to produce its
products to run the metabolism in your body. In reality, it doesn’t always work that
way. I’m like the extreme example and I have perfect thyroid function. So if you are
super low in iodine, and you’ve got some other borderline health problems, large quantities
of raw cruciferous vegetables might not be good for you if you’ve already got a diagnosed
hypothyroid condition. So there was one example in the medical literature, case study where
an 88 year-old Chinese woman presented to an emergency room hospital in the New York
area. And her family brought her there because she had gone into a coma. And she went into
a coma because her thyroid function had gotten extremely low, and just everything slowed
down in the body, and it wasn’t working right. So she’s 88 years old, she had Type
II diabetes, and she’d heard that vegetables can help her recover from diabetes. So she
had eaten two to three pounds of raw bok choy every day for the previous several months.
And in her case, that was devastating, and it took her a while to recover, but fortunately
she did, but just because there’s one extreme case, doesn’t mean you can apply it to everybody.
So if you are somebody with a diagnosed hypothyroid condition, and lack of iodine is the issue,
there are several other issues that can cause thyroid problems. That’s part of why you
have to go to a clinician who knows what the heck they’re doing, knows this stuff inside
and out backwards and forwards, has seen it for many years, and can make sense out of
what’s going on. So there may be some cases where large quantities of raw cruciferous
vegetables may not be appropriate, but there is nothing clear in the scientific literature
that says they are damaging for the thyroid for everybody by any means. There is absolutely
nothing clear, it’s all speculation, and I would hate to see people avoid these incredibly
highly nutritious foods based on speculation and myths that come from the very top of the
tip of the iceberg, whereas when you go down to the rest of the tip of the iceberg, and
you get underwater and see more of the big picture, that they’re just myths.
So Dr. Rick would it be fair to say if somebody hasn’t really been eating a whole lot of
cruciferous vegetables their whole life, and they want to get into eating more cruciferous
vegetables because they know the health benefits and they want to feel better, they want to
get into juicing and all this kind of stuff, is it safe for somebody to start eating cruciferous
or will they potentially have some problems, I mean you’ve been doing this for the last
27 years, so you’re pretty healthy, but for the average American, do you think it’s
wise and beneficial or can it cause problems? I would say the average person out there who’s
eating potato chips, hot dogs, pancakes, French fries, pizza, absolutely, you want to add
some raw cruciferous vegetables in, you’re getting far more nutrients, far fewer calories,
all sorts of good stuff, I would say that it is a huge step in the right direction.
And once again, I’d hate to see anybody miss out on that because they’re afraid
it’s going to mess up their thyroid. Those foods are going to help you lose weight, they’re
awesome. And just in case you’re really, really concerned, then you know what? Steam
your cruciferous vegetables, because in the steaming process, you break down enzymes,
so you’ll break down that enzyme myrosinase so it won’t make isothyocyanates out of
the glucosinolates. You’ll still just have glucosinolates there, they’re really good
for you too, not quite as good, but they’re still really good for you, and there’s no
concern, or extremely much less concern about any thyroid issues.
So Dr. Rick, I know you do lab work and nutritional consulting in your practice of this, can you
help determine if it’s all right for somebody to eat cruciferous vegetables or not?
Yeah absolutely, I mean that and so many other things, and one of the beauties of lab work
is we read all this stuff on the Internet, speculation, this and that, little pieces
of bits and pieces of information taken out of context, soundbite here, soundbite there
without going below the iceberg, below the water to see the whole big picture. So absolutely,
we can check your iodine status, we can check your thyroid panel and see how your thyroid
is actually doing. We can check a whole bunch of other things and do a basic health assessment,
and that’s what I do in my practice all the time. We utilize the history and personal
concerns and what the person’s lifestyle is along with various components of lab work
to get a big picture about where the person is. And those pieces of information can help
guide people as to what’s most appropriate for them individually, so we can make sure
that your thyroid’s working well, your adrenals are working well, your heart and lungs and
your cholesterol and your B12 and iron and all those other things are all working properly,
and it really can make a difference to help fine-tune things for each individual. Because
two people can eat the same thing, in fact it’s fascinating in my practice, I’ve
had a lot of couples in my practice who basically eat just the same way breakfast, lunch and
dinner. They work together, they eat together, they follow the same kind of plan, and sometimes
their lab work looks really similar, other times it looks really different, because they’re
different individuals, and they process things differently and their metabolism is different.
So I will sometimes say “Look, you need to do one thing, and the other person needs
to do something else.” So it’s so helpful for fine-tuning for each individual, so coming
full circle it can absolutely help to determine if raw cruciferous vegetables are appropriate
for an individual or not. Wow. I think that’s truly the way to know
to get tested. I mean I personally have used Dr. Rick to analyze my lab work and he’s
made some excellent suggestions to only increase and better my health, and I’m sure he can
definitely help you as well. I mean Dr. Rick if somebody wants to get a hold of you how
can they get a hold of you and your wife and learn more about you and all that stuff?
Yeah the best way would be our website, rawfoodeducation.com, we’ve got a tab it’s August 2014 here
so we have a tab we’re going to update our website eventually, we’ve got a lab work
and consulting tab so you can click on that, it explains a bit about how the process works,
we talk on the phone or over Skype, and then depending on what country you’re in, I’ll
either recommend what tests to go get, or if you’re in the United States, I can send
you a slip for Quest Diagnostics or Lab Corp, or have some other labs that have home kits
that I can mail you where you prick your finger and it explains how all that works and what
my fee is which is always extremely reasonable, I charge much less than other people with
my same qualifications, and even less than some people with far fewer qualifications.
So it explains how all that works, and then on that website we have information about
our online classes, our Science of Raw Food Nutrition series of classes, our Facebook
page, and my wife and I YouTube channels. So it’s all on our website.
Awesome Dr. Rick, so yeah I’ll put that link down below for you guys to check out,
definitely would recommend and encourage you guys to check Dr. Rick out, both him and his
wife have definitely saved me a lot of time in researching and learning about many things
because I trust them literally with my life and hopefully you will too. So I hope you
guys enjoyed this episode, yes you can now eat some kale if Dr. Rick says.
Go for it! And we’ll see you next time, and until then
keep eating your fresh fruits and vegetables, they’re always the best.

100 thoughts on “How Kale & Other Vegetables Can Cause Thyroid Problems

  1. Kale and Collard greens totally messed up my thyroid. I started my raw vegan using smoothies, as Viktoria Boutenko suggested. I had lost all my skin hair, beard stopped growing  (it grew extremely slow and weak). It took a long while to heal. These greens should be taken only in limited quantities. I don't eat them at all and I never will.

  2. John, I'm considering going fully raw. One issue I'm concerned about is sodium. I'm a contractor and most of the year, here in the south, I sweat out most of my sodium and potassium while working. if I don't put them back in my system, I cramp really badly. Is salt intake ok in a raw vegan life style???

  3. John, thank you for this video and clearing up this issue. I won't worry now about my consumption of those veggies. When I was on a raw food lifestyle as a middle aged woman, I felt the best I've ever had entire in my life. I have high level of hypothyroidism and when I stopped eating a diet of rawfoods, my health declined rapidly. I regret going back to the SAD. Now I'm on a juice fast to detox and return to a raw food lifestyle permanently. This info really helps.

  4. so basically its a matter of determining if you are iodine deficient via blood test? If you are deficient these veggies may not be good for you until your levels are up. If you find out you do not have an iodine deficiency eating cruciferous veggies are fine for you?

  5. Hey John,
    I eat lots of raw broccoli/kale and eat a very low sodium diet. Do you think or do you take iodine extracts or eat seaweed everyday? I thought id ask since you follow a raw diet.

    Thank you so much!

  6. The HUGE Problem with this fallacy is that hundreds of thousands of people who are Hypothyroid are diagnosed as "just fine" by the very same Thyroid Panel this guy says he tested fine with. I feel horrible, the very next day, if I eat one serving of cruciferous veggies. He sounds like a typical Hypo guy,too. You can hear it in his high voice. It has the opposite effect on women, making ou voices scratchy and lower. 82% of the population has Hypothyroid,, most do not know it. Kale causes a atoxic allergenic addictive response. People defend these toxic foods they are addicted to, like Kale, and Soy, and it'sa typical patteern of behavior, I see all the time, as an Orthomoecularv Nutritionist. Listen to your body. see a Natropath. Allopathic Dr.s have a bad agenda with Hypothyroid, similar to Cancer, and it too, can kill you. In the meantime, they'll get you on plenty of meds that just make you much, much, sicker. Like Synthroid.

  7. Thank you for the video. Agreed 100%. I don't believe organic vegetables could be harmful to health. I've been eating vegetables mostly (although not always raw) in the past few months and I feel healthier and recover fast after heavy gym workouts, and lost weight without struggling.

  8. always cook your veggies juice kale and any other greens 2-3 times per week and eat small amounts of white meat and fish. u don't have to juice i meant to say don't juice every day

  9. "…based on speculation and myths that come from the very tip of the iceberg…" aka Pinterest, LOL! Thanks for the video, very informative.

  10. Thanks John , good post . I have been doing much reading on this for a few years . I adore my greens , cabbage , cauliflower and other crus veggies and have not found the oxylate ' theory ' to be a carte blanche truth , as Dr. Dina says here . I do also ensure my Iodine levels are fine . Cheers !

  11. it really depends on your blood type some blood types those vegetables will lower t3 and t4 each bloodtype will respond diffrently

  12. what does the woman being chinese have to do with anything…that's like saying "a white woman went to the hospital because she ate…"

  13. i don't eat raw but i eat a shit-load of cruciferous veges – lots of brocolli, brussel sprouts (of man I love 'em!), cauliflower and kale. I eat it every single day – multiiple servings.

  14. Thank you John for your information as of now I'm going to eat my raw dark leaf vegetables I have never eaten kale so I'm going to try eat and also so drink it

  15. I have been consuming massive quantities of Kale for 3 years now and I cant tell where it has had any kind of negative impact but I do believe that it has had many benefits, I have suffered from psoriasis most of my life, alcohol is a problem for my condition and has caused damage to my finger nails and in my opinion Kale combined with an herb that Im taking is my only hope currently for recovery of my finger nail problems.the first 2 1/2 years I would consume bundles of kale smoothy about a gallon of very densly blended/ground material about 5 days a week, I don't see any problem with it, more recently I produce the same amount a material but instead of consuming fiber and all, instead  I refrigerate the ground up bundles of kale in a gallon jug clear full and after about 12 to 24 hours I strain out the fiber and it is so much easier to consume and digest. I honestly believe this is my only hope at recovering from many years of abuse from alcohol and tobacco, since I started combining Tongkat Ali with this regiment results are even more positive, I believe there is hope to be healthy some day .

  16. I am on day 4 of a water only fast…last night I dreamed I was eating this massive bowl full of kale….I love kale.

  17. what about eating them in small quantities? I am just slightly hypothyroid in the 5s. my doctor says that she's not that worried about it but I read that the national average should be in the 3s. is there any danger in just eating small amounts of kale and cooking with it?

  18. a 'll produce bought in stores r manmade bred. ,wild cabbage n lamb's quarters n beets top family hv toxins n lettuce is easier on yr liver n esp. kidneys,climb trees eat linden n other leaves bamboo shoots,leaves of young trees for less toxins made by plants which protects them fr being eaten by bugs n animals,kale is aggressive marketed cuz it's easier for industry to grow than lettuce n is cheap cattle feed n now can charge humans 10x price which cattle feed wd fetch,foods r grown for profit n we all hv responsibility to free agriculture worker slaves by growing our own foods,

  19. Okay too much of anything bad for you, water is the best thing for you yet too much can kill you so just eat a balanced diet that's all.

  20. My avarage daily intake on a raw vegan diet
    Sometimes theres celery juice and some grapefruit juices depending on the prices!
    Trying to obtain the Iodine from kelp

  21. Okraw… You have a weird starring problem. If I was talking and you looked at me like this id punch you. Just to damn creepy

  22. that's why you eating kale when and cruciferous vegetables when you already have hypothyroidism does not bode well because it does reduced iodine but if you replace the iodine then you can still do small amounts of cruciferous vegetables in moderation because they're still good for all the potassium and that is also something that is needed also selenium what you can get out of well many things specially Seafoods kelp d u l s e are a good source of iodine and selenium Brazil nuts contain a lot of selenium but I've been looking for them and can't find them anywhere I remember them back when I was a kid in the grocery store is but it doesn't seem like they want to sell those anymore probably cuz they're too damn healthy and too darn good for you

  23. and of course I don't see how the consumption of cruciferous vegetables when you are already healthy is going to affect the thyroid I don't believe that unless of course you're trying to eat Mega poundage of just cruciferous vegetables but if you're already healthy and don't have a thyroid condition then they're probably just fine in fact when I didn't have a thyroid condition I love broccoli and cauliflower and kale and chard

  24. So if I eat like 1 ounce of raw kale everyday, is there a distinct possibility to experience the dark side of the almighty kale?

  25. Many greatgrandmothers felt that one needed to cook cruciferous veggies at least 30 minutes to get rid of something that they now know is goitrogen. What about that?

  26. Does taking the supplement DIM block thyroid from taking iodine? It is made from cruciferous veggies. I have estrogen dominance issues and the dim had really seemed to help me but now I seem to be having thyroid issues. Not sure if it is related.

  27. Your a con —- you have your own experience —- my wife had a thyroid scare …. the specialist recommended NO SPINACH OR KALE .. why ? The specialist was unbiased at that time …

  28. I have Graves Disease (hyperthyroidism) and I've never eaten kale. When I worked at a school in a small town, 3 of the teachers were diagnosed with thyroid diseases within three years, two had thyroid cancer. Further research revealed a HUGE population in this area diagnosed with thyroid diseases and malfunction. About one out of three women in this small community have thyroid issues, disease, or cancer. Now the men are starting to have the same problems. I'm not sure if this a nationwide problem or confined mostly to this rural area, but I'm pretty sure some outside source is causing this. Something in the food we're eating, water we're drinking, or some other outside force is causing people to have thyroid problems. Eating healthy is important, but my mother has eaten healthy since she was born in 1945. She was raised on a farm and they had their own milk cow, etc. she developed Graves' disease two years after I did. It's definitely not because of her diet. She was diagnosed at 60 years old. Something external is causing this.

  29. What about juicing celery, kale, arugula, and cabbage? I drink 4 cups of juice every day. Actually, 2 cups just from celery.
    Please, provide some input.


  31. Wow for three years I been intermittently fasting eating a huge salad everyday for lunch with a nice rotation of the greens use iodine for the last three months seasoning it with Mac nuts Brazil and chestnuts and acv and olive oil and three to four eggs every single day at dinner nice meat dish with avocado and other carbs and I lost 60 pounds blood pressure is perfect unless I get upset lol and have never felt better. Now acv plants and everything is bad for you … I will trust the good book all the plants seeds and herbs are what I need…. thank you oh and massive amounts of raw garlic

  32. our body is not made to digest kale, so why the hell you would eat this?
    fruits and soft tender leafy greens thats all we need. no juices not crap smoothies, no powders.

  33. The biggest danger with eating leaves is oxalates, not thyroid issues. Oxalates are a huge issue, I thought that was going to be covered, disappointed it wasn't. Oxalates are being covered heavily nowadays, look it up here on YouTube.

  34. That’s because there are two things wrong with kale besides the million things that is good for, number one Cale causes blood clots number two it does not allow your thyroid function properly. And there you have it research people. Dr. Jennefer Daniels the real deal

  35. Who would understand what you're talking about unless we are doctors like you? Are you freaking kidding me? I need to be a doctor to know all the chemicals of being a vegetarian or whatever eating veggies only for thyroid blah blah blah.

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