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Complementary Medicine

Is it Safe for People with Hyperthyroidism to Eat Cabbage?

01/13/2005

Question:

Is it true that it is not recommended to eat cabbage for people diagnosed with hyperthyroidism?

Answer:

Raw cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, turnips, collard and mustard greens, and rutabagas) are considered goitrigens.  They can actually suppress the function of the thyroid.  These would be OK to eat in a hyperthyroid state, but not hypothyroid. Fermenting (as in sauerkraut) and cooking them eliminates this problem.  These vegetables are so important in supplying the chemicals which help prevent cancer, I strongly recommend eating them as part of a regular diet.

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Response by:

Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd
Formerly, Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University