Thyroid Cancer Supplement Recommendations

Multiple nutritional supplements have been associated with reduced cancer occurrence and/or cancer progression. The list below contains those with the greatest evidence-base and benefit, though it is not necessary that they all be included.

Vitamin D3

  • Vitamin D levels are associated with risk of several types of cancer, including thyroid cancer. Low 25(OH) D blood levels were highly prevalent in people with solid tumors in a retrospective study of more than 30,000 individuals, despite levels infrequently being checked. [1] Individuals with a history of lymphoma should also monitor 1,25 dihydroxy-vitamin D levels, as rapid conversion to this active form has been observed.
  • Suggested dose: Suggested dose is that sufficient to raise vitamin D blood levels to >40 ng/mL, which may require 5000 IU per day or more.[2]


  • Selenium is essential to keep an important antioxidant, called glutathione peroxidase, at proper levels. This enzyme serves to deactivate hydrogen peroxide in thyroid cells, which is a free radical made during the process of iodine and tyrosine combining to make the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4). A human trial demonstrated that selenium levels were inversely correlated to more advanced thyroid disease.[3]
  • Suggested dose: 200 mcg, 1-2 times per day.

DIM (3,3′-diindolylmethane)

  • DIM, abundant in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, has shown anti-tumor activity, and inhibits cancer cell proliferation in estrogen receptor positive and negative cells. DIM displays anti-estrogenic like activity by inhibiting estradiol enhanced thyroid cancer cell proliferation and in vitro metastasis associated events, namely adhesion, migration and invasion.[4],[5],[6]
  • Suggested dose: 300 mg per day.

Green tea extract

  • Catechins, antioxidants found in green tea, particularly EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), are known to have numerous anti-metastatic and anti-cancer affects in a variety of cancers that are hormone in nature. A study on human thyroid cells supports the inhibitory role of EGCG on thyroid cancer cell proliferation and motility.[7]
  • Suggested dose: 1g EGCG and mixed catechins per day.


  • Cell studies researched the effects of curcumin on the cell viability, apoptosis, migration and invasion of human thyroid cancer cell lines and found that curcumin produced anti-metastatic activity. The findings project that curcumin might be an effective tumouristatic agent for the treatment of aggressive papillary thyroid carcinomas.[8],[9],[10],[11]
  • Suggested dose: 1-2 g per day of Meriva® or Longvida® curcumin.[12],[13]

Milk thistle

  • Silymarin and silibinin from milk thistle have anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic properties in various cancer cell lines. One study demonstrated that one of the active constituents of milk thistle, silibin, decreased cell migration in thyroid cancer cells.[14]
  • Suggested dose: 500mg silymarin per day.

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[1] Hauser K, Walsh D, Shrotriya S, Karafa M. Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in people with a solid tumor cancer diagnosis: the tip of the iceberg? Support Care Cancer. 2014 Jul;22(7):1931-9.

[2] Garland CF, French CB, Baggerly LL, et al. Vitamin D supplement doses and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the range associated with cancer prevention. Anticancer Res. 2011 Feb;31(2):607-11.

[3] Jonklaas J, Danielsen M, Wang H. A pilot study of serum selenium, vitamin D, and thyrotropin concentrations in patients with thyroid cancer. Thyroid. 2013 Sep;23(9):1079-86. doi: 10.1089/thy.2012.0548. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

[4] Rajoria S, Suriano R, George A, Shanmugam A, Schantz SP, Geliebter J, Tiwari RK. Estrogen induced metastatic modulators MMP-2 and MMP-9 are targets of 3,3′-diindolylmethane in thyroid cancer. PLoS One. 2011 Jan 18;6(1):e15879.

[5] Rajoria S, Suriano R, Parmar PS, Wilson YL, Megwalu U, Moscatello A, Bradlow HL, Sepkovic DW, Geliebter J, Schantz SP, Tiwari RK. 3,3′-diindolylmethane modulates estrogen metabolism in patients with thyroid proliferative disease: a pilot study. Thyroid. 2011 Mar;21(3):299-304.

[6] Tadi K, Chang Y, Ashok BT, Chen Y, Moscatello A, Schaefer SD, Schantz SP, Policastro AJ, Geliebter J, Tiwari RK. 3,3′-Diindolylmethane, a cruciferous vegetable derived synthetic anti-proliferative compound in thyroid disease. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Nov 25;337(3):1019-25

[7] De Amicis F, Perri A, Vizza D, Russo A, Panno ML, Bonofiglio D, Giordano C, Mauro L, Aquila S, Tramontano D, Andò S. Epigallocatechin gallate inhibits growth and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in human thyroid carcinoma cell lines. J Cell Physiol. 2013 Oct;228(10):2054-62.

[8] Belcaro G1, Hosoi M, Pellegrini L, et al. A controlled study of a lecithinized delivery system of curcumin (Meriva®) to alleviate the adverse effects of cancer treatment. Phytother Res. 2014 Mar;28(3):444-50. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5014. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

[9] Xu X1, Qin J1, Liu W2., et al. Curcumin inhibits the invasion of thyroid cancer cells via down-regulation of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.. Gene. 2014 Aug 10;546(2):226-32. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2014.06.006. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

[10] Zhang CY, Zhang L, Yu HX, Bao JD, Sun Z, Lu RR. Curcumin inhibits invasion and metastasis in K1 papillary thyroid cancer cells. Food Chem. 2013 Aug 15;139(1-4):1021-8. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.02.016. Epub 2013 Feb 16.

[11] Zhang CY, Zhang L, Yu HX, Bao JD, Lu RR. Curcumin inhibits the metastasis of K1 papillary thyroid cancer cells via modulating E-cadherin and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression. Biotechnol Lett. 2013 Jul;35(7):995-1000.

[12] Marczylo TH, Verschoyle RD, Cooke DN, et al. Comparison of systemic availability of curcumin with that of curcumin formulated with phosphatidylcholine. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2007 Jul;60(2):171-7

[13] DiSilvestro RA1, Joseph E, Zhao S, Bomser J. Diverse effects of a low dose supplement of lipidated curcumin in healthy middle aged people. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 26;11:79. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-79.

[14] Oh SJ, Jung SP, Han J, Kim S, Kim JS, Nam SJ, Lee JE, Kim JH. Silibinin inhibits TPA-induced cell migration and MMP-9 expression in thyroid and breast cancer cells. Oncol Rep. 2013 Apr;29(4):1343-8.

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