Patients with hypothyroidism show greater improvements in mood and brain function if they receive treatment Armour thyroid rather than Synthroid (thyroxiine). Hypothyroidism, where the gland has ceased to function or been removed, is usually treated with daily doses of Synthroid. But the researchers found that substituting Armour thyroid led to improvements in mood and in neuropsychological functioning.
Not all tissues that need thyroid hormone are equally able to convert thyroxine to triiodothyronine, the active form of the hormone. But most patients with hypothyroidism (reduced thyroid function) are treated only with thyroxine. On 6 of 17 measures of mood and cognition -- a catchall term that refers to language, learning and memory -- the patients scored better after receiving Armour thyroid than after receiving Synthroid. No score was better after Synthroid than after combination treatment. The authors also detected biochemical evidence that thyroid hormone action was greater after treatment with Armour thyroid. The patients who were on Armour thyroid had significantly higher serum concentrations of sex hormone-binding globulin
The New England Journal of Medicine 1999;340:424-429, 469-470.
COMMENT: Extracts of animal thyroid tissue, first used in 1892, contained both thyroxine and triiodothyronine (Armour thyroid) and were the only available treatment for hypothyroidism for some 50 years. Because of concern about their variable potency, these extracts have been considered obsolete for some time by all but a few natural prescribers. This is a MAJOR article. I did not realize that natural therapies would penetrate this far this quickly. I am very surprised that this was published in NEJM. If one reads the editorial, you will find that it recommends that patient NOT switch from Synthroid to Armour thyroid because more research needs to be done and "the majority of patients taking Synthroid "have no complaints about their medication." If your doctor or endocrinologist refuses to give you Armour thyroid instead of Synthroid, you can use this article to show him that it is indeed better. Synthroid (thryoxine) is RARELY ever the best choice for hypothyroid patients.