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871. Coffee and the Thyroid


Dr. Martin talks about one of his favourite subjects of all time… coffee! Just in the last week three new studies have come out on coffee. Today, Dr. Martin looks at coffee and its effect on the thyroid gland.

The thyroid is a complicated, finicky organ and at the Martin Clinic we call it a puppet, because of all the strings attached to it. So many things can affect the thyroid, so much so that it’s difficult to diagnose a problem with your thyroid.

In today’s episode, Dr. Martin looks specifically at how cortisol affects the thyroid and how coffee helps lower cortisol.


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Dr. Martin:  Well, good morning, everyone. How are you doing? Hope you're having a great start to your day. Summer has arrived here in Sudbury. It's hot. Now guys, a couple of things here. A study came out, well, almost every day. Yesterday, I talked to you about VitDerma, the sun, how good it is for you. And now, today, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite subjects of all time. Coffee, coffee. Another, well, there's probably three or four studies that came out now, I'm not kidding you, in the last week about coffee, but I'm going to sort of focus in on coffee and the thyroid, because this came out how good coffee is for your thyroid. Ladies? And whenever I talk about the thyroid, I never mean to exclude men, but the thyroid is a complicated, finicky organ because we like to call it at the Martin Clinic a puppet, with a lot of strings attached to it.

But, the study is how good coffee is for your thyroid gland. The real, guys, the real vitamin C. Now, was it a week ago, maybe two, that I talked to you about coffee being 500 times more powerful than the other vitamin C, ascorbic acid? People think I'm kidding when I talk about the benefits of coffee. They think I'm kidding. I'm not kidding. I'm not kidding. And consistently over the years, 40 and more, I've said it. Coffee is a polyphenol. Coffee has over a thousand phytonutrients. Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee. And anybody that ever follows me on either Facebook or on our podcast, they know that, and previously on radio show. Now, let's do a little bit of digging on the thyroid and why coffee is so effective. I think I wrote down about five things that this study talked about.

Now, let's remember, it's really important to remember this, and by the way, you want to see my coffee this morning? I take my coffee black. Don't ruin your coffee. Don't put milk in it. Put cream in it if you have to, okay, if you have to. Now, what is this? It's a teaspoon, a teaspoon. Right? For you, tea lovers, I don't know why you love tea when you could love coffee. But anyway, this is the amount, look at this, guys. If you're listening on a podcast, I'm showing a little teaspoon. That's how much thyroid hormone your thyroid makes in one year. Anything that affects that one teaspoon is going to mess up your metabolism. And the reason I point out ladies is because ladies have hormones. Now, let me just say a statement. I think, I don't know if I've ever said it, maybe, maybe not. There's nothing that will mess up your thyroid more than a hormone, one hormone. There's nothing... There're things that will mess it up, we'll talk about that this morning.

What is the one hormone that will mess up your thyroid more than any other hormone? I'm waiting, this is a little test I'm giving you. What is the name of the hormone that will mess up your thyroid more than any other hormone? Annette says cortisol. Betty, you're watching, but I don't see an answer. This is a little test. You know how much... Vicky says estrogen. Carol says estrogen. Lorraine says hi. Okay. Gloria says estrogen. Diane says estrogen. Derek, what do you think? Roberta, good morning. Nellie, cortisol. Well, you guys are so smart. I'm telling you. Cindy, Evelyn. Okay, couple of more in and then I'll give you the answer. Ger is saying cortisol. So, it's pretty close. I'll tell you what. Hazel. Look, the number one thing... And Nellie, oh, I love the way you guys think. I mean it. I am so impressed all the time. And all those things affect your thyroid, yes, but the number one thing is estrogen.

That is why, that is why, ladies, I aim at you when it comes to your thyroid. That is why it's 90:10, it's higher than that, but for the sake of medicine, 90:10, women have trouble with thyroid, their metabolism. Why? Estrogen is the number one reason. Cortisol, you guys were right. Insulin, you guys are right. But, the number one is estrogen. Estrogen dominance is a thyroid killer. Estrogen dominance is a thyroid killer. Thousands, and I mean it, guys, thousands of times, it seemed like even in a year, thousands of times we dealt in our office with thyroid dysfunction, sluggish thyroid. Why? Estrogen dominance. Almost invariably, almost invariably.

Now, I had to bring that in because we're going to talk about what coffee does. Now, here's another study and I'm incorporating this, because coffee, the real vitamin C, and I'm doubling down on that. The real vitamin C. One of its great attributes, it has many, is what it does for the thyroid. Coffee reduces estrogen. Did you know that? Coffee reduces estrogen. Now, it's one of the reasons, in my opinion, coffee is so anti-cancer. It hammers down the estrogen. Now, again, I must say this. Estrogen is an important hormone, ladies. Okay? It's important for you. You need it. You don't want to eliminate it. You want to balance it. And we live in an estrogen-dominated world.

Every chemical in the planet mimics estrogen. Read all the words that you can't even pronounce or spell. All the chemicals, over a hundred thousand, since World War II have been created. And I know a lot of them are convenient and whatever, in your kitchen, from air fresheners to sprays, to underarm deodorants, to hand sanitizers, to air fresheners, to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Mostly in the kitchen, in your home, in your workplace. They mimic estrogen. They're xenoestrogens, and then you get phytoestrogens. You know what phytoestrogens are? Estrogens that you consume in food. Soy. Those are phytoestrogens.

I'm not big on soy. "Oh, the meatless burger." "Ooh, I get a headache." "My blood pressure goes up." "I start sweating." When I think of meatless burgers, hey, they're not meant for you and they're not meant for your dog either. They're not meant for human consumption. They're phytoestrogens. They will elevate your estrogen. They're cancer patties, in my opinion. Buyer, beware. I feel like when I go into the grocery store and I see that little section, I want to scream. I want to do my John the Baptist imitation. "Repent." Repent, get out of there. Stop. Don't eat it.

And I'm not optimistic, guys. I'm not optimistic. I'm not. That they're going to hammer that stuff down our throats. Did you see what Canada is doing? They just opened up a plant. Is it near Kitchener or London? I can't remember. For grasshoppers. They don't want us eating steak. They want us to eat grasshoppers. I'm telling you. What in the world? But, I think I'd rather have grasshopper than that meatless stuff. Guys, I go crazy. So, why is coffee so effective for your thyroid? It lowers your estrogen. That's number one. It lowers your estrogen. And this is why I think it's so anticarcinogenic. That's why coffee is so good. I mean, the more they study on coffee, they're talking about it lowers... Let me just give you the list. I'm giving you the list of what cancers coffee lowers.

Breast. Of course, estrogen. Thyroid. We just talked about it. Remember what estrogen is. It makes you a woman. It makes a man a woman too. Coffee lowers estrogen, which is a growth hormone. There's never been a breast cancer ever that didn't have real serious markers of estrogen dominance. I mean, usually it's a perfect storm, but that's a big factor. Coffee lowers estrogen, and you decrease your risk... Here's the studies in the last about five years. Breast, thyroid, skin cancer. Vitamin C, coffee, combine with vitamin D, the sun, it'll protect you. It is such a powerful antioxidant. Drink coffee.

Liver. We're going to talk about that again, the liver cancer, but I'll talk about the liver in a minute. Colon, colon cancer. Decreases your risk. Prostate. Men, of course, estrogen. Endometrial, ladies? Of course, estrogen. Oral, pharynx, the throat, mouth cancer. Cancer, guys, is on the rise. It's another thing that gives me a splitting headache, because we're looking for love in all the wrong places when it comes to cancer. We wait till you get it and then we want to burn it or slash it or whatever. Let's prevent it in the first place. Real prevention. Vitamin C. It lowers estrogen. That's what coffee does.

Number two. We're going back to your liver. Coffee helps clean your liver. "Oh doc, I want to do a detox." Beautiful. Do the reset, it'll empty your liver, and drink coffee. It'll help clean your liver. Do you guys remember coffee enemas? Do you remember that? They found that coffee has a special effect on the liver through the portal vein. Isn't coffee wonderful? It helps clean your liver. Why is that important? What is the attachment between the liver and the thyroid? Well, that's where the conversion of T4 to T3. Now remember, your thyroid is a puppet. Doesn't do anything on its own. Your brain, what part of your brain? Hippocampus or hypothalamus? You guys know this. Hypothalamus. Your hypothalamus sends a signal to your pituitary, and your pituitary sends a signal to your thyroid by TSH, thyroid-stimulating hormone, to produce T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, and another one called calcitonin. But at the end of the day, your one teaspoon in a year better be converted from T4 to T3. Now, where does that occur? In the liver.

So, let me bring it back another step. When your liver is gummed up, when the Costco parking lot is full because of carbs and sugars, that's what gums up your liver, you're going to have trouble converting T4 to T3. Now, what is your friend to your liver? Coffee, and the other one is cholesterol. And I always would get a major meltdown when women who have been convinced to lower their fat intake. "Well, doc, fat makes me fat, and fat will give me cholesterol." Yeah, but fat won't make you fat and you better provide 15% of your cholesterol because if you don't, and cholesterol's only found in the animal kingdom. It's in eggs, meat, and cheese. Cholesterol is your thyroid's friend, because it's going to take that T3 and transport it to your cells. Remember, it's FedEx, it's Canada Post. It is Amazon. It is whatever trucking company you like the best. That is what cholesterol does inside your body. Cholesterol isn't the boogeyman. Fat isn't the boogeyman. Sugar is the boogeyman and crappy carbs are the boogeyman to your liver.

Now, what does coffee do? Coffee helps to detox your liver. And when you detox your liver, your thyroid says, "Thank you. Thanks for the help, liver. Thank you, coffee." Seriously. Anti-cancer, cleans up the liver, lowers your estrogen. Wow. Now, what else does coffee do? Coffee lowers your insulin. Remember? Coffee. That's why I like coffee with a meal. It acts like Metformin, the drug, without the side effects. Coffee lowers your insulin. Now, look, coffee's great, but you better have a good diet too. Okay? You can't outdrink a bad diet. You can't just say, "I'm going to eat whatever I feel like and drink coffee and that'll help." Eh, I don't recommend that. Look at the benefits. Estrogen is down. Your liver is better. It's cleaned up, which helps in the conversion of T4 to T3. It's a powerful antioxidant. Protects your thyroid even from cancer. I don't know if there's an organ in your body that coffee doesn't help. It helps with your insulin resistance. Man, oh man.

Here's another one. Coffee lowers cortisol. So for all of you that gave me the answer that cortisol messes up your thyroid, you were right. Not quite as much as estrogen does, but you were right nonetheless. If I was your professor, I would've given you marks because you're so stinkin' smart. "Oh doc, it's cortisol." Yeah, yeah, that can mess you up. Here's how it does, here's how cortisol messes you up and then I'll tell you what coffee does. Cortisol, you know this, okay, here's cortisol. That's cortisol. The fight or flight. The long term fight or flight. Produced by the adrenals. Adrenal, on top of your kidneys. Cortisol, over a period of time, has a very negative effect on the thyroid.

It does it in two ways. It messes up the conversion of T4 to T3. But, you know how it does it, one of the ways it does it? It robs progesterone. Ladies, that's why you get estrogen dominance, because your progesterone is oftentimes is being robbed by cortisol. That's what stress does. This is basic physiology, guys, but nobody teaches that. And coffee lowers your cortisol. Because, people come to me many of times over the years especially. "Doc, I heard coffee's not good for your adrenal glands." And I would say, "You heard wrong. It's the opposite," because coffee helps with dopamine. It lowers your cortisol. And if you lower your cortisol, you're not robbing progesterone and you're going to have less estrogen dominance, which is the thyroid killer. Nothing messes up your thyroid like estrogen does, estrogen dominance. Hallelujah, hallelujah. Isn't that something? How good coffee is for you?

Guys, listen, the jury has come back with a verdict. Over the years, you wouldn't believe the amount of pushback I got, especially years ago, not as much now but years ago. "Coffee, that's caffeine and that's bad for you. And it's acidic, and it'll mess up your cortisol. And it is not good for you." I remember gurus used to talk about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, and they would be the opposite of me. They would have their patients not drink coffee. And I said, "What? Why would you do that? Life is too short." As Job said, "Life is short and full of trouble." He was right. So, you need your coffee to handle.

Okay guys, did you have fun today? I enjoyed every minute of it. So, what's the moral of the story? Drink your vitamin C, the only thing I want you drinking, besides water. Drink water and coffee. Okay, for you tea drinkers, I allow it. Because I'm such a nice guy, I'll allow it. But, don't drink anything else. Lower your intake of fluids, except water and coffee. There you go. That'll go a long way to restore your health. Now, what's Friday? Question and Answer Friday, so get your questions in, because we always have a fun session on Fridays. Are you getting our emails? You're not? You should. Sign up at Tell your friends about The Doctor Is In Podcast. Thank you for making it one of the top podcasts in Canada, on health. One of the top in Canada and the U.S.A. That's you guys that have done that. Word of mouth. Tell everybody. Now, we appreciate it guys. Now, can I say something? I love you, and I mean it. Talk to you soon.

Announcer:  You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In Podcast, with your hosts, Doctor Martin Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening!