Italian researchers studied hypothyroidism treatment with levothyroxine (synthetic T4, like Synthroid, Levoxyl) in three groups of patients -- patients taking additional bioflavonoids; patients taking supplements that include oligomeric proanthocynidins (OPA), and group taking a placebo supplement. The TSH, T4, T3, hydroperoxides -- a marker of oxidative stress -- and c-reactive protein -- a measure of inflammation -- were evaluated before and after 30 days of treatment. Throughout the treatment, symptoms -- including anxiety/agitation, sweating, palpitations, headache and daily discomfort -- were recorded through a daily questionnaire.
What the researchers found was that the hypdroperoxides, c-reactive protein, and the symptomatic markers were all significantly lower in the group that was taking the supplement formula containing OPA. The researchers concluded that use of OPA supplements may reduce the incidence of the side effects that occur during the initial phase of levothyroxine treatment in hypothyroidism.
Note: OPAs are found in supplements that are high in pine bark, in particular, the patented high-OPA formula known as pycnogenol.
Source: Cornelli, U. "Activity of Some Physiological Modulators in Reducing the Side Effects of Levothyroxine in Patients Suffering from Primary Hypothyroidism" Abstracts of the American Thyroid Association Annual Meeting, 2011
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