Thyroid Extract

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Thyroid extracts are thyroid extracts derived from the thyroid glands of usually bovine (beef) sources. Thyroid extract supplements may contain the dried and/or ground raw tissue from animal thyroid glands, or it may use extracts derived from these tissues. Also known as desiccated thyroid, it is orally used to treat:

  • Adams-Stokes syndrome
  • Goiter
  • Cretinism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hashimoto's disease
  • Myxedema
  • Infertility
  • Thyroid cancer

Also known as:  Desiccated Thyroid

Diseases and Conditions

There is insufficient evidence of the effectivness of thyroid extract to treat infertility.


Thyroid extract is likely unsafe when taken orally since it increases the risk for cardiac complications and hypothyroidism. There is insufficient information on the safety of thyroid extract for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Possible side effects include:

  • Thyroid extract-induced hyperthyroidism
  • Tachycardia
  • Increased metabolism
  • Allergic reactions
  • Thyrotoxic symptoms

Medication Interactions

Thyroid extract may interfere with synthetic T4 products such as levothyroxine, Synthroid, Levothroid, and Levoxyl.

Supplement and Food Interactions

No supplement or food reactions with thyroid extract have been reported.


For infertility, 25-100 mg daily for up to 3 months has been used.


Thyroid extracts are not found in foods.

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