Is it true that people who have hypothyroidism should avoid soy?

Answer From Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.

Whether people who have hypothyroidism should avoid soy is a topic of debate.

Hypothyroidism is generally treated with synthetic thyroid hormone — and soy has long been thought to interfere with the body's ability to absorb the medication. However, there's no evidence that people who have hypothyroidism should avoid soy completely.

If you have hypothyroidism, take thyroid hormone replacement as directed by your doctor. Medication can be taken at any time that's best for you, and it's okay to take it on an empty stomach or with food — as long as you do the same thing every day.

Generally, it's best to wait four hours after taking thyroid medication to consume any products that contain soy. The same guidelines apply to other products that may impair the body's ability to absorb thyroid medication, including concentrated iron and calcium supplements, and antacids that contain calcium or aluminum hydroxide.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Oct. 05, 2021 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Antidepressant withdrawal: Is there such a thing?
  2. Antidepressants and alcohol: What's the concern?
  3. Antidepressants and weight gain: What causes it?
  4. Antidepressants: Can they stop working?
  5. Antidepressants: Side effects
  6. Antidepressants: Selecting one that's right for you
  7. Antidepressants: Which cause the fewest sexual side effects?
  8. Arcus senilis: A sign of high cholesterol?
  9. Atypical antidepressants
  10. Cholesterol concerns? Get moving
  11. Cholesterol concerns? Lose excess pounds
  12. Cholesterol level: Can it be too low?
  13. Cholesterol medications: Consider the options
  14. Cholesterol ratio or non-HDL cholesterol: Which is most important?
  15. Cholesterol test kits: Are they accurate?
  16. Cholesterol: Top foods to improve your numbers
  17. Cholesterol-lowering supplements may be helpful
  18. Clinical depression: What does that mean?
  19. Coconut oil: Can it cure hypothyroidism?
  20. Coma
  21. Depression and anxiety: Can I have both?
  22. Depression, anxiety and exercise
  23. Depression: Diagnosis is key
  24. Depression in women: Understanding the gender gap
  25. Depression (major depressive disorder)
  26. Depression: Provide support, encouragement
  27. Depression: Supporting a family member or friend
  28. Dry skin
  29. Eggs and cholesterol
  30. Eggs: Bad for cholesterol?
  31. Fatigue
  32. Five foods to lower your cholesterol
  33. HDL cholesterol: How to boost your 'good' cholesterol
  34. High cholesterol
  35. High cholesterol in children
  36. High cholesterol treatment: Does cinnamon lower cholesterol?
  37. How to heal cracked heels
  38. How to heal cracked skin at thumb tip
  39. Hypothyroidism and infertility: Any connection?
  40. Hypothyroidism: Can calcium supplements interfere with treatment?
  41. Hypothyroidism diet
  42. Hypothyroidism and joint pain?
  43. Hypothyroidism: Should I take iodine supplements?
  44. Hypothyroidism symptoms: Can hypothyroidism cause eye problems?
  45. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  46. Infant jaundice
  47. Is your diet hurting your heart?
  48. Joint pain
  49. Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  50. Lowering Triglycerides
  51. Macrocytosis: What causes it?
  52. Male depression: Understanding the issues
  53. MAOIs and diet: Is it necessary to restrict tyramine?
  54. Marijuana and depression
  55. Mayo Clinic Minute: Moisturizer tips from a dermatologist
  56. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  57. Muscle pain
  58. Natural remedies for depression: Are they effective?
  59. Nervous breakdown: What does it mean?
  60. Niacin overdose: What are the symptoms?
  61. Niacin to improve cholesterol numbers
  62. Pain and depression: Is there a link?
  63. Pomegranate juice: Can it lower cholesterol?
  64. Is there a risk of rhabdomyolysis from statins?
  65. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  66. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  67. Skip flavored lip balm
  68. Soy: Does it reduce cholesterol?
  69. Statin side effects
  70. Statins
  71. Statins: Do they cause ALS?
  72. Statins: Should you be on one?
  73. Symptom Checker
  74. Thyroid disease: Can it affect a person's mood?
  75. Time your lotions right
  76. Lifestyle changes to improve cholesterol
  77. Trans fat: A double whammy
  78. Trans fat
  79. Trans fat substitutes: Not a slam dunk
  80. Treatment-resistant depression
  81. Tricyclic antidepressants and tetracyclic antidepressants
  82. Triglycerides: Why do they matter?
  83. Vitamin B-12 and depression
  84. VLDL cholesterol: Is it harmful?
  85. Ward off dry skin
  86. Wilson's syndrome: An accepted medical diagnosis?