Natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) also called thyroid extract is dried powdered thyroid gland from an animal, usually from pig (porcine thyroid) but it can also be from cow (bovine thyroid).
If manufactured correctly these thyroid extracts provide a similar ratio of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 to that secreted by the human thyroid gland.
NDT was the first type of medication for treating hypothyroidism before the thyroid hormones where synthesized.
Many of the NDT products on the marked are prescription drugs, including Armour thyroid, Erfa thyroid and NatureThroid, whereas others are over the counter supplements.
According to Ray Peat, the prescription NDTs on the market today are simply not as good as the original version of Armour thyroid, as the original manufacturing methods of NDT seem to have been lost and the pills keep changing binders and fillers, which have created problems with some of the prescription drugs not releasing their hormones. You can read more about this subject in BiochemNordic’s hypothyroid treatment program Module 16.
However, since the formulas and production methods of the prescription NDTs are often changed by the manufacturer, trying different brands of prescription NDT, or a reliable natural over the counter thyroid supplement is an option if you prefer a natural glandular instead of synthetic T4 and T3.
Reliable Over The Counter Natural Desiccated Thyroid:
The difference between over the counter (OTC) glandulars and the prescription glandulars is that the hormone levels of the former are not measured nor standardized. However, OTC thyroid glandulars can be beneficial for people that do not have a prescription for thyroid hormone, or who want to avoid medication.
Researching the marked for OTC thyroid supplements, I found that many of the OTC glandulars presently available have had the thyroid hormones removed, which can be stated on the label as “thyroxin free”, however some brands do not state on the label that their product is in fact “thyroxin free” but contacting the companies confirm this fact.
A reliable natural thyroid supplement is simply the dried powdered meat of the whole thyroid gland of porcine or bovine origin, with its highly complex blend of naturally-occurring proteins, nucleotides, enzymes, hormones, nucleoproteins and fats, vitamins and minerals.
You can learn more about reliable over the counter thyroid supplement in our thyroid supplement guide!