Thyroid UK

T3/T4 combinations

As Dr Lowe often said (as well as some other doctors) that T3/T4 (according to Research) was preferable than T4 alone. Despite his Rebuttal to the British Thyroid Association which was completely ignored I have come across this today confirming his assertions:-

Two extracts from the article dated 2010 :-

1. The groundbreaking study, reported on in the European Journal of Endocrinology, looked at the controversial issue of treatment with synthetic T3 as a supplement to T4-only (levothyroxine) therapy for hypothyroidism.

Some studies going back more than ten years have shown the superiority of the combination therapy. Other studies, however, found no difference. The inconsistency of these research findings on T3 has led some experts -- in particular, those who are biased in favor of levothyroxine-only therapy -- to conclude that there is no benefit to the addition of T3. (Some of those same "experts" even made a major logical leap, and erroneously concluded that levothyroxine/T4-only therapy is superior to T4/T3 combination therapy.)


Note: So let's just recap this again. Half the patients preferred the T4/T3 combination -- only 15% preferred levothyroxine-only, AND, quality of life and other factors were improved. AND, the T4/T3 therapy had no more side effects than the T4-alone. (In fact, in this study, the T4-only therapy caused MORE side effects.) I anticipate that some of the same so-called thyroid experts -- who frequently are also on the payroll for the levothyroxine manufacturers -- are probably going to fall all over themselves trying to explain away the findings, and it's going to be fun watching them try!

The actual journal article in its entirety is fascinating reading, but unfortunately, it's not posted on the Internet in full. You can, however, purchase a copy online for $25 at the European Journal of Endocrinology website. This is definitely one that you want your doctor to read as well, so be sure to let him or her know to get a copy as well. Frankly, it might even be worth it to buy a copy to GIVE to your doctor, if he/she isn't willing to learn about new thyroid developments.

No wonder we get irate if we are denied decent treatment when levo doesn't suit us. P.S I don't know if the Journal would still be available seeing the above article was written 4 years ago.

2 Replies

shaws, good find. There are now two, random, double-blind, cross-over studies showing similar results. One comparing T4 to NDT and this one comparing T4 to Syn T4/T3. This one has 49% preferring Syn T4/T3 compared to 15% who preferred T4 only and the Walter Reed Study had 49% who preferred NDT to 19% that preferred T4 only. This study is now available free at this link. PR

Dutch Endocrinologist Wilmar Wiersinga's editorial is available here.

The Walter Reed Study abstract is available here.

Mary Shomon article about the Walter Reed Study.


Thank you very much for these links. I look forward to reading them.


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