Do all NDT brands also contain T1 and T2?

The STTM webpage asserts that all NDT contains all the Ts 1 through 4. Yet the pack insert with WP Thyroid mentions only T3/T4. My email inquiry to them went unanswered. I have no thyroid (TT 20 years ago), am currently on Novothyral (T3/T4) and am slowly realising that I probably need all the Ts, not just the headline ones.

15 Replies

  • The amounts of T2 and T1 in the thyroid are tiny. Really tiny.

    So far as I am aware, the vast majority of T2 in the body comes from the processing of T3 (and rT3). Similarly, T1 from T2.

    I believe that there has been confusion between DIT (Diiodotyrosine) and MIT (Monoiodotyrosine) - which are precursors of the production of T4 and T3 within the thyroid - with T2 and T1.

    It would also be a nightmare trying to control quantities of four hormones within desiccated thyroid, were they to do so.


  • I know this might seem ludicrous to you but if pig thyroids are minced up and transformed into NDT, however it is done, would it not automatically contain T1 and T2 in the right proportions and yes, it may be minuscule but with no thyroid of my own, I am keen to get all the missing bits, so I fully understand why lero101 wants it too. Any views on this?

  • Yes - I have views. They might be shown to be wrong-headed or inaccurate, but they are how I see things.

    The levels of T2 and T1in the thyroid are so low that they really seem to be like an impurity rather than a meaningful product.

    I shall try to express what I mean using numbers - but they are all made-up numbers to illustrate my point. And the processes are grossly simplified.

    Let us start with your thyroid producing one million molecules of T4 and 100,000 molecules of T3. Maybe it also makes 1,000 molecules each of T2 and T1.

    After conversion of T4 (about one third into T3, one third into rT3 and one third handled in other ways) you end up with 433,333 molecules of T3 and 333,333 of rT3. Each of these gets converted into a molecule of T2 so that gives you 733,333 molecules of T2. And if all that were converted to T1, you'd have 733,333 molecules of T1. Try to imagine what difference a mere 1,000 molecules of T2 directly from the thyroid would make? I suggest as near as anything, no difference whatsoever.

    Even if you increase the amount of T2 in the thyroid by a factor of ten, it is still a tiny proportion of the total amount of T2.

    If the thyroid were a significant source of T2 and T1, I think we would see its output of them being very much higher. Certainly the output of the thyroid contributes only a small fraction of the total amount of T2 and T1 available in the body. Remember also that the T2 and T1 are produced with cells and quite possibly only really have an effect on the cells in which they were produced. Even less likely that tiny amounts from the thyroid would be significant.

    Does that make any sense? I hope so. :-)


  • makes sense to me.. (I may be fibbing...)

    I suppose it depends whether one prefers whole milk or semi skimmed (with the good bits thrown out iwith addition of titanium oxide... ooh, now called 'Titania' - what a lovely almost Shakespearian name! )... I don't like milk, but concede it is good for you/one...

    A pig is the nearest unfortunate, intelligent (but quite tasty) creature available to us, and I'm not one to waste God's gifts.... it's wholesome...

    Or, the alternative? a chemical synthetic equivalent costing pennies, perhaps 'contributing towards' osteoporosis (in ladies anyway)... OK if not autoimmune involvement - but that's supposedly rare - but I could be missing lots, as I do!

    I don't know where the supposed antibodies to NDT i.e. to T3, T4 theory comes from, I could guess but haven't seen the a link.

    Many function better on NDT - I am functioning.... J :D

  • As I think you know well, I am absolutely not against desiccated thyroid - indeed, very much for it if the person does better on it. But I also believe that we are more likely to be believed and understood if we get things right. I am afraid that the "All the Ts, and calcitonin" mantra might be easier on the tongue than on the intellect. :-)

    Some of the earliest animal thyroids used were ovine - never quite sure if they were lambs or full-grown sheep.

    There are so many issues with both desiccated thyroid and the synthetic products - ranging from cost, tablet dosages, excipients, and so on.

    There is plenty of evidence that a small number of people do have specific antibodies to levothyroxine, triodothyronine or TSH. That applies whether their hormones come from their own thyroid, that of a pig or a chemical works.

    I think that there is (again) some confusion where antibodies to these hormones are thought about like the classic Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin antibodies. They are antibodies but they are not TPOab or TGab. I am not at all convinced that the idea of not using desiccated thyroid in people with autoimmune thyroid disease holds water. By that I mean the blanket "do not use" that some people suggest. It is something that we probably can only find out by trying.


  • Thanks Rod. I am still not convinced they are totally unnecessary but I bow to your superior knowledge.

    What about calcitonin? That really concerns me, as it seems to be important in dealing with bone health.

  • Please don't bow. Go out and find that I am wrong and put me right! I am old enough and ugly enough to take it. :-)

    Calcitonin. Hmm. Difficult. I really don't know but...

    Human and porcine calcitonins are different to each other. But I do not know whether the differences are, or are not, significant.

    Calcitonin does get destroyed in the gut. Whether enough of it gets into the bloodstream to have a useful effect is questionable - but have never found the answer.


  • Thanks everybody for the interesting comments, like Hennerton I am not so convinced the absence of these Ts is not without issue for the thyroid less.

  • Here's a similar thread for more info

  • Thanks Sparerib, clearer now...

  • I have just read WP's contact details and it says it takes between 48-72 hours to reply.

    I would say, yes, they contain all of the hormones our healthy thyroid gland would produce and many people do experience a difference. Levo of course is synthetic which doesn't suit everyone.

  • I wrote to them at the beginning of last week.

    From what I read on the topic (and it seems under-researched) it seems all the t's are needed if the aim is to replicate what the human thyroid is doing. So hence those of us with no thyroid have a strong interest in getting it right. On proportions there is no info except obviously NDT has a long general track record of successful use.

    From the little info I did find, it is mentioned that T1 and T2 are multiples again more potent than the step up T4>T3 so they might be minuscule but I venture, certainly not irrelevant. Indeed, if they were to be measured, maybe they also have similar gene-based conversion issues as the more headline T4/T3.

  • I cannot find a page relating to the conversions but I remember it is the process the NDT goes through, i.e T4 and T3 and a proportion gets converted to T2 and T1. This is from Wikipedia and I think that's why we don't see much reference to T2 and T1 and this states their actual 'name'.

    Thyroid extract is a superior treatment to levothyroxine as it contains T4, T3, diiodothyronine (T2), monoiodothyronine (T1), and calcitonin.

  • Indeed it does say that. Under the heading A number of claims by patients about thyroid extract:

    Don't for one minute think that patient views are not important: They are. But sometimes we see statements and claims that, however much they represent the patient viewpoint, have little basis in biochemistry (or whatever else).

    I'd also point out that the same section says this:

    The T4 and T3 extracted from the glands of animals are bound to the carrier protein TBG, which is the same form that more than 99% of these hormones are in when transported throughout the human body.

    That is, I think, a simple confusion. Is it not the case that thyroid hormones within the thyroid are bound to thyroglobulin (TG) rather than thyroid binding globulin (TBG).

  • Thanks Rod it's definitely not easy for the unlearned (me) to fathom things out.

You may also like...