Tofu and thyroid: Once in a while we have to... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

119,293 members138,547 posts

Tofu and thyroid

helvella profile image

Once in a while we have to change our minds. Perhaps soy does have a role with respect to thyroid treatment. Just not as anyone has previously suggested!

Korean J Radiol. 2019 Jan;20(1):166-170. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2017.0772. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Technical Report: A Cost-Effective, Easily Available Tofu Model for Training Residents in Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Thyroid Nodule Targeting Punctures.

Zhang YF1, Li H2, Wang XM1.

Author information



To establish a cost-effective and easily available phantom for training residents in ultrasound-guided fine needle thyroid nodule targeting punctures.

Materials and Methods:

Tofu, drinking straws filled with coupling gel, a urine tube, and 21-gauge needles were used to generate a phantom thyroid with nodules for training. Twelve radiology residents were involved in the study. The puncture success rates were recorded and compared before and after phantom training using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.


On ultrasonography, tofu mimicked the texture of the thyroid. Drinking straws filled with coupling gel mimicked vessels. The urine tube filled with air mimicked the trachea, and 21-gauge needles mimicked small nodules in the transverse section. The entire phantom was similar to the structure of the thyroid and surrounding tissues. The puncture success rates of radiology residents were significantly increased from 34.4 ± 14.2% to 66.7 ± 19.5% after training (p = 0.003). The phantom was constructed in approximately 10 minutes and materials cost less than CNY 10 (approximately $ 1.5) at a local store.


The tofu model was cost-effective, easily attainable, and effective for training residents in ultrasound-guided fine needle thyroid nodule targeting punctures in vitro.


Fine needle aspiration biopsy; Phantoms; Thyroid nodules; Ultrasound-guided

PMID: 30627032

PMCID: PMC6315077

DOI: 10.3348/kjr.2017.0772

32 Replies

Best use for it, in my opinion! :)

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to greygoose

I was waiting for your reply! :-)

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to helvella

Thanks for posting. At least the students are learning to pierce our skins without too many problems - hopefully :)

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to helvella


Baobabs profile image
Baobabs in reply to greygoose

Such pure unadulterated comradery.

Always thought tofu was like chewing on white leather. Of course the other side of this is to look at the exceptionally high level of medical training which, as always, surrounds anything connected to the thyroid. Our thyroids are apparently comparable to tofu and drinking straws and our tracheas merely a urine tube. I think that’s certainly what my GP thinks when he sees me! 🤸🏿‍♀️

Baobabs profile image
Baobabs in reply to MissGrace

To me, it is the one foodstuff that you have to believe does you good otherwise you wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

Should Hashimoto sufferers avoid tofu and soy?

They are virtually in every dish or food.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Adam10

Have a read here:

And there are many other references on this forum.

You are right that soy is in virtually everything.

It is still not 100% clear what effect soy lecithin has but perhaps note that a number of food companies have been searching for alternative lecithins.

Adam10 profile image
Adam10 in reply to helvella

Thank you Helvella. Let’s hope the soy alternatives are on the market soon.

Someone posted fairly recently that you can buy soy sauce that tastes like the real thing but isn't but I've forgotten the name now! but recommended to use with Chinese food! But you are right, it does crop up in so many things but best not to either over do it or try to find an alternative.

Hj101 profile image
Hj101 in reply to silverfox7

Coconut aminos are a great replacement for soy sauce 🙂

silverfox7 profile image
silverfox7 in reply to Hj101

That's it!

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Hj101

Quite expensive, isn't it?

I found Ocado offering Marigold Liquid Aminos (250ml) at £3.59 (£1.44 / 100ml) but some other offerings are much more expensive.

Hj101 profile image
Hj101 in reply to helvella

Yes, I got one from amazon which was around £7, I justify it to myself by telling myself I use less than soy sauce because it’s quite a strong’s amazing what we can make ourselves believe isn’t it 😂

I find fermented soy is OK, so tamari, (smelly) natto and tempeh.

I eat smoked shitake tofu and I like it 😁

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to

I keep saying that we are all different. :-) :-) :-)

poorplanteater profile image
poorplanteater in reply to

I was eating a sprouted tofu but I cant get it anymore. I like the smoked tofu. I dont eat tofu every day but a few times a month for sure.

in reply to poorplanteater

I like it sautéed with lots of garlic and a bit of soy sauce, all organic. Yummy 😋

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to

I loved tofu with a passion but stopped once I discovered it was not a good idea with hypothyroidism. I did feel better for stopping it but some do say the properly fermented stuff is ok.

in reply to TSH110

I used to make my own tofu back home when I had a home 🙄 now my flat is tiny and my kitchen is ultra tiny. I buy it from a vegan restaurant now but I only eat once every 2 or 3 months so not going to make much difference.

I think the only thing that I eat/drink everyday is water 😁

I like how they use the word 'phantom', and sounds like it's a technical term. I will be trying to work it into my vocabulary this week.

"I brought over a few phantoms to keep the kids amused" "Still got to pack up the last of my Christmas phantoms into the shed" "This gluten free cake is delicious, you must let me have your phantom".

That made me laugh out loud. You’re right. Since a phantom is, by definition, a figment of the imagination... maybe there was nothing there at all and they all pushed their pointy needles into thin air! 🤸🏿‍♀️

I'm not even sure whether I'm being sarcastic or serious. It's quite a flourish of a word, isn't it?

We could have a lot of fun with this rather bizarre use of the word. ‘Darling, please stroke my phantom - you’ll like it!’ 🤸🏿‍♀️

Oh dear, heehee!

Hmmm... stallions are led to a phantom mare for AI collection. Talk about stroking the phantom...

When I did clinicals we called stuff like this a proxy - like sticking an orange wken learning IV’s.

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to Poniesrfun

Not racehorses they have to do the proper business no AI for them.

I got really excited thinking I might be able to eat tofu again I absolutely love the stuff! I had to laugh reading the post - great find! No more tofu for me 😢

I have also been confused about tofu/soy. Found an article on phytoestrogens in soy. The video done by a doctor at the Cleveland in the US, was eye-opening.

As suggested by helvella, I have changed my mind about soy foods, as long as they are whole and organic.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 20.0px 'Apple Color Emoji'}


You may also like...