Dr Oz: Truth About Kale + Heavy Metal Toxicity & Hypothyroidism

Dr Oz: The Rise & Fall Of Kale

Remember when everyone was all about kale? It’s notoriety began slowly, but then once it’s health benefits became widely known and people learned different ways to use it, the entire country was practically obsessed with it! Many people began drinking smoothies, including the leafy greens, and by 2012, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing it on a menu. Kale even appeared in a Beyonce music video! But suddenly, articles starting popping up accusing kale of being unhealthy, saying it was causing everything from heavy metal poisoning and hair loss to forgetfulness and hypothyroidism. So what’s the real deal with kale?

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The downfall of kale actually first began with an opinion piece in the New York Times about the connection between kale and hypothyroidism. Then, there was a research report linking kale and heavy metal toxicity. Suddenly people began blogging about it, which caused main stream media sources to start talking about.

Dr Oz: Truth About Kale + Heavy Metal Toxicity & Hypothyroidism

Dr Oz explained the truth behind the kale controversy and whether or not it’s truly the healthy superfood it was first talked up to be. (sweetonveg / Flickr)

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Dr Oz: Kale & Heavy Metal Toxicity

Dr Oz first wanted to look at the link to heavy metal toxicity. Dr Holly Phillips explained that we really can’t draw any major conclusions from the studies, because one study only involved 20 people. Plus, it’s not a cause and effect study, “it only establishes a link.” The researcher couldn’t specifically prove that kale caused high thalium levels in those involved in the study. Thalium and some other heavy metals are a natural part of our soil supply, but certain pesticides and fertilizers can cause them to exist in higher amounts.

The idea is that the roots of the kale soak up the thalium from the soak and then it gets concentrated in the leaves. That happens with all cruciferous vegetables, though, not just kale.

Dr Phillips said she’s not going to discourage her patients from eating any leafy green vegetable, including kale. It’s more likely that patients aren’t getting enough of those vegetables. Dr Phillips said, unless you’re heating hundreds of salads a day, there really shouldn’t be cause for concern. Plus, the best diet is diverse, whch means eating several different healthy foods.

Dr Oz: Does Kale Affect Your Thyroid?

Dr Oz then wanted to take a closer look at the idea that kale could cause a sluggish thyroid, and while there is some science behind it, it’s mostly just theoretical. The thyroid hormone is made in the thyroid gland with the help of iodine. Kale released a chemical that blocks iodine from getting into the thyroid. The connection makes sense, but is it enough to worry about? Andrea Beaman, a thyroid expert, said whether you have a slow or normal thyroid, kale is still nutritious.

Dr Oz explained that there is a potential risk if all you do is juice kale after kale, because you’re eating it in much higher, concentrated amounts. To reduce the impact of kale, you can eat more brazil nuts with your kale juice, because they are rich in selenium. You can also cook your kale, which deactivates a lot of the negative aspects of it.

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