I've been receiving some reader mail from those of you taking thyroid and/or aspirin and experiencing negative effects.
One email explained that aspirin "intensified" their hypo symptoms, while another explained that thyroid made their face swell.
I was originally at a loss on what to write back besides the standard, "increasing the metabolism requires additional nutrients," after thinking about it more, with my noggin, I may have some additional info for those that don't respond well to thyroid or aspirin.
Aspirin and thyroid should "move things in the right direction," increasing cellular respiration, as Dr. Peat has always mentioned, but as I noted above, increasing the metabolic rate can cause an increased demand for some essential nutrients.
One such essential nutrient is copper. Copper is marginilized or even villified in the blogosphere, but after a longtime of believing otherwise, Dr. Peat's context allowed me to view copper from another angle. Here is a quote from Dr. Peat's book, Generative Energy, about the importance of copper:
"I think the chronic loss of copper accounts for the obvious features of aging, such as the loss of elasticity of the skin, hair, and (in Parkinson's disease) substantia nigra, and for the decrease in respiratory capacity." - Ray Peat
Copper, which can be poorly absorbed because of hypothyroidism or excess estrogen (Peat), is critical for the production of cytochrome C oxidase, the crucial last step in the electron transport chain, increasing cellular respiration and producing carbon dioxide.
Cytochrome c oxidsase is activated by thyroid hormone (T3) and has a strong role in bone maintenance:
"Copper, which is the co-factor for the cytochrome C oxidase enzyme, activated by thyroid, is essential for bone formation and maintenance, and is consistently deficient in osteoporosis. Thyroid hormone increases the body's ability to assimilate copper." - Ray Peat
Aspirin, like thyroid (T3), increases cytochrome C oxidase:
"Aspirin, which stimulates bone formation, has other thyroid-like actions, including activation mitochondrial respiration and energy production, with an increase of cytochrome C oxidase (Cai, et al., 1996), and it lowers serotonin (Shen, et al., 2011). It also apparently protects against calcification of the soft tissues, (Vasudev, et al., 2000), though there has been surprisingly little investigation of that." - Ray Peat
Cytochrome oxidase can be damaged by iron, blue light, estrogen, unsaturated fatty acids, and a diet low in copper:
"Cytochrome oxidase is one of the enzymes damaged by stress and by blue light, and activated or restored by red light, thyroid, and progesterone. It's a copper enzyme, so it's likely to be damaged by excess iron. It is most active when it is associated with a mitochondrial lipid, cardiolipin, that contains saturated palmitic acid; the substitution of polyunsaturated fats lowers its activity. Mitochondrial function in general is poisoned by the unsaturated fats, especially arachidonic acid and DHA." - Ray Peat
"With aging, cells have less ability to produce energy, and are often more easily stimulated. The accumulation of polyunsaturated fats is one of the factors that reduce the ability of the mitochondria to produce energy (Zhang, et al., 2006, 2009; Yazbeck, et al., 1989). Increased estrogen exposure, decrease thyroid hormone, an increased ratio of iron to copper, and lack of light, are other factors that impair cytochrome oxidase enzyme." - Ray Peat
A diet deficient in copper, or abundant in iron, may produce some additional challenges for those supplementing thyroid or aspirin.
There is truly no better zinc, copper, and selenium supplement than oysters. However, oysters are high in iron, so consuming them with calcium (eggshell or dairy to inhibit iron absorption) is probably a safe bet.