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The Role of Zinc in Thyroid Hormones Metabolism

Published Online:

Abstract. Thyroid hormones play an important role in body homeostasis by facilitating metabolism of lipids and glucose, regulating metabolic adaptations, responding to changes in energy intake, and controlling thermogenesis. Proper metabolism and action of these hormones requires the participation of various nutrients. Among them is zinc, whose interaction with thyroid hormones is complex. It is known to regulate both the synthesis and mechanism of action of these hormones. In the present review, we aim to shed light on the regulatory effects of zinc on thyroid hormones. Scientific evidence shows that zinc plays a key role in the metabolism of thyroid hormones, specifically by regulating deiodinases enzymes activity, thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) synthesis, as well as by modulating the structures of essential transcription factors involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Serum concentrations of zinc also appear to influence the levels of serum T3, T4 and TSH. In addition, studies have shown that Zinc transporters (ZnTs) are present in the hypothalamus, pituitary and thyroid, but their functions remain unknown. Therefore, it is important to further investigate the roles of zinc in regulation of thyroid hormones metabolism, and their importance in the treatment of several diseases associated with thyroid gland dysfunction.