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Horm Metab Res. 2016 Dec;48(12):787-794. Epub 2016 Dec 6.

Thyroid Function in Human Obesity: Underlying Mechanisms.

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Department of Nutrition, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, Piauí, Brazil.
Department of Biophysics and Physiology, Federal University of Piauí, Campus Ministro Petrônio Portela, Ininga, Teresina, Piauí, Brazil.
Department of School of Nursing, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Santa Efigênia, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.


Obesity is associated with several metabolic and endocrine disorders; and changes in plasma concentrations, secretion patterns, and clearance of various hormones are observed in obese patients. In this context, recent research has shown that overweight can influence the function of the thyroid gland, usually leading to increased thyrotropin concentrations and changes in the ratio between the hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine, though within the normal range. The etiology of these changes is still unclear; however, several mechanisms have been proposed including the adaptive process to increase energy expenditure, hyperleptinemia, changes in the activity of deiodinases, the presence of thyroid hormones resistance, chronic low-grade inflammation, and insulin resistance. Although the clinical implications have not been clarified, studies suggest that these changes in the thyroid function of obese individuals may contribute to the worsening of metabolic complications and the development of diseases in the thyroid gland.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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