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Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1987 Jan;114(1):41-6.

Serum concentrations of thyrotropin, thyroxine, triiodothyronine and thyroxine binding globulin in female endurance runners and joggers.


The effects of endurance training and season on the function of the anterior pituitary-thyroid axis were studied in 18 female runners and their 12 controls, and in 13 joggers and their 11 controls in Northern Finland, with a large seasonal difference in environmental factors. The serum concentrations of thyrotropin (TSH), thyroxine (T4), free thyroxine (fT4), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine binding globulin (TBG) and oestradiol (E2) were measured during one menstrual cycle in the light training season (autumn) and in the hard training season (spring). The responses of TSH to intravenous TRH stimulation were also measured in the luteal phase of the cycle during the hard training season. Endurance running did not affect the basal or TRH-stimulated serum TSH concentrations, while those of T4 and fT4 in runners were lowered in both seasons and that of T3 in the light training season in relation to control subjects. The serum concentrations of TBG were also significantly lower in runners than their controls in the luteal phase in both seasons. The effect of jogging on thyroid hormones was less pronounced. Serum concentrations of TSH, T4, fT4, T3 and TBG were generally slightly higher in spring than in autumn. Strenuous endurance training seems to have minor changes on the function of the thyroid gland. Depressed T4 levels in runners may rather be due to lowered TBG levels than due to direct effect of training. In spring the function of anterior pituitary-thyroid axis is more active than in autumn.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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