Table of Contents
Metal-Based Drugs
Volume 7 (2000), Issue 3, Pages 151-155

Effects of a Single Venous Dose of Zinc on Thyroid Status in Healthy Individuals and Patients With Graves' Disease

Unidade de Endocrinologia e Metabologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade de Brasilia, 70 919-970, DF, Brazil

Received 24 May 2000; Accepted 14 June 2000

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Zinc metabolism may regulate thyroid function acting at TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) synthesis, peripheral deiodination of T4 (tetraiodothyronine), and binding of thyroid hormones to nuclear receptors. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of acute zinc administration on TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), FT3 (free triiodothyronine), and FT4 (free tetraiodothyronine) in 10 healthy individuals and 12 hyperthyroid patients with Graves' disease. All these individuals were studied following 25 mg Zn++ administered intravenously, at 7:00 a.m. after 12 h fast. Blood samples collected at 0, 3, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min after zinc administration showed no significant alteration in the plasma levels of TSH, FT3, and FT4 in hyperthyroid patients. There were no changes in the plasma levels of FT3 and FT4 in the control subjects, but TSH levels were acutely depressed by zinc administration. This study suggests that zinc given acutely and in pharmacological doses does not affect thyroid function in hyperthyroid subjects, but affect plasma TSH levels in healthy individuals.