, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 263–268 | Cite as

Relationship between serum zinc levels, thyroid hormones and thyroid volume following successful iodine supplementation

  • Sibel ErtekEmail author
  • Arrigo F. G. Cicero
  • Omur Caglar
  • Gurbuz Erdogan
Research paper


OBJECTIVE: Zinc is essential for many biochemical processes and also for cell proliferation. Thyroid hormones influence zinc metabolism by affecting zinc absorption and excretion. Additionally, zinc deficiency affects thyroid function. The aim of the present study was to evaluate a possible association of zinc levels with thyroid volume, thyroid hormones and thyroid autoantibody levels in healthy subjects, patients with autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) and patients with nodular goitre following successful iodine supplementation. This is a cross-sectional study in which 201 subjects who were not under medical treatment and did not have previous thyroid surgery or radio-iodine treatment were evaluated. Seventy patients had nodular goitre, 67 AITD and 64 had normal thyroid. Thyroid volume was calculated by ultrasonographic measurements. Serum free T4, T3, TSH, anti-thyroglobulin and anti-thyroid peroxidase levels were determined by appropriate methodology.RESULTS: In patients with normal thyroid, zinc levels were significantly positively correlated with free T3 levels (p<0.001). In the nodular goitre group, thyroid volume was negatively correlated with TSH and circulating zinc levels (p=0.014 and p=0.045, respectively). In the AITD group, thyroid autoantibodies and zinc were significantly positively correlated. Multiple regression analysis revealed a significzant relationship between thyroid volume and zinc only in the patients with nodular goitre (p=0.043). CONCLUSION: There was significant correlation of serum zinc levels with thyroid volume in nodular goitre patients, with thyroid autoantibodies in AITD and with free T3 in patients with normal thyroid.

Key words

Autoimmune thyroiditis Chronic thyroiditis Goitre Iodine deficiency Thyroid Thyroid hormone metabolism Zinc 


  1. 1.
    Bertini I 1982 The Coordination Chemistry of Metalloenzymes. The Role of Metals in Reactions Involving water, dioxygen, and related species. The Coordination Properties of the active site of zinc enzymes. In: Bertini I, Drago RS, Luchinat C, (eds), Kluwer Boston Inc. Canada. Published by Riedel Publishing Company. NATO Advanced Study Institute, San Miniato-Italy, pp; 1–3.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chen SM, Kuo CD, Ho LT, Liao JF, 2002 Effect of hypothyroidism on intestinal zinc absorption and renal zinc disposal in five-sixth nephrectomized rats. Jpn J Physiol 55: 211–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Prasad R, Kumar V, Kumar R, Singh KP, 1999 Thyroid hormones modulate zinc transport activity of rat intestinal and renal brush-border membrane. Am J Physiol 276: E774–782.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bellisola G, Bratter P, Cinque G, et al, 1998 The TSH-dependent variation of the essential elements iodine, selenium and zinc within human thyroid tissues. J Trace Elem Med Biol 12: 177–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hampel R, Kuhlberg T, Schneider KP, Glass A, Zollner H, 1997 Serum zinc levels and goitre epidemiology in Germany. Z Ernahrungswiss 36: 12–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Varga F, Tarjan G, Steczek K, Foldes J, 1994 Zn content of erythrocytes in overt and subclinical hypothyroidism. Orv Hetil 135: 1183–1185.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Yoshida K, 2007 Erythrocyte carbonic anhydrase I and zinc concentrations in thyrotoxicosis reflect integrated thyroid hormone levels over the previous few months. Rinsho Byori 55: 560–565.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Yoshida K, Kiso Y, Watanabe TK, et al, 1990 Erythrocyte zinc in hyperthyroidism: reflection of integrated thyroid hormone levels over the previous few months. Metabolism 39: 182–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Napolitano G, Palka G, Lio S, et al, 1990 Is zinc deficiency a cause of subclinical hypothyroidism in Down syndrome? Ann Genet 33: 9–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bucci I, Napolitano G, Giuliani C, et al, 1999 Zinc sulphate supplementation improves thyroid function in hypozincemic Down children. Biol Trace Elem Res 67: 257–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Erdogan G, Erdogan MF, Emral R, et al, 2002 Iodine status and goitre prevalence in Turkey before mandatory iodization. J Endocrinol Invest 25: 224–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Erdogan MF, Demir O, Emral R, Kamel AN, Erdogan G, 2009 More than a decade of iodine prophylaxis is needed to eradicate goitre among school age children in a moderately iodine-deficient region. Thyroid 19: 265–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Baskin HJ 2008 Anatomy and Anomalies. In: Baskin HJ, Duick DS, Levine RA (eds) Thyroid Ultrasound and Ultrasound-guided FNA 2nd ed. Springer Science + Business Media, LLC, USA; pp, 47–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zimmerman MB, 2009 Iodine deficiency. Endoc Rev 30: 376–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Erdogan MF, Erdogan G, Sav H, Gullu S, Kamel N, 2001 Endemic goitre, thiocyanate overload and selenium status in school-age children. Biol Trace Elem Res 79: 121–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hess SJ, Zimmerman MB, Arnold M, Langhans W, Hurrel RF, 2002 Iron deficiency anemia reduces thyroid peroxidase activity in rats. J Nutr 132: 1951–1955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Soldin OP, Aschner M, 2007 Effect of manganese on thyroid hormone homeostasis:potential links. Neurotoxicology 28: 951–956.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kubasova ED, Kubasov RV, 2008 Effect of trace elements on thyroid structural and functional state (a review). Gig Sanit 5: 79–81.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Triggiani V, Tafaro E, Giagulli VA, et al, 2009 Role of iodine, selenium and other micronutrients in thyroid function and disorders. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets Sept (Epub ahead of print). PMID: 19594417.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Arthur JR, Beckett GJ, 1999 Thyroid function. British Medical Bulletin 55: 658–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Civitareale D, Saiardi A, Falasca P, 1994 Purification and characterization of thyroid transcription factor 2. Biochem J 304: 981–985.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Maxwell C, Volpe SL, 2007 Effect of zinc supplementation on thyroid hormone function. A case study of two college females. Ann Nutr Metab 51: 188–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Faroogi L, Mazeto GM, Shuhama T, Brandao-Neto J, 2000 Effects of single venous dose of zinc on thyroid status in healthy individuals and patients with Graves’ disease. Met Based Drugs 7: 151–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Burek CL, Rose NL, 2008 Autoimmune thyroiditis and ROS. Autoimmunity Rev 7: 530–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Romano C, Pettinato R, Ragusa L, Barone C, Alberti A, Failla O, 2002 Is there a relationship between zinc and the peculiar comorbidities of Down syndrome? Downs Synd Res Pract 8: 25–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kanavin O, Scott H, Fausa O, Ek J, Gaarder PI, Brandtzaeg P, 1988 Immunological studies in patients with Down’s syndrome. Measurements of autoantibodies and serum antibodies to dietary antigens in relation to zinc levels. Acat Med Scand 224: 473–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kucharzewski M, Braziewicz J, Majewska U, Gozdz S, 2003 Copper, zinc and selenium in whole blood and thyroid tissue of people with various thyroid diseases. Biol Trace Elem Res 93: 9–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sibel Ertek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arrigo F. G. Cicero
    • 2
  • Omur Caglar
    • 3
  • Gurbuz Erdogan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic DiseasesUfuk University Medical FacultyBalgat- AnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Internal Medicine, Aging & Kidney Diseases DepartmentBologna UniversityBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUfuk University Medical FacultyAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations