Blood Micronutrient and Thyroid Hormone Concentrations in the Oldest-Old

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Jun;85(6):2260-5. doi: 10.1210/jcem.85.6.6627.


Several micronutrients are involved in thyroid hormone metabolism, but it is unclear whether their marginal deficits may contribute to the alterations in thyroid function observed in extreme aging. The relationships among blood concentrations of thyroid hormones and selenium, zinc, retinol, and alpha-tocopherol were studied in 44 healthy Northern Italian oldest-old subjects (age range, 90-107 yr), selected by the criteria of the SENIEUR protocol. Control groups included 44 healthy adult (age range, 20-65 yr) and 44 SENIEUR elderly (age range, 65-89 yr) subjects. Oldest-old subjects had higher TSH (P < 0.01) and lower free T3 (FT3)/freeT4 (FT4) ratio, zinc, and selenium serum values (P < 0.001) than adult and elderly control subjects. No significant difference was found for plasma retinol and a-tocopherol values. The associations between micronutrients and thyroid hormones were evaluated by multivariate analysis. In oldest-old subjects, plasma retinol was negatively associated with FT4 (P = 0.019) and TSH serum levels (P = 0.040), whereas serum zinc was positively associated with serum FT3 (P = 0.010) and FT3/FT4 ratio (P = 0.011). In younger subjects, no significant association was found among thyroid variables and micronutrients. In conclusion, blood levels of specific micronutrients are associated with serum iodothyronine levels in extreme aging.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / analysis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Selenium / blood
  • Thyrotropin / blood*
  • Thyroxine / blood*
  • Trace Elements / blood*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Triiodothyronine / blood*
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • Vitamin E / blood
  • Zinc / blood


  • Micronutrients
  • Trace Elements
  • Triglycerides
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Thyrotropin
  • Cholesterol
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Thyroxine