How the Liver Supports Thyroid Health – The Acupuncture Perspective

The liver plays a crucial role in supporting thyroid function. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate various metabolic processes in the body, including growth and development, body temperature, and energy metabolism. The liver’s role in supporting thyroid function includes hormone metabolism, conversion, and transport.

Hormone Metabolism

The liver is responsible for metabolizing thyroid hormones. It converts the inactive thyroid hormone, T4 (thyroxine), to the active form, T3 (triiodothyronine), by removing one iodine molecule from T4. This conversion is essential for the optimal function of the thyroid gland. The liver also converts T3 to reverse T3 (rT3), which is an inactive form of thyroid hormone. This conversion helps to regulate the amount of active thyroid hormone in the body.


The liver is also involved in the conversion of thyroid hormone precursors. Thyroid hormone production begins with the uptake of iodine from the blood and the incorporation of iodine into the amino acid tyrosine, which forms the precursor molecules thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The liver helps to convert the precursor molecule thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3), the active form of thyroid hormone.


Thyroid hormones are transported in the blood bound to transport proteins, including thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG), transthyretin (TTR), and albumin. These transport proteins are produced by the liver, and their synthesis is regulated by thyroid hormones. The liver also plays a role in the clearance of excess thyroid hormones from the blood.

Furthermore, the liver helps to maintain the balance of thyroid hormones in the body. When thyroid hormone levels are low, the liver increases the production of transport proteins, which help to bind and transport thyroid hormones in the blood. This mechanism ensures that the body has an adequate supply of thyroid hormones.

In conclusion, the liver plays a vital role in supporting thyroid function by metabolizing, converting, and transporting thyroid hormones. The liver’s function is essential for maintaining optimal thyroid hormone levels in the body, which are necessary for various metabolic processes. Maintaining a healthy liver is crucial for maintaining healthy thyroid function.


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