Exhaustive exercise and vitamins C And E modulate thyroid hormone levels at low and high altitudes

Fahaid Al-Hashem*, Mahmoud Alkhateeb, Bahjat Al-Ani, Hussein Sakr, Mohammad Khalil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Thyroid hormones play an important role in cell growth and differentiation and regulation of oxygen consumption and thermogenesis. The effect of altitude and vitamin supplementation on thyroid hormone levels in animals or humans performing acute exhaustive exercise have not been investigated before. Therefore, we thought to test whether exhaustive exerciseinduced stress with antioxidant supplementation was capable of modulating the level of thyroid hormones at different altitudes. Serum levels of T4 (Thyroxin), T3 (Triiodothyronine), and TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) were measured in rats (N=36) born and bred in low altitude (600 m above sea level) and high altitude (2200 m above sea level) following forced swimming with or without vitamins C and E (25 mg/kg) pre-treatments. Thyroid levels were significantly decreased in resting rats at high altitude compared to low altitude, and swimming exercise moderately increased T3 and TSH at both high and low altitudes, whereas T4 was markedly increased (62 %) at low altitude compared to a moderate high altitude increase (28 %). Co-administration of vitamins C and E augmented the observed forced swimminginduced thyroid release. However, the conversion of T4 to T3 was reduced in both altitude areas following swimming exercise and vitamin pre-treatment had no effect. We conclude that acute stress induced thyroidal hormones in rats, which was augmented by antioxidant drugs in both high and low altitude areas. These findings may play an important role in the human pathophysiology of thyroid gland at different altitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalEXCLI Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Altitude
  • Exhaustive exercise
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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