Trace Element and Mineral Nutrition in Endocrine Diseases

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Abstract

The endocrine system is classically subdivided into six secretory organs — the pituitary/hypothalamus, thyroid, adrenal, parathyroid, pancreas, and gonads. Most of these produce more than one hormone. Singly and in combination, they modulate many systems and processes in the body. Other tissues also produce hormones and could appropriately be considered as part of the endocrine system, e.g., gut and kidney. The thyroid’s dependence on iodine is the most important interaction between trace metals and endocrine disease and receives the most extensive coverage in this chapter. The parathyroids are essential to calcium homeostasis and their role is also discussed in detail. Most of the remaining endocrine systems have a relatively minor relationship with trace elements and minerals.