Thyroid Gland Hormones
The Location and Function of the Thyroid Gland
- The thyroid gland is the largest gland in the human neck
- It is located at the front of the neck (anterior) under the muscle layers
- The thyroid gland is placed in a way that it assimilates the shape of a butterfly. This is visualised as the left and right thyroid lobes (butterfly wings) which wrap around the trachea.
- The thyroid gland is located just under the larynx.
- The function of the thyroid gland is to regulate the body’s metabolism by taking iodine and converting it into two thyroid hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
- Thyroid cells are exclusive in that they are the only cells in the body capable of absorbing iodine.
- Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism.
- The thyroid gland is under the control of the pituitary gland
- More T4 than T3 is released by the thyroid gland, but it is turned into T3 by tissues in the body, using zinc and selenium-dependent enzymes.