Thyroid Dysfunction with Aging – Longevity and Hypothyroidism? – Silver Lining?

Thyroid Dysfunction with Aging

Over the years, numerous medical observations have hinted that hypothyroidism somehow leads to a longer life. However, it wasn’t’t until I came across a review published by the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Medical University of Lodz, Poland, November 2012 that I began to believe in the authenticity of these observations.

The findings published in this review are too interesting not to share; as such, I’m now passing on what I’ve learnt.

Longevity and Thyroid Dysfunction

During my research of this topic, it was brought to my attention that reports have recently shown that the distribution and concentration of serum TSH steadily increase with age. This suggests that the TSH set point has reset or that there has been a thyroid function decline, which may take place during the normal aging process.

Additionally, while reading this review, I discovered that adaptations in the pituitary-thyroid axis’ hormone levels are linked to the aging process, and therefore may have an impact on longevity. Nonetheless, the exact way in which these alterations may result in increased lifespan hasn’t been completely determined.

Findings of the Study

One of the most fascinating discoveries that I made while reading the review published by the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Medical University of Lodz, Poland, November 2012, was that the studies used to reveal the findings of the correlation between thyroid hormones and TSH on longevity was performed on participants that were almost 100 or 100 years old.

The results of this study were first published in 2009, and the study was performed on a group of centenarian Ashkenazi Jews, who were also free from any form of thyroid disease. When compared to a younger group of unrelated Ashkenazi Jews, as well as a National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) control group, it was found that the centenarians had higher TSH serum levels.

These findings therefore support the observations that have long been made about serum TSH levels steadily increasing with age. Additionally, researchers observed a contrary correlation between TSH levels and thyroid hormones in the centenarians, which caused them to conclude that increased TSH serum levels is associated with exceptional longevity.

Low Thyroid Function and Animal Longevity

I must also point out that researchers also found that low thyroid function with reduced levels of thyroid hormones is also associated with extreme longevity in animals. For instance, it was discovered that decreased core body temperature and severe thyroid hypo-function in Snell mice and Ames dwarf, was thought to contribute considerably to an increased lifespan in these rodents.

Therefore, it was concluded that the findings in the study of the animals were consistent with those of the study of humans, and may indicate that thyroid hypo-function plays an important role in increased lifespan.

Conclusion

After reading this review, I’ve learned that important changes in thyroid function do take place during the normal aging process; however, this proves to be a challenge for thyroid researchers, since particular thyroid dysfunction may result in extreme longevity.

 

 

 

 

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