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science nutrition blog

science nutrition <strong>blog</strong>
The thyroid gland, located in the throat just above the breastbone, releases thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which both stimulate metabolism. Metabolism decreases by 50 percent when your body can’t secrete these hormones. Likewise, metabolic rate increases 60-100 percent if your body produces too much. Thyroid hormones increase metabolism mainly by stimulating chemicals called uncoupling proteins (UCPs) in the cells’ energy centers— the mitochondria. UCPs are a dieter’s dream. They cause you to lose food energy as heat rather than storing it as fat. UCP levels decrease by 300 percent in people with low thyroid function, and increase by 600 percent in those with overactive thyroid glands. Scientists are actively studying the role of thyroid hormone and uncoupling in brown and white fat cells. (Frontiers in Physiology, published online)