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Is nitric oxide a clue to endemic goitre in highlanders?

Thyroid Research 2023 October 3
Goitre is commonly caused by a lack of iodine in the diet. This condition is particularly prevalent in high-altitude areas where iodine deficiency is common. Here we speculate that inorganic nitrate, the oxidation product of nitric oxide, which is generated endogenously at very high levels in highlanders, further increases the risk of goitre and thyroid dysfunction in this population by inhibiting the transport of iodide into the thyroid gland. Indeed, it is well-known that nitrate and iodide compete for such transport. While iodine scarcity is a primary cause of goitre, the excessive nitrate levels in highlanders may further hinder iodide transport, exacerbating the problem.

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