The Influence Of Free Fatty Acids On The Free Fraction Of Thyroid Hormones In Serum As Estimated By


Jan 6, 2015

Thyroid hormones are displaced from their binding proteins in serum during nonthyroidal somatic illness, and FFA have been claimed to contribute. It seems mandatory to evaluate this effect using techniques for the measurements of serum free thyroid hormones in which serum remains undiluted. We measured the effect of 7 common human FFA on the free fraction of T4, T3 and rT3 in serum from healthy subjects using an ultrafiltration technique by which serum is diluted only minimally. In addition we measured the effect of oleic acid on the free fractions of the iodothyronines in pooled serum from healthy subjects and in pooled serum from patients with nonthyroidal illness. All FFA tested were able to displace both T4, T3 and rT3, but to a varying degree, arachidonic and linoleic acid being the most potent ones. A 20% increase in the free fractions of T4, T3 and rT3, respectively, was obtained by adding between 1.7-3.3 mmol/l, 1.3-4.6 mmol/l and 1.0-2.4 mmol/l of the different FFA. A serum pool obtained from patients with nonthyroidal somatic illness was more sensitive to oleic acid than a serum pool obtained from healthy subjects, since 2-3 times less oleic acid was necessary to induce a 20% increase in the free fractions of thyroid hormones. It is concluded that FFA are able to displace both T4, T3 and rT3 from their serum binding proteins in healthy subjects as well as in patients with nonthyroidal illness. However, serum from patients with nonthyroidal illness was more sensitive to the displacing activity of oleic acid than serum from healthy subjects.


Jan 1, 2013
All FFA tested were able to displace both T4, T3 and rT3, but to a varying degree, arachidonic and linoleic acid being the most potent ones.

Ray right again.


Jun 20, 2015
I wondered what this free T3 and free T4 is actually about. Looked it up in Ray Peat's articles...

Ray Peat said:
Thyroxine is a fairly hydrophobic (insoluble in water) substance, that will associate with proteins, cells, and lipoproteins in the blood, rather than dissolving in the water."
Ray Peat said:
The idea that the "free hormone" is the active form has been tested in a few situations, and in the case of the thyroid hormone, it is clearly not true for the brain, and some other organs.
Ray Peat said:
When T3 is attached chemically (covalently, permanently) to the outside of red blood cells, apparently preventing its entry into other cells, the presence of these red cells produces reactions in other cells that are the same as some of those produced by the supposedly "free hormone." If T3 attached to whole cells can exert its hormonal action, why should we think of the hormone bound to proteins as being unable to affect cells? The idea of measuring the "free hormone" is that it supposedly represents the biologically active hormone, but in fact it is easier to measure the biological effects than it is to measure this hypothetical entity. Who cares how many angels might be dancing on the head of a pin, if the pin is effective in keeping your shirt closed?
Thyroid: Therapies, Confusion, and Fraud


Mar 29, 2014
I have wondered before, and this reminds me.
If thyroxine (T4) is lipophilic, and I make chicken neck stock, is there more thyroxine in the watery stock, or in the floating fat, or in the scummy (emulsified?) part in between? What about the T3?
I have been discarding the fat and a lot of the scum, and eating all the water-based stock. Am I throwing out the good stuff?
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