Thyroid USP and Thyroglobulin

Thyroid USP (Thyrar, Thyroid Strong, S-P-T) is derived from dried and defatted thyroid glands of domestic an imals (bovine, ovine, or porcine), while Tg (Proloid) is a partially purified extract of frozen porcine thyroid glands. Although used extensively in the past, these preparations are rarely used today.

The total thyroid hormone content of thyroid glands and the ratio of T3 to T4 vary somewhat from one species to another. Thyroid USP preparations are therefore standardized on the basis of their iodine content. Much of the iodine in these preparations is in the metabolically inactive form of iodotyrosines. Thus, a given preparation may satisfy the USP iodine assay requirements and yet contain low amounts of T4 and T3. Thyrar (a beef extract) and Armour Thyroid tablets (a pork extract) are evaluated by additional biological assays to ensure consistent potency from one batch to another.

The production of Proloid, which is a partially purified frozen porcine Tg preparation, is an attempt to avoid the variability in desiccated thyroid preparations. It is also assayed and standardized for biological potency. Thyroglobulin is slightly more expensive and offers no particular therapeutic advantage over Thyroid USP. These two preparations have a higher ratio of T3 to T4 than that found in human thyroid secretion, so supraphysiological levels of T3 may occur in the immediate postabsorptive period because of the rapid release of T3 from ingested Tg, its immediate absorption, and the relatively long period (1 day) required for T3 to equilibrate in its volume of distribution.

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