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New Finding: Thyroid gland important for color vision

Could it be that not having enough thyroid hormone can affect one‚Äôs color vision? According to a recent study carried out by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt and published in The Journal of Neuroscience, it was determined that the production of visual pigment is, in fact, regulated by the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone plays a critical role during the development of the nervous system. Studies in mice have shown that it also plays a vital role in the development of the eye, and predominantly, the cone visual cells -- the cells responsible for color vision. Mammals have two types of cones, which contain two different visual pigments (opsins);¬† one for shortwave light, called UV/blue opsin, and one for middle-to-longwave light, called green opsin. ¬†It was initially thought that the opsins were fixed and unable to change. The results of the study showed that ‚Äúopsin production in mature cones continues to depend on the thyroid at a hormone level past developmental stages.‚Äù The researchers in the study concluded that the spectral cone types are controlled by thyroid hormone throughout one‚Äôs lifespan. Nancy Hirsch Certified Nutritionist    

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