The thyroid and parathyroid glands are situated close to each other in the front of the neck. The thyroid gland produces the hormone thyroxine (T4) and its more active form, T3, which act on body cells to regulate metabolism (the chemical reactions continually occurring in the body). Some thyroid cells secrete the hormone calcitonin, which lowers calcium in the blood. The parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), the main regulator of calcium.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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