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August 14, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(7):492. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680070038012

Iodine was discovered as a normal component of the thyroid gland by Baumann in 1895. It was not long before the physiologic function of this structure was properly conceived to depend on its iodine-bearing components; and they were also held responsible for pharmacologic effects that various preparations of the glands could induce. Compounds isolated from the gland but not containing iodine have not been shown to have a physiologic activity similar to that of desiccated thyroid. In 1919, Kendall1 of the Mayo Foundation announced, as the result of a long and painstaking investigation, the successful isolation from the thyroid gland of a crystalline substance containing 65 per cent of iodine, which he named "thyroxin," and which has been proved by numerous clinical investigations2 to be the substance, or at least one of the most important substances, through which the thyroid gland controls the metabolic rate. Kendall's achievement has

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