Since Baumann,1 in 1896, discovered that iodin is a normal constituent of the thyroid gland, it has been obvious that the isolation in pure crystalline form of the compound containing iodin was necessary before we could know the function of the gland and the relation of iodin to this function.
There are many mechanical difficulties involved in the isolation of the iodin compound. It occurs at best in one part in 4,000, and during many months of the year the amount present is not more than one part in 10,000 of fresh glands. For the completion of this work, eight years of practically continuous investigation and more than 2 tons of thyroid glands have been used. Some 20 gm. of the active constituent in pure crystalline form have been separated. The investigation, besides involving the separation of this substance, has also included the determination of its chemical formula both
KENDALL EC. THE ACTIVE CONSTITUENT OF THE THYROID: CHEMICAL GROUPS THAT ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS PHYSIOLOGIC ACTIVITY. JAMA. 1918;71(11):871–873. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1918.02600370009004
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