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April 16, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(16):1237-1238. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680420027015

The recent history of medical theories contains many instances of attempts to ascribe one or another abnormality of function to the genesis or retention of potent toxic substances in the body. Indeed, the hypotheses involving intoxication and detoxication in relation to disturbances in physiologic behavior have vied of late with the theories of deficiency as devices for the explanation of various obscure bodily upsets. Thus, it may be recalled that the thyroid has been looked on in the past as an organ that "neutralizes" or destroys harmful products arising in the organism. On this basis, loss of thyroid function would lead to harm through the circulation of uncontrolled toxic products. Today, the theory of thyroid function assumes the production of an effective hormone by the gland. Hypofunction of the thyroid, on this basis, results in detriment through lack of an essential chemical regulative substance generated in the gland rather than