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June 29, 1929


JAMA. 1929;92(26):2172. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02700520024009

The view that a deficiency of iodine in the diet is the chief factor in the etiology of simple thyroid enlargement hasbecome well established by repeated demonstrations of prophylaxis and cures, both in experimental animals and in man. Although attention was definitely fixed on the rôle of iodine by Baumann's discovery in 1895 that this element occurs in the thyroid gland in organic combination, iodine-containing materials such as sea salt and the ashes of sponges and of sea weeds are ancient remedies for simple goiter. Through the combined efforts of various investigators both in this country and abroad, a series of apparently dissimilar diseases has been related to a deficiency of iodine in the food, which, in turn, can be correlated with the paucity of this element in the rocks and soil of the locality in question. As might be expected, then, simple goiter in man is, to a striking