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April 16, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(16):1378. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730420036014

An important, or perhaps the most important, function of the thyroid gland is the elaboration of an organic substance containing iodine. As Cameron1 has remarked, the minimum quantity of iodine required has been estimated to amount only to between 35 and 70 micrograms (millionths of a gram) daily, yet in many parts of the world diets may not contain even this minute trace, in which case a large proportion of the children and young adolescents develop a condition of simple goiter (enlargement of the gland, with some modification of its structure). This may persist to adult years and subsequently develop into more serious pathologic thyroid states. These facts form the basis, of course, for the current widespread use of small amounts of iodine in goiter prophylaxis.

Investigation early showed that the effective iodine is "bound" in some way with part of the protein of the thyroid glands. Disintegration products