The iodine revolution in the nineteenth century
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endemic goiter

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Jácome Roca, A. (2021). The iodine revolution in the nineteenth century. Revista Colombiana De Endocrinología, Diabetes &Amp; Metabolismo, 8(2).


The history of the element iodine and its relationship with the thyroid gland dates to ancient times. In countries such as China, the use of algae ash and sea sponges was recommended to treat goiter. This endemic threatens 30% of the human population, which resides in mountain rangers like the Alps and the Andes, far from the seas where iodine is abundant. Only until 1811 did Courtois serendipitously discover iodine in seaweed; Gay-Lussac and Davy perfected their knowledge of the halogen. Coindet in Switzerland was the first to treat his goiter patients with iodine, although a little earlier Boussingault had recommended to the Grenadian government to add waters rich in iodine to the salt of Zipaquirá, low in it.

Baumann isolated a protein rich in iodine from the thyroid gland, and in Europe, in particular France and Switzerland, salt iodization programs began with its ups and downs.

Marine's studies in the United States, with his school student goiter prophylaxis program in Akron, Ohio, preceded the installation of protocols for a worldwide salt iodization program aimed at eradicating endemic goiter and associated cretinism.
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