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CES Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-8705


VARGAS-URICOECHEA, Hernando; PINZON-FERNANDEZ, María Virginia  and  BASTIDAS-SANCHEZ, Beatriz Eugenia. History of the endemic goiter, from Sheng-Nung to the programs of universal yodation of salt in Latin America. CES Med. [online]. 2018, vol.32, n.2, pp.167-177. ISSN 0120-8705.

The history of the discovery of iodine and the importance it has had on health has been exciting. From the descriptions made centuries ago, where goiter was considered a consequence of water intake and consider its appearance from a “superstitious” perspective, until establishing that its presence was a characteristic of “adornment and beauty” for those who suffered, much has been written about the deficiency and excess of iodine in the population. From the moment that Bernard Courtois discovered iodine in 1811, the indications about its usefulness in some diseases spread almost systematically. Among these conditions in health, infectious, neurological, rheumatological, respiratory, endocrinological, among others, stood out. In this review, we address the most relevant sequential historical aspects of iodine, and how it has been associated with the physical, social, demographic and mental development of humanity from time immemorial.

Keywords : Iodine; Hypothyroidism; Hyperthyroidism; Goiter; History.

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