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Goitrogens are substances that suppress the function of the thyroid gland by interfering with iodine uptake, which can, as a result, cause an enlargement of the thyroid, i.e., a goiter.

Goitrogenic drugs and chemicals[edit]

Chemicals that have been shown to have goitrogenic effects include:

Goitrogenic foods[edit]

Certain raw foods (cooking partially inactivates the goitrogens, except in the cases of soy and millet[6]) have been identified as lightly goitrogenic. These foods include:

Thyroid hyperplasia has been demonstrated in mice:[9]

Despite being generally a stimulant, caffeine acts on thyroid function as a suppressant.[citation needed] Indeed some studies on rats suggest that excess caffeine in conjunction with a lack of iodine may promote the formation of thyroid cancers.[10]

Foods stimulating thyroid tissue[edit]

Some foods and drinks have an opposite effect on the thyroid gland; that is, they stimulate thyroid function rather than suppressing it, examples being avocado and saturated fat.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Takizawa T, Imai T, Ueda M, Onodera H, Hirose M (2006). "Comparison of enhancing effects of different goitrogen treatments in combination with beta-estradiol-3-benzoate for establishing a rat two-stage thyroid carcinogenesis model to detect modifying effects of estrogenic compounds". Cancer Sci. 97 (1): 25–31. doi:10.1111/j.1349-7006.2005.00132.x. PMID 16367917. 
  2. ^ Verhoeven DT, Verhagen H, Goldbohm RA, van den Brandt PA, van Poppel G (February 1997). "A review of mechanisms underlying anticarcinogenicity by brassica vegetables". Chem. Biol. Interact. 103 (2): 79–129. doi:10.1016/S0009-2797(96)03745-3. PMID 9055870. 
  3. ^ Vanderpas J (2006). "Nutritional epidemiology and thyroid hormone metabolism". Annu. Rev. Nutr. 26: 293–322. doi:10.1146/annurev.nutr.26.010506.103810. PMID 16704348. 
  4. ^ Akindahunsi AA, Grissom FE, Adewusi SR, Afolabi OA, Torimiro SE, Oke OL (1998). "Parameters of thyroid function in the endemic goitre of Akungba and Oke-Agbe villages of Akoko area of southwestern Nigeria". African journal of medicine and medical sciences 27 (3-4): 239–42. PMID 10497657. 
  5. ^ a b http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.02110927
  6. ^ http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Goitrogen-Special-Report.html
  7. ^ Doerge DR, Sheehan DM (June 2002). "Goitrogenic and estrogenic activity of soy isoflavones". Environ. Health Perspect. 110 Suppl 3: 349–53. PMC 1241182. PMID 12060828. 
  8. ^ Mitchell, Richard Sheppard; Kumar, Vinay; Abbas, Abul K.; Fausto, Nelson. Robbins Basic Pathology. Philadelphia: Saunders. ISBN 1-4160-2973-7.  8th edition.
  9. ^ National Toxicology, Program (2001). "Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of coconut oil acid diethanolamine condensate (CAS No. 68603-42-9) in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice (dermal studies)". National Toxicology Program technical report series 479: 5–226. PMID 12571684. 
  10. ^ Son HY, Nishikawa A, Kanki K, et al. (2003). "Synergistic interaction between excess caffeine and deficient iodine on the promotion of thyroid carcinogenesis in rats pretreated with N-bis(2-hydroxypropyl)nitrosamine". Cancer Sci. 94 (4): 334–7. doi:10.1111/j.1349-7006.2003.tb01442.x. PMID 12824900. 

External links[edit]