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Image Embedded Iodine History: Early Io-enthusiam. Salt.
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Published: 9 years ago

Iodine History: Early Io-enthusiam. Salt.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Worcester Iodized Salt

Cover, Worcester Iodized
Salt Pamphlet.
I got my hands on  lovely little pamphlet enumerating the various benefits of "iodin" in salt. Iodization of salt began in the United States in 1924, for the purpose of eliminating goiter. I applaud the efforts of the powers-that-be(was) at the time for actually attempting to fortify foodstuffs with an element so vital for health. There were and are problems with salt iodization, however, and those problems are delineated in Lynne Farrow's excellent article:

Iodized salt is NOT a good source of iodine. The beautiful thing about the salt iodization program, though, is that it spread the knowledge of the benefits of iodine far and wide, and the benefits discussed went beyond the necessity of iodine in treating simple goiter. The claims for iodine in this pamphlet are generalized. Children are more likely to be "good natured". "iodin" will give you a quicker mind! These pamphlets found their way into the hands of the wives and mothers of the day as women were responsible for food preparation, marketing, etc...

From the pamphlet: "The reason table salt was chosen to carry the iodin is that salt reaches everyone, and therefore everyone is sure to get iodin regularly in just the right tiny safe amount." Wonderful intentions, really. I'm not sure exactly where the "tiny safe amount" sentiment comes into play. Iodine was regularly prescribed in milligram dosages(even gram amounts, in the form of KI) prior to the turn of the century.

Back Cover, Worcester Iodized Salt
"Prevents Simple Goiter" was the most commonly used advertising phrase of the day, in reference to iodized salt. Goiter was prevalent in areas with iodine deficient soil. The upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions were once known as the “Goiter Belt” because of the prevalence of enlarged thyroid glands that gave the afflicted visibly swollen necks. The goiter problem was widely noted during World War I when Army physicians recognized the condition in recruits.

 The iodization of salt is taken for granted now. It's taken for granted to the point that many people assume that A) That's where we get our iodine, B) that the iodine in salt is plenty, and C) that salt is where iodine comes from. Joke! I've never heard that one. I would not be surprised though. *sigh*

Some absolutely delightful unsubstantiated claims from the pamphlet I use the term "unsubstantiated" because no studies are referenced although there are a few quotes from doctors of the day elsewhere in the pamphlet. Some of this was also common knowledge :


What I really love about this pamphlet though is that there are quotes from well-known doctors of the day! Doctors that I have posted writings from :) From A. Judson Quimby:

And Dr. Arnold Lorand:

Front of Worcester Iodized Salt pamphlet
Back of Worcester Iodized Salt Pamphlet
Iodization pamphlet contained within this lovely little salt booklet


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