Central to this narrative is the authors 40-year commitment to elucidating iodine deficiency disorders (cretinism, neuromuscular disability and goitre), and pursuing worldwide remediation of this preventable scourge. The chance arose in the early 1960s when, as Reader in Medicine at Adelaide University, Hetzel reviewed a manuscript reporting goitre reduction by iodine supplementation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) adults. With his interest in hormones and stress physiology, Hetzels interest in iodine-dependent thyroid hormone duly heightened. His team undertook a trial in PNG that showed that pre-pregnancy iodine administration prevented cretinism.
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