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The Goiter Belt

In the early 1900s, much of the northern continental United States was known as the "Goiter Belt." Many people living in this so-called Goiter Belt, which encompassed a region from the Rockies to the Great Lakes Basin to western New York, developed goiters (swollen thyroid glands) because the soil lacked iodine.

The human body does not make iodine, which is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. If adequate iodine is not present, the thyroid gland goes into overdrive and becomes swollen, often leading to hypothyroidism.

Today, most people in the United States and other industrialized nations consume iodized table salt, which has dramatically lowered rates of iodine deficiency in these countries. However, about 40% of the world's population remains at risk for iodine

Learn more about thyroid health.