EFFECT OF FLUORINE ON THYROIDAL IODINE METABOLISM IN HYPERTHYROIDISM
Prolonged administration of a daily dose of 5-10 mg. of fluoride to patients with hyperthyroidism may cause clinical improvement together with a significant fall in the level of plasma protein-bound iodine and a reduction in the basal metabolic rate. Studies with radioactive fluorine failed to demonstrate any important accumulation of fluorine within the thyroid in vivo. Thyroidal, blood and urinary radioiodine studies suggest that fluorine inhibits the thyroid iodide-concentrating mechanism. Fluorine does not impair the capacity of the gland to synthesize thyroid hormone when there is an abundance of iodide in the blood. However, inhibition of the thyroidal concentrating capacity when the total iodide pool is low will impose a critical limitation of hormonal synthesis, and may explain the therapeutic effect.