It is well documented that iodine deficiency is a major cause of thyroid diseases including thyroid cancer in human as well as experimental animals such as rats. We have reported that dietary excess soybean or caffeine can synergistically and specifically interact with iodine deficiency, resulting in pronounced enhancement of thyroid carcinogenesis in rats. Because these dietary factors also synergistically increased the serum TSH levels and decreased the serum T4 levels, the mechanisms underlying the enhanced thyroid carcinogenesis could be through feedback system involving the pituitary gland. Other dietary factors interacting with iodine deficiency are thoroughly searched and possible common mechanisms will be discussed.
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