Vol 27, No 1 (2012)

May Issue

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15605/jafes.027.01

Cover Page

Cultural myth and lore honor the butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of its impressive process of metamorphosis. The thyroid is a butterfyly-shaped gland in front of the throat. It produces hormones that manage the metabolism of the body, overproduction morphs one into a hypermetabolic physiognomy, while underproduction morphs one into a cretinoid habitus. Thyroid disease is endemic in Southeast Asia, primarily the result of environmental iodine deficiency, albeit that it is surrounded by sea water and seafood so rich iniodine. Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter that needs no treatment to cancer requiring surgery and radioactive iodine therapy. There is certainly more to thyroid disease and goiter in ASEAN tha iodine deficiency, there are genetic factors as well as environmental goitrogens such as potassium bromate, soybean, antithyroid vegetables like bok choy, broccoli and cabbage, and even traditional foods such as cassava and sweet potato. Much needs to be studied and discovered about thyroid disease in this part of the world.