Iodine is a scarce element in soil that is essential for human beings. It constitutes the basis of thyroid hormones, which are important for mammalian metabolism and development and are indispensable for fetal brain development. Iodine deficiency causes multiple disorders and is still the major cause of endemic cretinism. Comparison of different national cancer statistics led to the supposition that there might be an inverse correlation between iodine intake and cancer prevalence. Asian countries which traditionally have an extremely high iodine intake in daily diet, attributable to seaweed consumption, attract attention by having a lower average cancer incidence rate. Today, based on extensive animal and cell experiments, it has been shown that iodine in form of molecular iodine undoubtedly exerts antitumor effects by inducing apoptosis. Although first analyses were performed with breast cancer cells exclusively, the antitumor effects of molecular iodine were extended by us to a wider range of other tumors, confirming that the antitumor effect is not limited solely to breast cancer.
Keywords: Molecular iodine, iodolactones, malignant cell lines, antiproliferative, apoptotic effects, mitochondria-mediated apoptosis, disruption of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential, Apoptosis-inducing factor, Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase, Mitogen-activated protein kinases, Myeloperoxidase, Pendrin, Thyroid peroxidase, Thioredoxin
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