CASSAVA CYANOGENESIS AND IODINE DEFICIENCY DISORDERS
Cassava contains a potential goitrogenic agent that may aggravate iodine deficiency disorders that have goiter and cretinism, a severe form of mental retardation, as their main effects. Cassava consumption may result in cyanide exposure if cyanogenic glucosides and their breakdown products are not sufficiently removed from the roots during processing. The main part of the dietary cyanide will in the human body be converted to thiocyanate which is the goitrogenic factor directly involved. The effect of thiocyanate mimics entirely the ones of iodine deficiency. However, the goitrogenic effect of a thiocyanate overload from cassava only aggravates iodine deficiency disorders if the iodine supply is below the recommended daily intake. Therefore the goitrogenic action of cassava depends on the glucoside levels in fresh roots, the effectiveness of processing, the frequency of cassava consumption and the iodine intake. The goitrogenic effect of cassava can be corrected entirely by increasing the intake of iodine.
Delange, F., Ekpechi, Louis O. and Rosling, H. (1994). CASSAVA CYANOGENESIS AND IODINE DEFICIENCY DISORDERS. Acta Hortic. 375, 289-294
Iodine deficiency, goitrogen, cassava, cyanide, thiocyanate