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I have never been able to put all the pieces together but for a long time I suspected that Indium may be a key in Graves' disease and in TED (thyroid eye disease; also known as ophthalmopathy; or TAO, thyroid associated ophthalmopathy).
Here are some of the interesting pieces:
Octreotide and Pentetreotide are synthetic somatostatin analogs (meaning that they act like a somatostatins). What you need to know here is that many tumors, the thyroid, and the lymphocytes at the back of the eye which are involved in TED attract somatostatins. Researchers have found that they can label Octreotide or Pentetreotide with radioactive Indium (Indium-111 or In-111). In this way they can inject the patient who is suspected of having a tumor with the In-111 Octreotide or Pentetreotide and then use radioactive detectors to locate the tumors.
What interested me was that when radioactive Indium-111 Octreotide is administered to a person with Graves' or TED, the radioactivity increases significantly in the thyroid and in the lymphocytes at the back of the eyes where the TED originates. This means that this In-111 Octreotide is preferentially absorbed by the thyroid and the retroocular (back of the eye) lymphocytes. Why would this happen? None of the researchers is apparently thinking the way I am, but I'm thinking that these areas are nutrient deficient, and the Indium or the Octreotide is the nutrient that these areas need.
While researches seem to have first used In-111 Octreotide as a way to label tumors, what they have subsequently found is that when this is given to persons with Graves' associated TED, the TED improves!! I'm not sure how the researchers are explaining this phenomenon, but they have recently incorporated the use of In-111 Octreotide as an experimental treatment for TED.
To me it makes sense that there is an Indium deficiency involved in Graves' and TED. I have suspected that cadmium is the major toxic heavy metal which induces Graves' and TED. People who smoke tobacco are much more likely to develop these diseases than those who don't smoke. The main heavy metal toxin in tobacco smoke is cadmium. Also, women seem to get Graves' and TED at much higher rates than men. Studies show that estrogen increases the body's accumulation of cadmium by a factor of 10, about the same ratio as that of women vs. men who have these diseases. Also, leafy green vegetables are high in cadmium, and it seems that people who consume more leafy green vegetables (salads, spinach, etc.) are more likely to develop Graves' and TED.
How does Indium fit in with Cadmium? If you look at the Periodic Table of Elements you'll see that Indium is element number 49, just to the right of Cadmium, element number 48. I believe that elements that are adjacent to each other in the Periodic Table have strong antagonistic effects on each other. Thus high intake of Cadmium could deplete Indium, and it's possible that Indium may be a critical element in the health of the thyroid and the retroocular lymphocytes.
What is Octreotide? The full name is 111In-DTPA-D-Phe1-octreotide. The amazing thing is that the DTPA is a biotin derivative. It's a form of biotin, the B complex vitamin that we have seen is critically important for the correction of Graves' disease. The reason that the In-111 Octreotide treatments are helping those with TED could be that there is an Indium deficiency (caused by inadequate intake or excessive intake of cadmium) and the Indium part of the complex in helping that deficiency; the Octreotide is basically supplying the nutrient biotin; or that both the Indium and the biotin are essential and this compound provides both at the same time.