August 15, 2016
Iodine is an essential trace mineral, the Chinese in 2700BC were treating goitre of the thyroid gland with seaweed and marine animal preparations because of their high content of iodine. Iodine is an integral component of the thyroid hormone, thyroxine (T3 and T4), which is required for normal growth and metabolism. The thyroid hormones are required for normal growth and development of your tissues, such as the nervous system, for maturation of the whole body, energy production and oxygen consumption in cells, thereby maintaining the body’s metabolic rate. If iodine is deficient in the body there is a decrease in circulating T4 which can lead to hypothyroidism.
Iodine helps support:
The main role of iodine is nourishment of the thyroid gland, particularly for the production of T3 and T4 hormones and the regulation of metabolism. As the understanding of this nutrient has progressed, we have come to understand that the role of iodine in the body far surpasses what most thought, and is not only necessary for overall health but also a crucial component of the detoxification process.
The adult human body contains about 15-50mg iodine, of which 70-80% is within the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland needs around 60mg of iodine per day. All the cells in your body contain and make use of iodine. It is concentrated in the glandular system of your body, with your thyroid containing the highest amount compared to any other organ. Significant amounts are also stockpiled in numerous other areas of the body including the salivary glands, cerebrospinal fluid and the brain, gastric mucosa, choroid plexus, breasts, and ovaries.
Iodine deficiency is common, hence the rise of thyroid disorders because of iodine deficient soils. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 2 billion people have inadequate iodine nutrition; 285 million of these are school children and at least 20 million will suffer mental defect that is preventable by correction of iodine deficiency. The most damage is during fetal and infant development because iodine is essential for the development of the brain and can lead to permanent mental retardation. If the mother is deficient in iodine then the fetus can develop cretinism, symptoms include, mental retardation, stunted growth, speech and hearing defects sometimes accompanied with hypothyroidism. Adequate intake of iodine is essential during pregnancy.
Goiter (hyperthyroidism) is seen when intakes are less than 50mg per day and cretinism is seen when intakes are less than 30mg per day. Selenium deficiency may exacerbate hypothyroidism because of its role in regulating the synthesis of T3 and its role in protecting the thyroid gland from hydrogen peroxide produced during the synthesis of thyroid hormones.
The prevention of iodine deficiency has been in the use of iodized salt, which the United Nations Joint Committee on Health Policy in 1994 set a goal of achieving Universal Salt Iodization (USI) in all countries with an iodine deficiency problem. The countries where iodine deficiency has been in endemic are India, Indonesia, China, Africa, South America and Papua New Guinea.
Adequate dietary intakes of iodine are 100-150mg/day foods from marine origins, such as sea fish, seaweed, shellfish, and kelp. Goitrogens interfere with the biosynthesis of hormones, therefore with the utilization of absorbed iodine, these foods are cabbage, turnip, swede, brussels sprouts, broccoli, maize and lima beans. Goitrogens become inactive with heat but if vegetables aren’t well cooked (which I recommend) then iodine intake needs to be increased. The RDI for iodine is 150-200mg /day but during pregnancy the intake required is 200-290mg/day, requirements increase if your diet contains goitrogens.
To get a good supplement of iodine get kelp.
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