Things To Know About Iodine

Iodine is an essential trace element that naturally occurs in the earth’s soil. It is also known as iodide. It is important for your thyroid gland as it helps in the production of hormones. The human body cannot produce iodine, hence it is essential to include iodine in diet. Many countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia have salt iodization programs to curb the deficiency.

  • Birth – 6 months: 110mcg

  • 7 – 12 months: 130 mcg

  • 1 – 8 years: 90 mcg

  • 9 – 13 years: 120 mcg

  • 14 and above: 150 mcg

  • Pregnant and lactating women: 220 mcg and 290 mcg, respectively

Foods rich in iodine

  • Seaweed (nori, kelp, kombu, wakame)

  • Fish, shellfish (cod, canned tuna, oysters, shrimp)

  • Table salts labeled iodized

  • Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt)

  • Eggs.

  • Beef liver.

  • Chicken.

Benefits of iodine

Protects Thyroid Health

  • Iodine is an important mineral that keeps your thyroid gland healthy.

  • The thyroid gland helps in regulating your hormone production, which helps improve your metabolism and heart health.

  • When the thyroid gland does not get enough iodine, hormone production decreases. At this time, an under active thyroid gland can lead to a condition called hypothyroidism.

  • It results in the general slowing down of all bodily processes as the chemical balance in the body goes off track.

  • Including iodine rich foods in your diet can help to keep this disease at bay.

  • On the other hand, an overactive thyroid produces more hormones than required. This condition is known as hyperthyroidism.

  • At such times, a different form of iodine known as radioactive iodine is recommended by medical experts to help reduce excessive thyroid hormones.

May Help Prevent Goiter

  • Many a time, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can cause your thyroid gland to become enlarged.

  • This condition is known as goiter.

  • It may also happen due to iodine deficiency.

  • If the goiter is mainly due to lack of iodine, doctors often suggest including foods that are rich in iodine to make up for the loss.

Helps Regulate Metabolic Rate

  • Iodine helps the thyroid gland by assisting in the production of hormones, which are responsible for controlling the body’s base metabolic rate.

  • Metabolic rate affects the efficacy of the organs and regular processes like the sleep cycle, and the absorption of food and its transformation into usable energy.

  • Certain hormones, like thyroxine and triiodothyronine, influence heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, and temperature.

  • he body maintains BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) with the help of these hormones, which also helps in protein synthesis.

  • Ensuring their normal creation and distribution in the body is key to maintaining good health and iodine is a crucial component of these hormones.

Helps Improve Fetal Health

  • Iodine is considered as one of the important nutrients during pregnancy.

  • A sufficient quantity of iodine in pregnant women is essential to help prevent stillbirths or neurocognitive conditions like cretinism in newborn babies.

  • A proper fetal development party depends on iodine sufficiency.

  • Research shows that even a mild deficiency can have harmful effects on the infant as it can cause growth retardation, both mental as well as physical.

  • To accommodate the needs of your unborn child or infant, the recommended intake is suggested to be 220 mcg/day during pregnancy and 290 mcg/day during lactation.

Neurodevelopment during Pregnancy

  • Iodine is often linked to lower IQ in many kids.

  • A meta-analysis of 6180 children between 1.5 and 8 years of age was conducted to test this.

  • The IQ of three birth cohorts from Spain, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands were assessed.

  • The results of this study suggested that verbal IQ was lower in children if their mothers had a lower iodine status in the first trimester.

  • If you are pregnant, consult with your doctor about its intake and supplementation to avoid its deficiency.

Boosts Immune System

  • Iodine helps boost the overall immunity levels in the body as it is a scavenger of free radicals.

  • According to a review published in the journal Nutrition, iodine plays a role in the physiology of the inflammatory response, as well as an antioxidant role.

  • Like vitamin C, it also shows antioxidant activity throughout the body which helps provide a strong defensive measure against various chronic diseases.

Signs and symptoms of iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency can have serious effects on the growth and development of the body. The symptoms of this deficiency include the following

  • Reduced thyroid hormone production and hypothyroidism

  • Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)

  • Intellectual disability

  • Stunted infant growth

  • Abnormal weight gain

  • Decreased fertility

  • Dry skin

  • Growth retardation in the fetus and increased risk of stillbirth or miscarriage in expectant mothers

  • Constipation

  • Fatigue

Side effects of excessive intake of iodine

Iodine is safe for you as long as you consume it in a recommended amount. Too much iodine can lead to the following

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Fever

  • Stomach pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Burning sensation in the mouth and throat

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