Iodine: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning
Iodine is an essential micronutrient and present in very small quantities in our body. It is part of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland, the thyroid hormones. In the fetus and young children, thyroid hormones regulate the growth and development of most organs, especially the brain and cell differentiation. At any age, they also stimulate metabolism and oxygen consumption by the tissues.
What is iodine for?
- At the production of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4)
- Regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
- To develop the nervous system
- To promote the normal functioning of the heart
- Iodine promotes the development and functioning of muscles
- To promote the growth and maturation of the skeleton
- To stimulate lactation in breastfeeding women
- Iodine promote the health of the skin, hair, nails, etc
- To promote gastrointestinal mobility
- To regulate the basal metabolism (expresses the energy expenditure at rest)
Here are major health benefits of iodine
1. Healthy metabolism
It keeps your thyroid function running smoothly because it produces two hormones, thyroxine, and triiodothyronine, both of which affect the basal metabolic rate. Which allows the body to absorb nutrients properly, move them throughout the body. and improve your sleep cycle. Secretions of the thyroid glands have a direct impact on cognitive health and development.
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2. Iodine benefits your health to maintain the energy level
Iodine plays an important role in breaking down complex fats and carbohydrates by maintaining a healthy metabolic rate. Your metabolism helps the body stay energized by effectively absorbing nutrients while eliminating fat retention. Iodine ensures that energy levels remain sufficient.
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3. Iodine benefits in hair and skincare problems
Iodine deficiency has been associated with hair loss – iodine helps strengthen hair follicles and promote hair growth. In addition, it also helps regenerate skin cells. To gain more health benefits of iodine add it to your daily routine diet.
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4. Development of the fetus
During pregnancy, iodine deficiency can cause abortion or premature delivery. In children, it disrupts growth. A more serious deficiency causes cretinism in children.
A child born with iodine deficiency may have deformities. The need for iodine is such that its deficiency can cause infertility in women. Even mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy may have adverse effects on the brain development of newborns. This could lead to a decline in mental development, and in the long run, a reduction in children’s intelligence scores. So mothers should use iodine to benefit newborn babies’ health.
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5. Iodine benefits for stronger immunity
It helps the body retain vitamin C and stimulates the activity of antioxidants in the body. The proper use and facilitation of antioxidants lead to a stronger defense mechanism of the immune system.
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6. Iodine benefits in Prevention of hypothyroidism
Its deficit can be the cause of many abnormal functions of the body, hypothyroidism being one. This condition affects the activity of the thyroid gland and slows it down considerably, resulting in inadequate metabolic function. Which can slow down many other processes of regeneration and absorption in the body… This also leads to unmanageable weight gain because the body does not break down fat properly and begins to accumulate fat. Hypothyroidism causes intense fatigue, dry skin and negatively affects brain activity.
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7. Treat fibrocystic diseases of the breast
Iodine prevents the formation of cysts and non-cancerous nodules in the breast that is the cause of pain.
8. Iodine helps to prevent Cancer
It is strongly linked to the reduction of cancer of the thyroid gland. It also has a similar effect on all cancer cells and tumors.
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9. Facilitates apoptosis
Apoptosis is programmed cell death; it’s part of the body’s regenerative process. Through this process, the body is able to cause cell death in cancer cells and other damaged cells. This is strongly related to the proper secretion of hormones by the thyroid gland.
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10. Elimination of toxins
It helps the body eliminate harmful chemicals, such as lead, mercury and other harmful biological toxins. It also has antibacterial properties.
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11. A cure for goiter
Given the fact that iodine deficiency is the main cause of goiter, increasing iodine intake can benefit and make all the difference. Adding iodine-enriched eggs, seaweed, and salt to your diet, and fish can help meet your iodine needs.
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Sources of iodine
In Canada, the standard dietary intake for an adult is 150 mcg (micrograms) of iodine per day. Opinions are divided about this dosage. Indeed, in the 2006 New England Journal of Medicine, 400 mcg is offered as a supplement to achieve the desired health effects. In Japan, where people are heavy consumers of algae, food intake can easily exceed several milligrams (mg) per day. With the latest findings on the roles of iodine (cysts, breast cancer, salivary glands, and thymus), it can be assumed that baseline intakes will increase.
Health Canada has a maximum tolerable intake of 1000 mcg (1 mg) per day.
Some foods naturally contain iodine such as seafood, fish and some seaweed. Milk and dairy products also contain iodine in varying amounts due to iodine-based disinfectants used at the time of milking. Table salt and sea salt do not contain iodine naturally. Iodization of table salt has been mandatory in Canada for many years and is widely used in many countries such as France and the United States. On the other hand, sea salt is not necessarily enriched in iodine.
Iodine content in different foods
||Iodine content in micrograms per 100 g
|Cod liver oil
|Haddock (the famous haddock when smoked)
|| Iodine content in micrograms per 100 g
|Iodized table salt (1 teaspoon) (6 g)
Iodized salt does not contain as much iodine as one might think. After opening the salt container, a majority of the iodine evaporates between 20 and 40 days.
Some foods such as watercress, cabbage, broccoli, turnip, rutabaga, radish, mustard greens, horseradish, pine nuts, millet, cassava, and peanut can hinder the use of iodine by the thyroid gland. Cruciferae, however, are still good for health, it is not recommended to remove them completely from the diet, only to cook them slightly to reduce the activity of goitrogenic molecules.
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Kelp is a seaweed that is an excellent natural source of iodine, minerals and trace elements. It helps to regulate the thyroid activity, which intervenes favorably in the hormonal balance of the body. In addition, by providing the iodine necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid, kelp helps maintain a healthy metabolism. This results in a better ability of the body to burn accumulated fat. Its content of minerals and trace elements provides a lot of essential nutrients to the body, supports several glandular functions and increases energy.
If you plan to use an iodine supplement, check with your pharmacist. The pharmacist can help you make a wise choice based on your health condition and the medications you are taking.
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