Iodine and its health benefits
What is Iodine?
Chemical element iodine has the atomic number 53 and the letter I as its symbol. It is a solid, glossy, non-metallic element with a high melting and boiling point of dark grey or purple-black. It has several uses in business and medicine and has an essential biological significance.
Facts on Iodine
- Iodine receives its name from the Greek word “iodes,” which meaning violet or purple, according to the violet tint of its vapor.
- In the stomach and duodenum, iodide is swiftly and almost entirely absorbed.
- Iodide enters the blood, is concentrated by the thyroid gland in the proper levels for thyroid hormone synthesis, and the majority of the residual amount is eliminated in the urine.
- Iodine has an abundance of only 0.5 parts per million in the crust of the Earth, making it a rare element.
- Iodine deficiency is more likely to occur in those who consume foods largely from areas of the world where iodine-deficient soils are prevalent.
Benefits of Iodine
It is crucial, especially while producing thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland uses iodine to create the main hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones regulate several essential physiological functions, including:
- The body’s metabolic rate, or how quickly it utilizes energy, is regulated by thyroid hormones.
Growth and development
- Essential for healthy development, especially in newborns and young children.
Temperature of the body
- They control body temperature, which is crucial for preserving ideal physiological performance.
- Thyroid hormones contribute to the maintenance of cardiovascular health by controlling blood pressure and heart rate.
- Both men and women need them for healthy reproductive function.
- Essential for synthesizing thyroid hormones, which control growth, development, and metabolism.
- It is crucial, especially throughout pregnancy and the early years of life.
- Pregnant women who consume enough iodine can assist in protecting their unborn children from mental impairment.
Production of energy
- Iodine consumption that is enough can aid in maintaining appropriate energy levels and preventing weakness and weariness.
Immune system functioning
- Iodine’s antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties can support immune system development and infection prevention.
- It is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. Fibrocystic breast disease, which results in noncancerous lumps in the breast tissue, is another ailment for which it is used as a therapy.
- It can be used as a safeguard against the negative consequences of radiation exposure. Before exposure to radioactive iodine, taking iodine supplements can help lower the risk of thyroid cancer.
- One of the richest sources is seafood. Iodine content is notably high in fish, shellfish, and seaweed.
- An ounce of fried fish, for instance, has roughly 99 mg of iodine, but a quarter cup of dry seaweed might have up to 18,000 mg.
- One big egg contains around 24 milligrams of iodine, making eggs a healthy mineral source.
- This is a common iodine source in a lot of countries. Iodized salt in the US has an iodine content of around 45 mg per gram.
- Minor levels are found in potatoes, spinach, and broccoli. However, the soil in which they are cultivated influences the iodine concentration.
- Several fruits, including cranberries and strawberries, have trace quantities.
It’s crucial for those who follow vegan and vegetarian diets to guarantee enough intake through supplements or by ingesting iodine-rich foods because these diets might be deficient in iodine.
- A typical symptom is an enlarged thyroid gland or goiter. Breathing and swallowing may become challenging as a result, and there may appear to be a neck enlargement.
- Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, can develop. A few effects of the condition include depression and weight gain.
- The shortage may result in cognitive impairment, particularly in newborns and young children.
Increased chance of stillbirth and miscarriage
- Preterm delivery, low birth weight, and miscarriage are risks that the deficit might increase during pregnancy.
Delays in development
- Developmental delays in children, particularly in language and motor abilities, can result from iodine deficiency.
Greater risk of thyroid cancer
- Particularly in areas with continuously low iodine consumption, this happens.
What are the deficiency symptoms?
- Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, may result. This may result in symptoms including exhaustion, weight gain, sadness, and others.
- Skin that is scaly, dry, and rough.
- It may result in hair loss and make it dry, brittle, and thin.
- Causes a sense of coldness by reducing the body’s capacity to regulate temperature.
- Even with a lower caloric intake, hypothyroidism brought on by the shortage can promote weight gain.
Fatigue and weakness
- Overall lack of energy and fatigue.
Who is prone to an iodine deficiency?
Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding
- To support fetal and newborn growth, respectively, they need extra iodine.
Infants and kids
- Cognitive impairment can result from iodine deficiency.
People who live in regions with low soil iodine levels
- People who stay in areas with low soil iodine levels may be at a higher risk since the amount of iodine in the soil varies significantly by region.
Vegans and vegetarians
- Iodine intake in plant-based diets may be minimal.
Individuals who regularly consume goitrogens
- Foods that contain goitrogens, such as cruciferous vegetables, can affect how well the thyroid functions and make the iodine deficit worse.
Individuals with digestive issues
- Reduced absorption can result from digestive conditions like celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease that prevent the absorption of nutrients.
- Newborns 0 to 6 months: 110 mcg
- 7 to 12-month-old babies: 130 mcg
- Children aged 1 to 8: 90 to 120 mcg
- Children aged 9 to 13: 120 to 150 mcg
- Teenagers aged 14 to 18: 150 to 220 mcg
- Adults aged 19 and up 150 to 220 mcg
- Women who are pregnant: 220 mcg to 290 mcg
- Women who are nursing: 290–330 mcg.
The maximum daily consumption for adults is 1100 mcg.
Overdose toxicity of Iodine
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Burning sensation in the mouth, throat, and stomach.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
- Swelling of the salivary glands
- Hypersensitivity symptoms, such as hives and rashes
Iodine overdose can, in extreme circumstances, result in shock, confusion, and even coma.
- Lithium, a medication used to treat bipolar illness, may become less effective when used with iodine.
- It may prevent anti-thyroid medications from working as intended.
- This medication includes a significant quantity of iodine and treats abnormal heart rhythms.
- They are used to treat high blood pressure, and in those with impaired kidney function, they can raise the risk of hyperkalemia (high potassium levels). It could be challenging to take both.
- Iodine is proven to have potential health benefits.
- It is an essential component for the overall growth and development of the body.
- Consuming iodine in moderate amounts is necessary. If you have any underlying medical condition or if you take any medications, it is best to talk to your doctor before taking any iodine supplements.