Iodine.. Here is its importance to your body and the foods that contain it
Learn about the health benefits your body gets from getting iodine
Iodine is a trace element found naturally in some foods, added to some types of salt, and available as a dietary supplement.
Continue reading the following lines to learn about the importance of iodine and the foods that contain it.
What is iodine?
Iodine is a trace element found naturally in some foods. The soil of the earth contains varying amounts of iodine, which in turn affects the iodine content of crops.
Soils deficient in iodine are prevalent in some regions of the world, which increases the risk of iodine deficiency among people who primarily consume foods from those regions.
Salt iodization programs implemented by many countries have greatly reduced the prevalence of iodine deficiency worldwide.
Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid hormones regulate many important biochemical reactions, including protein synthesis and enzymatic activity, are critical determinants of metabolic activity, and are required for the proper development of the skeletal and central nervous system in fetuses and infants.
Iodine may have other physiological functions in the body as well. For example, it appears to play a role in the immune response and may have a beneficial effect on mammary dysplasia and fibrocystic breast disease.
Health benefits of iodine
Some of the health benefits of iodine include:
Promote thyroid health: Iodine plays a vital role in thyroid health. The thyroid gland helps regulate the production of hormones.
These hormones control metabolism and heart health.
To produce thyroid hormones, the thyroid gland absorbs iodine in small amounts.
Without iodine, thyroid hormone production can decrease, which can lead to a condition called hypothyroidism.
Thyroid cancer treatment: Radioactive iodine is used as a treatment option for thyroid cancer.
When you take radioactive iodine by mouth, the drug destroys thyroid cells, including cancer cells.
It can be used as a treatment after thyroid surgery to make sure that all cancerous cells are removed from the body.
According to the American Cancer Society, radioactive iodine treatments significantly improve the chances of survival for people with thyroid cancer.
Neurological development during pregnancy: Women need more iodine during pregnancy.
This is because iodine intake during pregnancy is positively associated with fetal brain development.
One review found that babies whose mothers had an iodine deficiency during pregnancy were more likely to develop with low IQs and other intellectual delays.
Improved cognitive function: The same neuroprotective benefits of iodine during pregnancy may extend to healthy brain function during childhood.
This also includes reducing the risk of intellectual disability.
Your child will likely get all the iodine he needs through his diet, but if you have any questions about iodine intake, talk to your pediatrician.
Helps treat fibrocystic breast disease: Iodine supplements or medications can help treat fibrocystic breast disease.
This noncancerous condition is most common in women of childbearing age, and it can cause painful lumps in the breasts.
Water disinfection: Iodine is also used as a way to disinfect water. This can be particularly useful if you do not have access to safe drinking water due to travel or the effects of a natural disaster.
2% liquid iodine dye can be added to water in increments of five drops per liter of clear water.
If the water is cloudy, add ten drops per liter.
Foods containing iodine
As previously mentioned, iodine is found in soil and oceans, which varies in amount and will affect the amount of the mineral in food.
Iodine is found primarily in foods containing animal protein and sea vegetables, and to a lesser extent in fortified foods such as bread, cereal and milk.
Foods that contain iodine include:
Fish and shellfish such as cod, canned tuna, oysters and shrimp.
Table salts labeled “iodized”.
Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt.
Fortified infant formula.