Health Benefits of Iodine
Iodine is an essential trace element that is essential for the normal growth and development. Around 60% of the iodine in the body is stored in the thyroid gland. The health benefits of iodine play a very important role in the normal functioning of the thyroid glands, which secretes thyroid hormones that control the basic metabolic rate of the body.
Iodine controls the functioning of thyroid glands in human body, which in turn has a significant influence on the metabolic processes in the body. The health benefits of iodine help in the optimum utilization of calories thereby preventing its storage as excess fats. Other benefits of iodine are removal of toxins from the body and assistance for the system in utilizing calcium and silicon.
Deficiency symptoms: Deficiency of iodine can have serious effects. The symptoms of iodine deficiency include frustration, depression, mental retardation, poor perception levels, goiter, abnormal weight gain, decreased fertility, coarse skin, chances of still birth in expectant mothers, constipation and fatigue. In severe cases mental retardation associated with diseases such as cretinism, characterized by serious physical malformations, could be the result. According to WHO reports, iodine deficiency is one of the leading causes of mental retardation all over.
Important Sources: Iodine is present in large quantities in both marine plant and animals, including shellfish, white deep-water fish, and brown seaweed kelp, which can absorb iodine from sea water. Make sure to include abundant quantities of canned sardines, canned tuna, lobster, oyster, clams, cod, haddock, halibut, herring perch, salmon, sea bass, and shrimp. Dulse, kelp, and seaweed also contain dietary iodine. Garlic, lima beans, Swiss chard, summer squash, sesame seeds, soybeans, turnip greens and spinach are rich in iodine. Iodized salt is another important source of iodine. Bakers add iodine to bread dough as a stabilizing agent.
Health benefits of Iodine
Iodine is required to ensure proper development and metabolism in human beings. Some of its benefits include:
Metabolic rates: Iodine influences the functioning of thyroid glands by assisting in production of hormones, which are directly responsible for controlling the basic metabolic rate. The hormones, like thyroxin and triodothyronine, influence heart rate, blood pressure, body weight and temperature. The body maintains the BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate) with the help of these hormones, which also helps in protein synthesis.
Energy level: It also plays an important role in maintaining optimum energy levels of the body by ensuring optimum utilization of calories, without allowing them to be deposited as excess fats.
Healthy nails, hair and teeth: The health benefits of iodine include formation of healthy and shiny skin, teeth and hair. Iodine is an important element for haircare as lack of this mineral can result in hair loss. Moreover, it also aids hair growth.
Reproductive system: Iodine helps in the normal growth and maturity of reproductive organs. Sufficient quantity of iodine in pregnant women is essential to prevent still births or neurocognitive conditions like cretinism in the babies. It also ensures proper movement and growth, along with speech and hearing in babies.
Fibrocystic disease: Iodine can significantly reduce conditions like fibrosis, turgidity and breast tenderness. Iodine acts as a relief for fibrocystic diseases and is widely used even in therapies.
Iodine programmed cell death: Iodine ensures the apoptosis or the programmed cell death which is essential in the formation of new organs as well as in the removal of malignant cells like cancer cells or diseased cells, which might prove harmful to the individual.
Anti-cancer properties: Probably, the most important health benefits of iodine apart from thyroidal influence are its anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that cancer cells when administered with iodine shrink.
Iodine removes toxic chemicals: Iodine can flush out chemical toxins like fluoride, lead, mercury etc., apart from biological toxins and can strengthen immune system. It also prevents the proliferation of harmful bacteria in the stomach.
Thyroid and Goitre disorders: Iodine deficiency is the basic cause of Goitre as widely known. You can have eggs, salt, sea food, dairy products to facilitate the reduction of iodine deficiency which works as a cure for enlarged thyroid gland.
Iodine overdose of more than 2,000 mg could be dangerous especially in people suffering from kidney ailments or tuberculosis. When taken in excess it might result in thyroid papillary cancer. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should be cautious not to take iodine more than the prescribed dosage.
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