10 Surprising Benefits of Iodine

Iodine is an essential trace element vital for normal growth and development. Around 60% of the iodine in the human body is stored in the thyroid gland. Its health benefits play a very important role in the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, which secretes thyroid hormones that control the base metabolic rate of the body. In fact, without it, thyroid hormones could not even be synthesized.

Iodine controls the functioning of thyroid glands in the human body, which in turn has a significant influence on the metabolic processes in the body. It helps in the optimum utilization of calories, thereby preventing the storage as excess fat. Other benefits include removal of toxins from the body and assistance for the system in utilizing various minerals, like calcium and silicon.

Deficiency Symptoms of Iodine

A deficiency of iodine can have serious effects on the body. The symptoms of its deficiency include frustration, depression, mental retardation, poor perception levels, goiter, abnormal weight gain, decreased fertility, coarse skin, chances of stillbirth in expectant mothers, constipation, and fatigue. In severe cases, mental retardation associated with diseases such as cretinism, characterized by physical malformations, can be the result. According to WHO reports, this deficiency is one of the leading causes of mental retardation all over the world.

It is somewhat rare for this deficiency to occur in North America, as many food items are either grown in iodine-rich soil, or they contain salt, which is often iodized in western nations. However, some countries do not iodize their salt, and cultures that grow crops and livestock at a great distance from coastal waters are less likely to have iodine-rich soil. The body needs 100-200 mcg of iodine per day, and 1/4 teaspoon of iodized salt contains approximately 95 mcg of iodine, so you can see why regions with access to iodized salt are less likely to suffer from iodine deficiency.

Important Sources of Iodine

It is present in large quantities in both marine plants and animals, including shellfish, deep-water whitefish, and brown seaweed kelp, which can absorb iodine from sea water. Be sure to include abundant quantities of canned sardines, canned tuna, lobster, oyster, clams, cod, haddock, halibut, herring perch, salmon, sea bass, and shrimp in your monthly diet. Dulse, kelp, seaweed, garlic, lima beans, Swiss chard, summer squash, sesame seeds, soybeans, turnip greens, and spinach are some of the other sources of iodine. Iodized salt is another important source, and bakers regularly add iodine to bread dough as a stabilizing agent.

Health Benefits of Iodine

It is required to ensure proper development and metabolism in humans. Iodine helps in the same. Some of its specific health benefits include:

Regulates Metabolic Rate

Iodine influences the functioning of thyroid glands by assisting in the production of hormones, which are directly responsible for controlling the body’s base metabolic rate. Metabolic rate affects the efficiency and efficacy of the body’s organ system and regular processes, including absorption of food, sleep cycle, and the transformation of food into usable energy.

Salt iodineCertain hormones, like thyroxine 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. Ensuring their normal creation and distribution in the body is key to maintaining health.

Optimizes Energy Levels

Iodine also plays an important role in maintaining optimal energy levels of the body by ensuring the efficient utilization of calories, without allowing them to be deposited as excess fats.

Healthy Nails, Hair, & Teeth

The health benefits of iodine include the formation of healthy and shiny skin, teeth, and hair. It is an important element for hair care, as lack of this mineral can result in hair loss. Moreover, it also speeds up hair growth and increases follicle strength.

Prevents Neurocognitive Conditions

A sufficient quantity of iodine in pregnant women is essential to prevent stillbirths or neurocognitive conditions like cretinism in the newborn babies. It can lead to gestational hypertension, which can result in a number of complications during infancy. It ensures proper movement and growth of the baby, along with speech and hearing abilities. Furthermore, besides affecting the health of the baby once it is conceived, a deficiency of iodine can actually make a woman infertile.

One problem that many pregnant women face is not realizing that they must consume iodine for the child and themselves as well because it passes into breast milk and a great deal is lost every day. Studies show that a pregnant or nursing woman can lose more than her entire required dose of iodine every day, which can result in a serious deficiency for her, even after pregnancy and breastfeeding is over.

Strengthens Immune System

Most people focus on the thyroid gland implications of iodine, but it has other functions, including being a major booster of the immune system. It is a scavenger of free hydroxyl radicals, and like vitamin C, it also stimulates and increases the activity of antioxidants throughout the body to provide a strong defensive measure against various diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Some studies show that it directly protects the brain cells of rats from harmful effects of free radicals by connecting to fatty acids in the cell membranes, leaving less room for free radicals to affect the organism.

Prevents Hypothyroidism

This condition is characterized by an under-active thyroid gland, and results in the general slowing down of all bodily processes as the chemical balance in the body goes off track. One of the most common results of hypothyroidism is a large increase in the weight because the body simply doesn’t burn off the calories of food to turn them into useful energy. Although hypothyroidism can occur for a number of reasons, not just iodine deficiency, it is still a good idea to increase your intake of iodine and stimulate the hormonal activity which will help you lose the weight and fat, which is common in hypothyroid patients.

Some other effects of hypothyroidism are fatigue, dry skin, trouble concentrating, constipation, cramps, and leg swelling. If not treated, it can result in more serious conditions like heart failure or a coma.

Treats Fibrocystic Disease

Iodine can significantly reduce conditions like fibrosis, turgidity, and breast tenderness. It acts as a relief for fibrocystic diseases and is widely used in therapies, both, traditional and modern. Studies have shown a significant correspondence between molecular iodine and a reduction in the signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease.

Prevents Cancer

Probably the most important health benefit of iodine apart from its thyroidal influence is its anti-carcinogenic properties. Studies have shown that cancer cells shrink after being injected with iodine, and at times, they even undergo apoptosis (automatic cell death) and are then replaced with healthier cells. The exact mechanism of this process is still unknown, but studies have found this positive connection, particularly in terms of its effects on inducing apoptosis in breast cancer carcinoma cells.

In terms of thyroid cancer, it is essential in preventing this extremely dangerous form of cancer. Studies have shown that Thyroid cancer patients consistently show an improvement in symptoms after increasing their levels of iodine intake, and the appearance of thyroid cancer is far more common in people who suffer from iodine deficiency.

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 or diseased cells, which might prove harmful to the individual. This function is mainly derived from its activities on the thyroid gland and subsequent hormonal secretion and regulation from the thyroid gland.

Removes Toxic Chemicals

Iodine can flush out chemical toxins like fluoride, lead, mercury, and biological toxins. The role of this “extrathyroidal iodine” that does other work throughout the body is very important. It has certain antibacterial qualities, particularly against Heliobacter pylori, which is a dangerous bacterial infection of the stomach, more commonly called H. Pylori, which has been connected with gastric cancer.

Cures Thyroid Problems

Iodine deficiency is widely recognized as the basic cause of Goiter. You should add eggs, salt, seafood, and dairy products to your diet to avoid this deficiency, and also, this often works as a cure for an enlarged thyroid gland.

A Few Words of Caution: Iodine overdose of more than 2,000 mg could be dangerous, especially in people suffering from kidney disorders or tuberculosis. When taken in excess, it could result in thyroid papillary cancer, rather than helping to prevent it. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should be cautious about taking iodine, except in specifically prescribed doses. A healthy balance is required because different people’s bodies may react differently to the dose, so be careful while consuming.

References
  1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X08000266
  2. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/14/4/186.short
  3. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/thy.2007.0266
  4. http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/86/6/2360.full
  5. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/thy.1994.4.107
  6. http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/8221402
  7. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10552-008-9219-5#page-1
  8. http://www.jbc.org/content/281/28/19762.short
  9. http://www.eje-online.org/content/49/4/610.short

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27 comments

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1

remember to apply iodine to wounds. it can help heal you and your pets of skin and other infections. see your doctor/ vet if you're not sure.

2

Hi to everyone,this is the first time i have seen this site,i would just like to say i have been taling iodine for about 4 months for general health,and to my surprise ( i have a large bold patch on the top of my head ) but all my hair is starting to grow back again

3

When I caught a cold last week, a good friend told me about iodine and how it could maybe help. I happened to have a little bottle of iodine on hand so I started applying 3 drops wherever I felt I needed it and just rubbed it in, twice a day. My friend had told me that if the yellow colour disappears within a few minutes, that it indicates you are deficient in iodine. That was the case with me, so I'm continuing to use it even though the cold cleared up in a week and I was actually feeling well enough to return to work after 2 days. If my glands felt swollen, I rubbed the iodine on that part of my neck and when I was coughing I would also rub a drop into my chest area. It seems to work very well and as the cold moved around, it just decreased in severity. I plan to continue using iodine as part of my daily routine!

4

Im guessing it would help prevent post partem depression.

I breast fed all of my children l took multi b. But not iodine specifically.

I was told l had ppd for what thats worth.

5

I'm wondering if iodine would have any effect on how your body processes thyroid replacement medication.

6

if you are referring to whats given to people who dont have thyroids, from what i heard it doesn't affect much. In the case of people on hypothyroid meds, it can often replace the medicine

7

Earlier this year I was having serious issues with my sinuses. Lots of pressure in my sinuses, weird changes in how things smelled or tasted and associated headaches.

On a whim, I started taking Iodine after reading about its cancer fighting properties. I was totally not thinking about my sinus issue when I bought some kelp extract.

Within two days of using the extract, I was blowing a bunch of heavy mucus and blood clotting out of my nose. Within a week my sinuses were completely clear. In addition, my regular Hay Fever symptoms which I've lived with all my life every summer have been reduced greatly!

8

What if I don't have a thyroid, will the iodine still help me?

9

This article would provide much more benefit to people who are considering adding iodine to their diet if it provided legitimate sources to this information.

10

This article would provide much more benefit to people who are considering adding iodine to their diet if it provided legitimate sources to this information.

11

Get your iodine today!

12

My obgyn freaks each year when I visit due to very 'lumpy' breasts but has never mentioned iodine. I swear I have been taking iodine for three days and my lumps and bumps are practically gone! I still cannot believe it.

13

My nails have grown so incredibly long and healthy.

14

Kelp is a great source of Iodine. Kelp is so cheap too and can be found on allstarhealth.com for around $6.00 for 500. Natures Life Icelandic Kelp is what I decided to buy.

15

Fruits and vegetable are NOT an iodine source if grown in an iodine deficient area like the Great Lakes region.

16

Everyone should know about Iodine and how much we need it!

17

the trace elements found in very little and Specific amount in our bodies..how can I control this amount? we can compensate lack of these elemets from diet...how can I control that...the amount of anyone of the trace elements not written on the diet...the how can I controle this...thanx.

18
Survival Gear Guru

I have read that iodine deficiency is increasing to epidemic proportions worldwide. A report by WHO in 2007 said that 2 Billion people around the world are deficient in iodine.

19
Diane Bowman Zides

I just started an iodine patch to see if I'm deficient. I think I'm feeling a tad bit better. I skipped one day and started feeling worse again. I'm sweating a lot. I wonder if I'm detoxing.

20
Listening Heart Kim

Great ♥

21

Get mine through wakame and spinach I feel the difference when I eat the stuff I feel more focus and less weak in the body.

22

So far some of these symptoms I have and are listed in the article have gone away from using Lugol's iodine in one freaking day! I'm hoping the rest will go away too!

23

The brand I use is J.Crow's.

24

I just inquired about it at one of the natural food stores and they found it for me 🙂 I even give it to my cat...she is going to be 19 years old this year and she is still doing great!

25

what kind of lugol's solution do you use? is there a certain brand?

26

completley cured my restless legs!

27

thank you

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