Natural Healing Tip: Iodine For Intelligence And Health
07/06/2012 | 11:44 AM
Iodine is an essential element that the thyroid gland uses to make hormones. Its name comes from the Greek word “yodes,” meaning “purple.” It was discovered in 1811 by Bernard Courtois, and subsequently categorized as one of the essential nutrients for the human body. Iodine is generally found in iodized salt so a deficiency is uncommon in the United States. If you are worried about a deficiency, consult your health care provider. Iodine rich foods are recommended for pregnant and lactating mothers. However, iodine supplements are not suitable for the general public, unless they are taken under supervision of a medical professional.
Iodine – An Overview
Although iodine is found in relatively small quantities in the body, it is a very important mineral for our health. Iodine is essential for the thyroid to produce hormones, which are important for normal metabolic function. The total amount of iodine in our body is around 20 to 30 milligrams of which approximately seventy-five percent is found in the thyroid gland (located at the base of the throat) and the rest is found in blood and muscles. Our bodies cannot make iodine so it must be ingested, either in food or supplements. Iodine is most commonly found in seafood including cod, perch, shrimp and seaweed. It can also be found in dairy, meat, fruits (strawberries, grapes). Vegetables that contain iodine are radish, asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, peas, mushrooms, lettuce, cabbage, and onion.
Healthy Metabolism: Iodine aids fat burning, stimulates growth, and maintains healthy hair, nails, skin, and teeth. With the help of iodine, the thyroid gland is responsible for the metabolism of fats. The lack of iodine in the body slows down the metabolic process, which causes a slower burn of the calories, leading to weight gain. People who have thyroid problems are generally overweight and may become obese.
- Intelligence - Iodine is essential for the development of intelligence. It has been shown that people with insufficient iodine intake have a 10 to 15 percent lower IQ.
- Thyroxin - Iodine is part of thyroxin, a hormone that regulates the energy production that maintains a constant body temperature, breathing processes, and muscle tone.
- Antiseptic - In external use, iodine has an antiseptic (fights infections) role for skin wounds, inflammations, and other infections. It can also be used as a disinfectant, applied topically after an injury.
- Premature Birth - Iodine is one of the minerals essential to the normal development of the fetus. Iodine should not be missing from the diet of a pregnant woman. Healthy levels of iodine are essential to prevent miscarriage, premature birth, and mental retardation in newborns. The American Thyroid Association recommends iodine supplementation of the mother during pregnancy and lactation to prevent these defects.
- Thyroid cancer - Radioactive Iodine therapy (RAI) is used to treat thyroid cancer. In most cases, when it is detected early, it can be treated effectively. For RAI therapy to be most effective, patients must have high levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH, or thyrotropin) in the blood. The thyroid tissue captures the radioactive iodine destroying the tumor cells. Thyroid cancer is caused in many cases by a low iodine diet, irradiation, or exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Hypothyroidism - When the human body is deficient in iodine, the level of thyroid hormones fall, particularly hormones T3 and T4. This leads to the development of hypothyroidism.
- Endemic Goiter - Iodine deficiency causes an enlargement of the thyroid, or goiter. This leads to hypertrophy (growing size) of the thyroid, making it visible. To treat and prevent it, specialists recommend iodine supplements.
- Toxicity - Agitation, headache, shortness of breath, asphyxiation, and metallic taste in the mouth are symptoms of excess iodine. Yellow skin and nails are also possible side effects.
- Hyperthyroidism - Excessive consumption of iodine - in particular dry seaweed rich in iodine - can cause hyperthyroidism. This condition can cause weight loss, sleep disorders, nervousness, tremors of the extremities, tachycardia, and skin problems.
- Stomach problems - Upset stomach, nausea and excessive saliva are possible side effects of excess iodine. Iodine is corrosive to the stomach so can cause bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain in excess.
- Iodic Goiter - A quantity of 20, 000 micrograms (can’t we just say 20mg) of iodine per day may lead to delete word -iodic-this is not a used term goiter as well. This is frequently seen in people who eat large quantities of seaweed.
Iodine supplements can work wonders for persons with metabolism or thyroid problems. Iodine rich foods are also recommended for mothers who are pregnant or lactating. Iodine is found naturally in food and is voluntarily added to salt by manufacturers, so iodine deficiencies in the general public are rare. Iodine supplementation is only recommended if your doctor says that you have a deficiency. Excess iodine can cause serious health problems, including abdominal corrosion, asphyxiation, and thyroid cancer. If you think you may have a thyroid problem, consult your doctor.