Iodine is a chemical element with the atomic number of 53. The chief store-house
of iodine in the body is the thyroid gland. The essential thyroxin,
which is secreted by this gland, is made by the circulating iodine.
Thyroxin is a chemical which controls the basic metabolism
and oxygen consumption of tissues,
in particular, in burning a surplus of fat. It increases the
heart rate as well as urinary
Iodine is a trace mineral element
which regulates the rate of energy production and body weight and promotes
proper growth. It improves mental alacrity and promotes healthy hair, nails,
also stimulates the
beneficial HDL cholesterol which helps to lower the LDL choleterol levels, determines the level of the metabolism, relieves pain by connective tissue inflammations in the breasts (fibrocystic breast problems), prevents thyroid gland disturbances, loosens mucus that may block the airways, is a natural anti-inflammatory and disinfection agent and offers
protection against the poisonous effects of radioactive substances.
The thyroid gland uses iodine and the amino
tyrosine to produce the hormones thyroxin and triiodothyronine. Both of
these hormones function to regulate cellular metabolism. Metabolism refers to
all of the processes that make energy available to cells. As such, these
hormones regulate the conversion of glycogen (stored glucose) to glucose.
Selenium is a necessary co-factor for a family of enzymes called iodothyronine deiodinase. These enzymes are responsible for activation and deactivation of thyroid hormones. As such, deficiency of selenium may either exacerbate iodine deficiency or even mimic some of the symptoms.
The high prevalence of sugar, refined carbohydrates or rancid vegetable oils prevent the absorption of iodine in the body.
Many people believe that using iodised table salt can provide them with iodine they need but once the container is exposed to air, iodine content is nearly gone within four weeks after opening (even faster under conditions of high humidity) therefore it is best to consume the foods listed below to get enough iodine rather than table salt.
Iodine deficiency can cause a thyroid imbalance, goitre and enlargement of the thyroid glands, chronic tiredness, apathy, dry skin, infertility, poor nails and hair, inability to withstand the cold and weight increase.
A deficiency of iron makes the thyroid dysfunction seen in iodine deficiency worse. Bromides are a common endocrine disruptor. Because bromide is also a halide, it competes for the same receptors that are used in the thyroid gland (among other places) to capture iodine. This will inhibit thyroid hormone production resulting in a low thyroid state.
Small doses of iodine are of great value in
the prevention of goitre in areas where it is endemic and are of value in
treatments, at least in the early stages. Larger doses have a temporary value in
the preparation of patients with hyperthyroidism for surgical operation.
One study showed an iodine deficiency in 25% of vegetarians and 80% of vegans, compared with only 9% of those consuming a mixed diet that contained dairy and meat.
Fluoride excess can also cause iodine deficiency which has been shown in studies of populations where tap water has been fluoridated.