Many consider iodine to be no more than a gentle antiseptic or first-aid substance, since you rarely see it in the ‘nutritional requirements’ section on a food label. This natural element, however, is not only required by your body, it is vital to your overall health. Iodine deficiency is a surprisingly common condition that’s becoming ever-more present in today’s society.
Causes of Deficiency
The prevalence of iodine deficiency first caught the attention of doctors in the early 20th century, when it caused a widespread epidemic of goiter. Their solution was to work with salt distributors to create iodized salt. Extensive use of the new iodized salt did improve matters, but not permanently. Today, there are a variety of factors that have reduced the general consumption of iodine:
- Concerns over high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease have greatly reduced the average person’s salt intake, and this also reduces their intake of iodine.
- Iodized salt today contains a great deal less iodine than the original formula of the 1920s.
- Many Unites States water and food supplies are contaminated with perchlorate, a toxin that hinders the body’s ability to absorb and utilize dietary iodine.
The combined result of these factors is that 74% of adults are not consuming enough iodine on a daily basis.
Why You Should Be Concerned
Although iodine is not often mentioned as an important dietary nutrient, is it absolutely necessary for the healthy function of the human body. Iodine is essential in the production of the thyroid hormones that control your metabolism. Thyroid hormones are used to regulate bodily functions such as:
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
- Glucose consumption
- Lipid levels in the blood
- Immunity defenses
- Thyroid gland function
A deficiency of iodine can result in health complications from weight gain and hair loss to cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.
How to Address Iodine Deficiency
Your first step in increasing your intake of iodine is to take a look at your diet. Although too much salt is never a good thing, there is no reason to completely avoid consuming iodized salt unless your doctor specifically recommends it. Eating more fish and vegetables will increase your iodine levels, especially vegetables that come from the ocean, like seaweed and kelp. Additionally, you can take an all-natural supplement like Lugol’s Iodine Stomach Saver or White Iodine by Dr. Clark Store.
Potassium Iodide and Radiation
The thyroid gland cannot distinguish between the safe, stable form of iodine and radioactive iodine; the gland absorbs both. Flooding the body with non-radioactive iodine aids in preventing the absorption of radioactive iodine.
Find iodine supplements and other health supplies at Living Clean, or read related articles: