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IODINE What it does & why you need It Part I

Iodine is a mineral found in each of the trillions of cells in our body. Without adequate iodine intake life itself is not possible. Iodine is found in concentration in the thyroid gland, breast tissue and ovaries. Large amounts of iodine are also stored in the salivary glands, cerebrospinal fluid, and the brain. Iodine is not only necessary for the production of thyroid hormone, but is also responsible for the production of all the other hormones. (Hormones are the regulating chemicals circulating throughout our bodies determining a multitude of functions.) Adequate iodine levels are necessary for proper immune system function, as it contains potent antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral and anticancer properties. A long list of conditions including cancer, breast disease, ovarian cysts, thyroid disorders, heart disease, ADHD, liver, kidney, prostate disease and so many others can be treated by maximizing iodine levels in our bodies.

Approximately 1.5 billion people, about one third of the earth’s population, live in an area of iodine deficiency as defined by the World Health Organization. Up to 72% of the world’s population is affected by an iodine deficiency disorder. Iodine deficiency has been identified as a significant public health issue in 129 countries. Most of the iodine in our environment comes from seawater, and not much from the earth’s crust. Soil found near oceans may have sufficient amounts of iodine from evaporation of the sea water. Sea vegetables (seaweeds) are an abundant source of iodine. Iodine deficiency can result in thyroid disease, cysts in the breast or ovaries, mental retardation, increased child and infant mortality and infertility. Iodine deficiency may predispose one to an increased risk of breast, prostate, endometrial and ovarian cancer. Other illnesses such as sudden death infant syndrome (SIDS), multiple sclerosis and other myelin nerve disorders.

Iodine is essential for the normal growth and development of children. Severe iodine deficiency can result in a condition termed cretinism, which is a form of mental retardation. Lesser deficiency may result in delayed physical and mental development as well as ADHD.

How much iodine do we need, and is the amount of iodine in iodized salt enough?

In the United States, the RDA ( required dosage amount) of iodine is from 150mcg/day to 290mcg/day. Iodized salt has 77mcg of iodine per gram of salt. If one was to consume the national average of 5 mg/day of salt that would theoretically supply 385 mcg of iodine. However, studies show that based on urine load testing the amount of iodine in the average American is five times lower ( based on testing of about 30,000 people.) Also keep in mind that the RDA was established to prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid) but is far inadequate to provide enough iodine to promote optimal thyroid, endocrine and immune system functioning. In addition, in recent years the public has been instructed to lower their salt consumption due to regular table salt’s detrimental effect on blood pressure. How do we fix this growing deficiency?


Looking to learn more about Iodine? Check out my video.