- What is Iodine?
- 11 Amazing Health Benefits of Iodine
- Bottom Line
Iodine is an essential trace metal that the body requires to function properly and reduce the chances of thyroid cancer. This article discusses 11 amazing ways that the body can use iodine.
A French chemist Barnard, discovered iodine in 1811, through accident. He was trying to extract potassium and sodium compounds from seaweed and added sulfuric acid to what was left. This caused a purple cloud to erupt in the lab and then a condensed form of iodine started accumulating on metal objects in the room.
Iodine much like copper is required in trace amounts by the body to function fully; it has a direct impact on the thyroid gland, which is responsible for the physical and mental development. In the earlier 20th century iodine was added to table salt to avoid the medical condition known as goiter. The documented discovery of iodine dates back 200 years, but iodine has been a part of treatment for Chinese women who suffered from goiters since 5,000 years. They ate seaweed to reduce the abnormality and cure it. Fish and shellfish were also a part of the diet for people suffering from goiters.
What is Iodine?
Iodine is the heaviest of the stable halogens and is a chemical element. It has many oxidation states, iodide, iodate and numerous periodate anions. Iodine is not abundant in its solid form, it is a radio contract metal in the chemical world. The largest producers of iodine are Japan and Chile. It has mineral nutrients, which are necessary for the thyroid glands to produce adequate hormones. Iodine deficiency can be the cause thyroid cancer.
Iodine used by the thyroid gland synthesizes its secretions, which affect the metabolic system of your body positively affecting the heart’s function, increasing nerve responses. Iodine is linked to the development process of women who are expecting, which is why they should keep their iodine intake at an optimum level to reduce the chances of an underdeveloped child.
Food Sources of Iodine
As a trace element, it is required by the body in smaller amounts to keep up with the daily functions of the body and mind. Here is a list showing the food sources of iodine.
- Sea vegetables
- Organic yogurt
- Organic strawberries
- Raw, organic cheese
- Organic potatoes
- Himalayan pink salt
- Navy beans
- Dried prunes
Iodine is predominantly a part of the thyroid, but is present in all bodily tissues and organs to keep us alive and well.
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Iodine
1. Healthy Metabolism
It keeps your thyroid functionality running properly as it produces two hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, both of which affect the Base Metabolic Rate, which is responsible for the body to absorb nutrients properly and move them throughout the body and also helps improve your sleep cycle. The secretions from thyroid glands have a direct impact on cognitive health and development.
2. Energy Level Maintenance
Iodine has a huge role in breaking down fats and complex carbohydrates by maintaining a healthy metabolic rate. Your metabolism helps keep the body energetic by absorbing nutrients efficiently while at the same time it eliminates fat retention. Fats often make the body and mind lethargic, and here, iodine ensures the energy levels remain adequate.
3. Hair and Skin Care
As much as a good salt scrub can do for your skin, the uses of iodine for the skin are not limited to this. Iodine deficiency has been linked to hair loss – iodine helps strengthen your hair follicles, enhance hair growth. Plus, it also helps regenerate skin cells.
4. Fetus Development
Cretinism and stillbirths are common among women that are diagnosed with an iodine deficiency. This deficiency is linked to hypertension, which strongly affects the sense of hearing and other developmental abilities of the child. The child can be born deficient in iodine and may have deformities. The necessity of iodine is such that its deficiency can cause infertility in women. Women who are expecting need a steady intake of iodine as it is being utilized every day by the body and will become a part of the child’s feed.
5. Stronger Immunity
It helps the body retain hydroxyl radicals such as vitamin C, and stimulates the activity of these antioxidants in the body. The adequate utilization and facilitation of antioxidants lead to a stronger defense mechanism in the body. Studies conducted on rats have shown that iodine consumption targeted the effects of free radicals on their brains.
6. Hypothyroidism Prevention
It’s deficiency can be the cause of many abnormal functions in the body, hypothyroidism being one. This condition affects the activity of the thyroid gland and slows it down significantly, which leads to an inadequate metabolic function, which can slow down many other regenerative and absorption processes in the body. This also leads to unmanageable weight gain as the body is no longer breaking down fats properly and it starts accumulating them instead. Hypothyroidism results in severe fatigue, dry skin and adversely affects brain activity.
7. Treating Fibrocystic Diseases
A study conducted on the effects of iodine molecules on fibrocystic growths has proven the effects of this metal in preventing such growths. It has to regulate the stimulating properties that prevent fibrosis, breast tenderness, and turgidity.
8. Cancer Prevention
It is strongly linked to the reduction of thyroid cancer; it also has a similar effect on all cancerous growths and cells. There are observations showing the reduction of cancerous growths after one is injected into them. It conserves anti-carcinogenic properties that affect all cancers negatively including breast cancer.
9. Facilitates Apoptosis
Apoptosis is programmed cell death; This is part of the regenerative process of the body. Through this process, the body is able to cause cell death in cancerous cells and other damaged cells. This is strongly related to the adequate hormone secretion from the thyroid gland.
10. Removing Toxins
It helps draw out the impurities and harmful chemicals from the body such as lead, mercury and other harmful biological toxins. It has antibacterial properties and targets helicobacter pylori, which is what causes gastric cancer.
11. A Cure for Goiter
Considering the fact that iodine deficiency is the cause of goiter in many patients, amping up your iodine intake can make a world of difference. Adding eggs, seaweed, and salt fortified with iodine and fish to your diet can help reduce the symptoms of goiter. These sources of iodine have been a part of the diet for people suffering from goiter throughout history.
Iodine affects the most basic functions of the body; iodine deficiency can open doors too many chronic diseases hence eat the recommended foods to maintain healthy bodily functions.