Friday, July 20, 2018

ABC's of Nutrition: Iodine

Seaweed such as kelp is a rich source of iodine. Much of the iodine intake in the U.S. comes from iodized salt. Sea salt has very little iodine. Increasing salt intake to get small amounts of iodine runs the risk of high blood pressure and other risk factors.

Technically speaking only elemental iodine is referred to as iodine. Sodium iodine and potassium iodine are referred to as an iodide. The body uses iodine and iodide differently. Iodides have a stronger effect on the thyroid gland. Iodine is involved more outside the thyroid gland, such as the modulation of estrogen action on breast tissue. Ideally you want to get one that contains all three: elemental iodine, potassium iodide, and sodium iodide.

Iodine deficiency often leads to hypothyroidism and/or a development of an enlarged thyroid known as a goiter. If the level of iodine is low enough in the blood it can cause the cells of the thyroid to become enlarged and swelling occurs at the base of the neck.

The main role of iodine is in the manufacture of thyroid hormones. Iodine also may modulate the effect of estrogen in breast tissue. The thyroid gland adds iodine to the amino acid, tyrosine, to create thyroid hormones.

John Connor, CNC

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