The Importance of Iodine in Your Diet

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Importance of Iodine in your dietIodine is considered an essential trace mineral. The term essential means that your body does not produce it, and it must be supplied by your diet. Your body needs this essential trace mineral for the production of thyroid hormone. Inadequate or deficient iodine can result in thyroid conditions ranging from hypothyroidism to enlargement of the thyroid called goiter.

What Causes Iodine Deficiency?

Reasons for this deficiency vary:

  • Farming techniques and soil depletion resulting in crops with inadequate levels of vitamins and minerals including iodine.
  • Bread and the use of bromide (salts) where in years past, iodine was used.
  • Salt restrictions or salt substitutes. Most table salts are, or once were iodized, treated with minute amounts of iodine which prevented deficiencies.
  • Exposure to Halogens. Fluoride and chloride displace or block the absorption of this trace mineral, leading to deficiency.

 Are You Iodine Deficient?

The most accurate test for this deficiency is an iodine loading test. This is a 24 hour urine test that requires you to first take a 50mg iodine/iodide tablet, and then over a 24-hour period it is determined how much of it is retained. If you are deficient you will retain a high percentage of what was consumed. According to those who developed this test, a person who takes this test and “scores” a saturation lower than 90% does have a deficiency and is a candidate for supplementation.

Correcting the Deficiency Through Supplementation

For those people with a confirmed deficiency, it is important to take a quality iodine supplement and to increase the dose very gradually. Don’t automatically begin taking 25 or 50 mg of this supplement daily. If you are prescribed a supplement, ask your physician to write your prescription for smaller doses which can be taken throughout the day rather than one large dose. As an example, if your dose is 25 mg daily, 3 mg tablets taken 8 times per day will be much more effective in relieving thyroid conditions related to deficiency.

If you have an iodine deficiency, you could experience depression, goiter, weight gain, constipation, and fatigue.  There are more serious effects of this deficiency.

Some foods to make a part of your dietary intake include sardines, tuna, lobster, oyster, garlic, spinach, and iodized salt.

In summary, suffering from this deficiency may directly cause or contribute to the development of more serious thyroid condition. Supplementation is important to address such a deficiency, but remember that other factors can play a role in the development of a thyroid condition. Visit a clinician, a competent natural endocrinologist or physician, who can test and treat thyroid conditions through a natural treatment protocol including supplementation.

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