Iodine

Known for preventing hyperthyroidism, iodine is an essential mineral mainly found is iodized salt.

Iodine benefits

Iodine is responsible for maintaining normal thyroid function within the human body. This is particularly important because the thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, synthesizes protein, and controls the body's sensitivity to other hormones.

Sources of iodine

The primary source of iodine for most individuals will be from table salt where iodine has been added. If one prefers non-iodized salt, a natural source of iodine can be found in dairy products as well as various types of seafood such as cod, sea bass, haddock, and perch. If you are a vegan, kelp is a viable alternative to fish or dairy products that contain iodine.

Recommended amounts

Set forth by the Institute of Medicine, the daily recommendations for iodine are below (some individuals may be placed on a plan that requires higher than normal amounts to manage a specific issue they may be experiencing).

Table 1: Recommended Dietary Intakes for Iodine1
Age Amount
0-6 months 110mcg/day
7-12 months 130mcg/day
1-8 years 90mcg/day
9-13 years 120mcg/day
14+ years 150mcg/day
Women who are pregnant or nursing will require highly daily amounts of iodine. If you are in this scenario, be sure to ask your doctor about what amounts are best for you.

Iodine side effects

Ingesting too much iodine may result in reduced thyroid gland functionality. Receiving too little iodine may result in goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland) or hyperthyroidism (a condition where the thyroid does not create ample amounts of the thyroid hormone.

Women who are pregnant and suffering an iodine deficiency may bear a child suffering from cretinism (a condition where physical and mental growth is severely limited).

Sources:
1Iodine in diet - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002421.htm

Nutrition Categories: