What we need to know about Iodine?
There is a reason why in China and Japan and even in the rest of Asia, seaweed is so important. They know that the seaweed salad or the makis (sushi papers) have important impact on the Iodine consumption. Here at the other side of the world, the main intake of Iodine comes from iodized salt. And this is the first way how our body gets its iodine amount. But we need to be careful because an opened table salt box, due to oxidation will lose its iodine content in about 4 weeks.
How much iodine we need?
Iodine is a key mineral in human metabolism, and found in many foods. Under normal circumstances, your body contains approximately 20 to 30 mg of iodine, most of which is stored in your thyroid gland. The amount we need depends on our age. We need higher amount in the early and in older ages. A baby till the 6th months needs 110mcg, and an adult needs 150mcg, but children around the age 1-8 only need 90mcg a day. Iodine is almost completely (upper then 90%) absorbed in humans.
What food to eat?
It’s better to eat fresh food than processed, due as canned food and other processed goods almost never contains iodized salt, except breads that contain iodate dough conditioners.
Yogurt, cow's milk, eggs, strawberries and mozzarella cheese is also very good sources of iodine. Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine, as well as fish and shellfish.
What helps to absorb iodine?
The iodide ions are easily absorbed through the walls of the digestive tract in the stomach and small intestine. Vitamin A (found primarily in animal fats) helps the body absorb iodine. You don’t have to boost the absorption.
Iodine deficiency may cause Goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland), fatigue, weakness, depression and weight gain.
What is iodine for in the body?
It’s necessary for the body to make thyroid hormones that controls the metabolism. These hormones are responsible for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy, but getting enough iodine is important for everyone, especially infants and women who are pregnant.
Is too much iodine dangerous?
Accidental overdose of iodine from medications or supplements in amounts exceeding one gram may cause burning in the mouth, throat and stomach and/or abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dirarrhea, weak pulse, and coma.
It is difficult to take in too much iodine from food sources alone. It is estimated that men and women consume at most 300 mcg and 210 mcg of iodine per day, respectively. In general, even high intakes of iodine from food are well-tolerated by most people.
It is important to note that if you have an autoimmune thyroid disease or if you have experienced an iodine deficiency at some point in your life, you may be more susceptible to the dangers of excessive iodine consumption, and may, therefore, need to monitor your intake of iodine more carefully.
Does pregnancy increase the need for iodine?
Yes. Iodine is an essential for breastfed babies, and the amount they get depends on the mother’s intake. The average suggested intake grows nearly twice as normal for pregnant women and more upper for the term of lactation.
About iodine supplements
Normally there’s no need for dietary supplements to take enough iodine, except pregnant women and people who don’t use iodized salt, or people living in regions with low iodized soil. Taking iodine as a dietary supplements always needs consideration, since taking too much iodine with anti-thyroid medications could cause your body to produce too little thyroid hormone. Taking this supplement without medical suggestion in a higher dose may cause serious hormonal problems, thyroid gland inflammation and thyroid cancer.