What are the Health Benefits of Iodine?
- Posted on: May 2 2015
Why is Iodine important?? Iodine is necessary for the proper function of many of the body’s tissues including the breasts, pancreas, brain, stomach, adrenal glands, skin, salivary glands, and cerebral spinal fluid. Iodine deficiency can lead to a dysfunction of these tissues and cause symptoms such as dry mouth, dry skin, reduced alertness, brain fog, fibromyalgia, fibrocystic breasts, and many others. Some studies have shown that iodine deficiency leads to a higher risk of developing various cancers, especially of the breast, prostate, and ovaries.
Proper Thyroid Function
Iodine is particularly critical for proper thyroid function. More than 75% of the iodine in the body is stored in the thyroid gland. Sub-optimal thyroid function can be a result of iodine deficiency. Hypothyroidism disproportionately affects women at a rate of about 9 to 1 in the US. This is due in part to a common hormonal condition called estrogen dominance, which can inhibit the absorption of iodine in women.
Iodine is important in pregnant women, as iodine deficiency can lead to mental and physical abnormalities in the child, including poor cognition, hypothyroidism, and abnormally short stature. One 1999 study found that iodine deficiency during pregnancy can actually lower your child’s IQ by about seven points.
How Much Iodine Do I Need?
The current US daily recommended allowance (RDA) for iodine is set at 150 mcg for non-pregnant adults. However, the RDA for iodine was set with only the intention of preventing a goiter and is still well below optimal levels for good health. The Japanese consume 89 times more iodine than Americans due to their daily consumption of sea vegetables, and they have reduced rates of many chronic diseases, including the lowest rates of cancer in the world.
Your thyroid gland alone needs about 6 mg of iodine per day for optimal function; the breasts of a woman will need approximately 5 mg/day (women with larger breasts need more); and other body tissues such as your adrenal glands, thymus, ovaries, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland need about 2 mg/day. For optimal wellness, which is what you should always strive for, you need a dose closer to about 10mg/day. Dr. Shel’s Advanced Iodine is an easy once-a-day supplement to get your iodine levels up.
Why Are We So Deficient?
There are several factors that have contributed to the decline of iodine levels. Some of the key facts are:
- Depleted iodine levels in soils, which in turn lead to depleted produce.
- The over-consumption of processed foods and a decrease in the consumption of naturally iodine rich foods, such as sea vegetables.
- Increasing exposure to iodine blocking substances called Halides, commonly found in baked goods, tap water, toothpastes, pesticides, and brominated vegetable oils.
- A decrease in salt consumption due to concerns of hypertension.
- Estrogen Dominance in Women (inhibits the absorption of iodine).
What Should I Look For In An Iodine Supplement?
A high quality iodine supplement can be an effective way of making sure you get adequate levels of iodine, however you need to choose your supplements wisely. Several studies have found that as many as 4 out of 5 over the counter supplements either did not contain the amount of the ingredients specified on the label, or contained different ingredients and fillers not on the label. In some cases the fillers and ingredients not listed on the labels were even found to be harmful.
Look for professional grade supplements that have submitted for third-party certification. Third-party certification means that an independent organization has reviewed the manufacturing process of a product and has independently determined that the product was properly manufactured, contains the ingredients listed on the label, and does not contain harmful levels of any contaminants. The largest and most reputable certifier is NSF International. Supplement manufacturers are not required by law to submit their products for certification.
You can be confident that any supplements you purchase from Dr. Shel are NSF Certified supplements of the highest quality. Click here to purchase or learn more about Dr. Shel’s Advanced Iodine.