Iodine Supplement Benefits

6

With iodine supplement benefits, the most obvious one is preventing a goiter or any type of enlargement of the thyroid gland. Any person that has any kind of family history or thyroid disease should start taking this straight away, especially if they are having a couple of really bad days  and finding it hard to think clearly. This can also save you paying a lot of money to see your doctor and for prescriptions for thyroid diseases.

Iodine Supplement Benefits

Iodine is a trace element that must be replenished from our diet. Running low on it for long periods of time will result in Iodine Deficiency.

1. Improves Cognitive Abilities

It’s been shown that those with an impairment in cognitive function are brought up to speed on their Iodine levels there is an improvement that goes along with it. For those of you that have noticed a drop in your cognitive abilities, it’s time get your Iodine levels checked out.

2. Detoxes Fluoride

Toxic fluoride accumulates at the same receptor sites as Iodine and when you are low on iodine, fluoride will grab any open sites and build up in your the body over time.

3. Improves Metabolism

Your thyroid is the major organ for regulating your metabolism, and if your Iodine levels are low, you will an underactive thyroid, and sluggish metabolism. By supplementing your Iodine levels to an adequate levels and you should see an increase in your metabolism.

4. Protects Thyroid

Every day we’re bombarded by plastics, foods, drinks that expose us to free radicals. These attack the thyroid. Having adequate Iodine protect the thyroid from free radical damage.

5. Balances Hormones

Low Iodine can lower your level of T4, which regulates other hormones. You may experience low libido, chronic fatigue, thinning of hair and any number of symptoms.

6. Improves Hair Growth

Iodine has been linked to the health of the hair, and hair growth. Thinning hair may be a sign that you may be running low on Iodine.

7. Increases Energy Levels

Not getting enough Iodine each day sets you up for not having as much energy as you would otherwise. This is because it helps with proper thyroid function, and this is a big factor in whether you feel up and ready to go, or if you feel lethargic and like you need more rest.

8. Provides Protection from Radiation

In Japan doctors are also using it to help patients recover from radiation treatments.

9. Protects from Pathogens

Iodine has a similar effect as antibiotics while not damaging healthy gut bacteria.

10. Protects Against Cancer

In a process known as apoptosis, Iodine helps the body kill off cells that could end up leading to cancer. This is one of the most important reasons to get your Iodine levels checked at your next doctor visit, or even to schedule a particular visit to have all of your vitamin and mineral levels checked..

Iodine fortification of bread

Iodine fortification of bread

best supplement for iodine

Iodine is an element that is essential for normal growth and for the development of the brain.

A healthy diet needs enough iodine, but too much can cause health problems. Many Australians have enough iodine in their diet, but some don’t.

What does iodine do?

Iodine helps the thyroid gland, in the neck, to make the hormone thyroxine. Thyroxine controls many of the ways certain cells work.

Thyroxine is important for the growth of bones and nerves, and how proteins, fats and carbohydrates are used in the body.

Iodine is important before birth and in babies and young children. It is essential for the development of the brain and nervous system, the 5 senses, alertness and coordination.

How much iodine do I need?

How much iodine you need depends on your age and stage of life:

Stage of life Recommended daily intake for iodine (micrograms per day)
Babies 0 to 6 months 90
Babies 7 to 12 months 110
Children aged 1 to 8 90
Children aged 9 to 13 120
Adolescents aged 14 to 18 150
Adults 150
Pregnant women 220
Breastfeeding women 270

Source:NHMRC

Too little or too much iodine can cause problems.

Too little iodine may cause extreme tiredness, feeling cold, problems concentrating and hair loss. And without enough iodine, the thyroid gland may enlarge to form a goitre. It shows up as a lump in the neck.

Too much iodine (usually from supplements) can be dangerous for people with thyroid disorders.

How do you get enough iodine?

You get iodine from food. Foods high in iodine include seafoods such as oysters, snapper and seaweed. Tinned salmon, bread, eggs, milk and milk products such as yoghurt also contain iodine.

Iodine is also added to many types of salt. You can check on the label.

Iodised salt is now used in bread making. The packaging will tell you how much iodine the bread contains.

Iodine and pregnancy

If you are pregnant, check if you are eating enough iodine. Low iodine levels can increase the risk of a miscarriage. It can also lead to stunted growth and intellectual disability or reduced IQ in the baby.

The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that all women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or considering pregnancy take an iodine supplement of 150 micrograms a day to top up their intake as otherwise they are unlikely to get all the iodine they need every day. Talk to your doctor about this. Women who have a thyroid condition should not take iodine supplements until they have checked with their doctor.

Many Australian women don’t get enough iodine for pregnancy, so it’s important to take a supplement from when you are planning pregnancy, right through until after you have had the baby and finished breastfeeding. If you are pregnant, avoid kelp (seaweed) supplements as these may contain varying levels of iodine and may contain heavy metals such as mercury

Iodine

Iodine is a mineral for thyroid function found mostly in iodized table salt, fish, and highest in seaweed. Despite most first world diets being sufficient in iodine, it may benefit those who do not consume seafood and are also in a high risk population (pregnancy and intentional salt restriction).

best iodine supplements

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Iodine is an essential mineral in the diet due to its importance towards cognition and fetal development secondary to being required for thyroid hormones; iodine is central to the active thyroid hormones T3 and T4, and a true iodine deficiency results in less of these hormones and may result in reduced cognition (if a subclinical deficiency) or cretinism (severe deficiency in utero).

Despite the importance of iodine, it is not a common dietary supplement. This is due to table salt being iodized (added iodine) and even relative deficiencies being quite rare in first world countries (it is a common issue in developing countries due to iodine only naturally occurring from fish and seaweed which may not be consumed); actually benefitting from supplementation of iodine requires a ‘perfect storm’ of situations to occur which are outlined in the dosing section but not many people will meet these requirements.

Supplementation of high doses of iodine in otherwise healthy people does not appear to result in much, since it is readily excreted and normalized. There may be a very small and (clinically) irrelevant antiinflammatory effect and a small reduction in thyroid hormones (rather than an increase), but that seems to be it. Obscenely high doses for a prolonged period of time, which occurs with consumption of unprocessed seaweed (mostly kombu) will result in benign goiter in all persons and thyrotoxicity in some persons with underlying thyroid issues.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Supplementation of iodine is designed to circumvent a deficiency, and deficiencies of iodine are quite rare in first world countries. For those in a first world country, iodine should only be considered if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You are a vegetarian or vegan who actively avoids processed foods, or a meat eater who never eats fish and avoids processed foods
  • You avoid adding additional iodized salt to your diet
  • You avoid consumption of seaweed or seaweed based products (such as sushi, which are wrapped with Nori)

Assuming all the criteria are met, recommendations for iodine intake tend to be in the range of 75-150 μg (micrograms) or 0.075-0.15 mg daily while higher doses are not inherently dangerous although there may be a slight suppression of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) at 500 μg or above.

best iodine supplement

The main benefits of iodine are maintaining thyroid health, immune function, and brain and nervous system support. Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits.

Iodine for Thyroid Health

One of iodine’s biggest roles in the body is to support the thyroid in producing thyroid hormones, TSH and its active metabolites T3 and T4.

However, maintaining optimal iodine requirements can be a very delicate balance to achieve. The thyroid also requires selenium to use iodine for thyroid hormone synthesis, so selenium and iodine levels should always be considered together when evaluating supplementation for thyroid health. [2]

Excess iodine intake may even initiate or aggravate hypothyroid symptoms, so supplementing iodine should not be taken lightly if you already have or are predisposed to hypothyroidism [3, 4].

Iodine for Fetal Development

One time where iodine needs are more pronounced is during pregnancy. Iodine is essential for fetal development, particularly for fetal thyroid gland development. Also, during early pregnancy, the fetus depends entirely on the mother’s thyroid hormone production. Production of T4 increases by 50% during pregnancy, requiring an increase in iodine as well. The RDA of iodine for pregnant women increases from 150 to 220 mcg/day, (and the RDA represents the absolute minimum requirement for function, so your individual needs may be higher.) [1]

Severe deficiency can also contribute to diminished cognitive and neural development in infants and children [2].

Iodine for Immune Function

Iodine is also critical for proper immune function. Besides being inherently antiseptic, killing all single-celled organisms, iodine and thyroid hormone together appear to provide constant surveillance against abnormal cell development. It also protects against abnormal bacterial growth in the stomach such as H. Pylori overgrowth. Iodine can also coat and neutralize both biological and chemical toxins.

As for the immune system itself, iodine seems to increase immune cell function. This effect is due to iodine itself, rather than an increased production in thyroid hormones [5]. However, additional research shows that, once again, too much iodine can easily cause immune system dysfunction [6].

Iodine for Fibrocystic Breasts

Iodine deficiency is indicated in women who have fibroids, non-cancerous lumps, in their breast tissue. These abnormal growths usually appear and disappear based on the menstrual cycle, or they may build up over time. Since iodine protects against abnormal cell development and proliferation, adequate iodine levels may prevent these fibroids from occurring [7].

Iodine for Nervous System and Brain Health

Many parts of the brain appear to be affected by a lack of iodine, including the hippocampus, neurotransmitters, the protective myelin that surrounds our nerves, and the process of cognition itself. Further research needs to be done on iodine’s role in brain health, but we can surmise that maintaining good iodine status is supportive of nervous system and brain health [8].

Iodine Deficiency

Iodine deficiency is actually very common, especially among women since it is present in the female body in the mammary tissue and cervix in addition to the thyroid and salivary glands.

You may be more susceptible to iodine deficiency if you [1]:

  • Don’t consume iodized salt
  • Are pregnant
  • Are vegan or do not consume many animal products
  • Live in a region with iodine-deficient soils
  • Consume goitrogen-containing foods (foods that interfere with iodine uptake in the thyroid).

Symptoms of iodine deficiency may look similar to many hypothyroid symptoms, since low iodine can exacerbate hypothyroidism. Possible iodine deficiency symptoms include [1, 9]:

  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Low thyroid hormone production/conversion
  • Weakness
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Goiter (an enlarged thyroid)
  • Pregnancy-related issues, including impaired fetal brain and thyroid development.

Sources of Iodine

You can get iodine from your diet as well as through supplementation.

Iodine Rich Foods

Healthy food sources of Iodine include [1]:

  • Seaweed (nori)
  • Seafood: fish, oysters
  • Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Eggs
  • Beef liver.

Unless they are processed and iodine is added, plant-based foods are not very good sources of iodine (except for seaweed!). If you are generally healthy and following a whole-foods based diet, you can get adequate iodine intake from the foods above.

Iodine Supplements

Iodine supplements can benefit those who are deficient or low in iodine due to a thyroid condition, pregnancy, veganism or low animal food intake, etc. However, it’s always a good idea to work with a practitioner before starting to take iodine if you have a preexisting condition.

With BodyBio Liquid Iodine, you can also use your sense of taste to test whether iodine supplementation is right for you. Simply add the recommended number of drops to an 8 oz. glass of water, swish and swallow, and observe what you taste. If you experience a sweet taste or no taste, it is safe to continue taking iodine and your body is actually craving that mineral. If you experience a foul taste, discontinue––your body does not want more iodine right now. Retest periodically to see whether you need to adjust your dose or stop altogether.

Read more about the importance of minerals and the mineral taste test in this blog.

The Bottom Line on Iodine

Iodine is a critically needed mineral to support thyroid hormone production, immune function, and nervous system and brain health. Women especially need adequate presence of this trace mineral, due to its use in breast tissue and the cervix. Yet, it is one of the most finicky nutrients to supplement; too much or too little can easily cause problems and symptoms, including exacerbating hypothyroidism.

The main benefits of iodine are maintaining thyroid health, immune function, and brain and nervous system support. Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits.

Iodine for Thyroid Health

One of iodine’s biggest roles in the body is to support the thyroid in producing thyroid hormones, TSH and its active metabolites T3 and T4.

However, maintaining optimal iodine requirements can be a very delicate balance to achieve. The thyroid also requires selenium to use iodine for thyroid hormone synthesis, so selenium and iodine levels should always be considered together when evaluating supplementation for thyroid health. [2]

Excess iodine intake may even initiate or aggravate hypothyroid symptoms, so supplementing iodine should not be taken lightly if you already have or are predisposed to hypothyroidism [3, 4].

Iodine for Fetal Development

One time where iodine needs are more pronounced is during pregnancy. Iodine is essential for fetal development, particularly for fetal thyroid gland development. Also, during early pregnancy, the fetus depends entirely on the mother’s thyroid hormone production. Production of T4 increases by 50% during pregnancy, requiring an increase in iodine as well. The RDA of iodine for pregnant women increases from 150 to 220 mcg/day, (and the RDA represents the absolute minimum requirement for function, so your individual needs may be higher.) [1]

Severe deficiency can also contribute to diminished cognitive and neural development in infants and children [2].

Iodine for Immune Function

Iodine is also critical for proper immune function. Besides being inherently antiseptic, killing all single-celled organisms, iodine and thyroid hormone together appear to provide constant surveillance against abnormal cell development. It also protects against abnormal bacterial growth in the stomach such as H. Pylori overgrowth. Iodine can also coat and neutralize both biological and chemical toxins.

As for the immune system itself, iodine seems to increase immune cell function. This effect is due to iodine itself, rather than an increased production in thyroid hormones [5]. However, additional research shows that, once again, too much iodine can easily cause immune system dysfunction [6].

Iodine for Fibrocystic Breasts

Iodine deficiency is indicated in women who have fibroids, non-cancerous lumps, in their breast tissue. These abnormal growths usually appear and disappear based on the menstrual cycle, or they may build up over time. Since iodine protects against abnormal cell development and proliferation, adequate iodine levels may prevent these fibroids from occurring [7].

Iodine for Nervous System and Brain Health

Many parts of the brain appear to be affected by a lack of iodine, including the hippocampus, neurotransmitters, the protective myelin that surrounds our nerves, and the process of cognition itself. Further research needs to be done on iodine’s role in brain health, but we can surmise that maintaining good iodine status is supportive of nervous system and brain health [8].

Iodine Deficiency

Iodine deficiency is actually very common, especially among women since it is present in the female body in the mammary tissue and cervix in addition to the thyroid and salivary glands.

You may be more susceptible to iodine deficiency if you [1]:

  • Don’t consume iodized salt
  • Are pregnant
  • Are vegan or do not consume many animal products
  • Live in a region with iodine-deficient soils
  • Consume goitrogen-containing foods (foods that interfere with iodine uptake in the thyroid).

Symptoms of iodine deficiency may look similar to many hypothyroid symptoms, since low iodine can exacerbate hypothyroidism. Possible iodine deficiency symptoms include [1, 9]:

  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Low thyroid hormone production/conversion
  • Weakness
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Goiter (an enlarged thyroid)
  • Pregnancy-related issues, including impaired fetal brain and thyroid development.

Sources of Iodine

You can get iodine from your diet as well as through supplementation.

Iodine Rich Foods

Healthy food sources of Iodine include [1]:

  • Seaweed (nori)
  • Seafood: fish, oysters
  • Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Eggs
  • Beef liver.

Unless they are processed and iodine is added, plant-based foods are not very good sources of iodine (except for seaweed!). If you are generally healthy and following a whole-foods based diet, you can get adequate iodine intake from the foods above.

Iodine Supplements

Iodine supplements can benefit those who are deficient or low in iodine due to a thyroid condition, pregnancy, veganism or low animal food intake, etc. However, it’s always a good idea to work with a practitioner before starting to take iodine if you have a preexisting condition.

With BodyBio Liquid Iodine, you can also use your sense of taste to test whether iodine supplementation is right for you. Simply add the recommended number of drops to an 8 oz. glass of water, swish and swallow, and observe what you taste. If you experience a sweet taste or no taste, it is safe to continue taking iodine and your body is actually craving that mineral. If you experience a foul taste, discontinue––your body does not want more iodine right now. Retest periodically to see whether you need to adjust your dose or stop altogether.

Read more about the importance of minerals and the mineral taste test in this blog.

The Bottom Line on Iodine

Iodine is a critically needed mineral to support thyroid hormone production, immune function, and nervous system and brain health. Women especially need adequate presence of this trace mineral, due to its use in breast tissue and the cervix. Yet, it is one of the most finicky nutrients to supplement; too much or too little can easily cause problems and symptoms, including exacerbating hypothyroidism.

When supplementing with Bodybio Liquid Minerals, you can use your sense of taste to determine what dose you need and easily adjust as you go. Learn more about BodyBio Liquid Iodine here.

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