Iodine Benefits, Recommended Intake, Food Sources & Deficiency Symptoms

Photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash

Iodine is an essential trace element, which is vital for normal growth and development of the body. Around 70 to 80 percent of iodine is found in the thyroid gland in the neck. The rest is in the blood, the muscles, the ovaries, and other parts of the body. Its health benefits play a very important role in the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, which secretes thyroid hormones that control the base metabolic rate of the body. In fact, without it, thyroid hormones could not even be synthesized. For those who don’t know or wonder how beneficial iodine is for the human health, just spend a few minutes reading the article to have more experience!

Health Benefits Of Iodine

1. Regulates Metabolic Rate

Iodine influences the functioning of thyroid glands by assisting in the production of hormones, which are directly responsible for controlling the body’s base metabolic rate. Metabolic rate affects the efficacy of the organs and regular processes like the sleep cycle, and the absorption of food and its transformation into usable energy. Certain hormones, like thyroxine and triiodothyronine, influence heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, and temperature. The body maintains BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate) with the help of these hormones, which also helps in protein synthesis. Ensuring their normal creation and distribution in the body is a key to maintaining good health.

2. Stronger Immunity

It helps the body retain hydroxyl radicals such as vitamin C, and stimulates the activity of these antioxidants in the body. The adequate utilization and facilitation of antioxidants lead to a stronger defense mechanism in the body. Studies conducted on rats have shown that iodine consumption targeted the effects of free radicals on their brains.

3. Sustains Cognitive Abilities

If you can think and perceive correctly, you should thank the iodine in your body for helping you do so. If there is any sign of a drop in your brain activities, immediately check your body’s iodine levels. Studies have proven an instant improvement in mental skills after iodine intake. It increases productivity in adults and develops cognitive capabilities in growing children.

4. Detoxes Fluoride

You don’t want to consume too much Iodine just to try to get rid of fluoride, but getting the right amount of Iodine will help to make sure that your body has the ability to combat the level of toxic fluoride. Fluoride accumulates in the body over time, so it’s good to be able to help neutralize it with Iodine, rather than letting it store up over several months of even years. The good news is that you are likely getting enough Iodine, so this is happening for most people automatically.

5. Encourages Healthy-Looking Skin and Hair

Iodine is commonly included in skin care products to help promote a clear complexion. Iodine is also a nutrient that supports healthy-looking hair. In fact, healthy development of skin, teeth, and bone all depend upon normal thyroid hormone levels, which depend on an adequate supply of iodine.

6. Increase Energy Levels

While iodine is very beneficial in ensuring the utilization of calories along with preventing them from depositing in the body as excess fats, it also plays a role in maintaining certain levels of energy indeed. Increasing energy levels is also one of the benefits of iodine in the body. If you do not get enough Iodine for a day, you will drop in a deficiency of energy as this element helps thyroid function properly and is also a factor make you feel up and desire to go, particularly when you feel lethargic and need more rest. In fact, it is difficult to consider which level of energy is healthy but Iodine is always necessary to boost your energy by anyways.

7. Cancer Prevention

It is strongly linked to the reduction of thyroid cancer; it also has a similar effect on all cancerous growths and cells. There are observations showing the reduction of cancerous growths after one is injected into them. It conserves anti-carcinogenic properties that affect all cancers negatively including breast cancer.

Recommended Dietary Amounts (RDA) For Iodine Is As Follows:

The amount of iodine you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in micrograms (mcg).

Life Stage

Recommended Amount

Birth to 6 months

110 mcg

Infants 7-12 months

130 mcg

Children 1-8 years

90 mcg

Children 9-13 years

120 mcg

Teens 14-18 years

150 mcg


150 mcg

Pregnant teens and women

220 mcg

Breastfeeding teens and women

290 mcg

Iodine Deficiency Symptoms

Clinical signs and symptoms of iodine deficiency include:

→ Depression
→ Difficulty losing weight
→ Dry skin
→ Headaches
→ Lethargy or fatigue
→ Memory problems
→ Menstrual problems
→ Hyperlipidemia
→ Recurrent infections
→ Sensitivity to cold
→ Cold hands and feet
→ Brain Fog
→ Thinning hair
→ Constipation
→ Shortness of breath
→ Impaired kidney function
→ Muscle weakness and joint stiffness

Here are some good sources of iodine: 12 Foods to Recover Iodine Deficiency

Word of Caution

Iodine overdose of more than 2,000 mg could be dangerous, especially for people suffering from kidney disorders or tuberculosis. When taken in excess, it could result in thyroid papillary cancer, rather than help prevent it. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should be cautious about taking this element, except in specifically prescribed doses. A healthy balance is required because different people react differently to the dose, so be careful while consuming.

Sources & References:

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Photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash Iodine is an essential trace element, which is vital for normal growth and development of the body. Around 70 to 80 percent of iodine is found in the thyroid gland in the neck. The rest is in the blood, the muscles, the ovaries, and other parts of...
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