Iodine is a trace element that is essential for life. It plays an important role in the healthy functioning of your thyroid gland and is required to make the thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These thyroid hormones circulate in the bloodstream and are responsible for a number of roles in the body including regulating our temperature, heart rate, metabolism, glucose consumption and production of proteins.
Hyperthyroidism is where too much thyroid hormone is produced, and this can result in a very high metabolic rate. Symptoms of the condition include a rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, weight loss and feeling hot. With hypothyroidism, where too little thyroid hormone is produced, people experience symptoms such as a slower heart rate than normal, they tend to feel cold and experience unexplained weight gain, dry skin, weakness, muscle aches, depression and fatigue.
Iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism, enlargement of the thyroid (known as goiter) and to mental retardation in infants and children whose mothers were iodine deficient during pregnancy.
Thyroid problems are not the only issues linked to iodine deficiency. Research suggests that it is also linked to obesity, cognitive impairment, psychiatric disorders, fibromyalgia and a variety of cancers.
Iodine deficiency was common in certain areas of the US and Canada before the 1920s, but the introduction of iodized salt has virtually eliminated the problem. However, the problem persists in many other parts of the world where people do not have enough iodine available through their diet. According to the American Thyroid Association approximately 40 per cent of the world’s population remains at risk for iodine deficiency.
BEYOND THE THYROID
The nourishment of the thyroid gland is just one of many bodily functions for which iodine is needed. Let’s take a look at some of its other uses:
Iodine plays an important role in the health of women’s breast tissue. Other than the thyroid, the highest concentration of iodine is found in the breast tissue. Iodine deficiency has been linked with fibrocystic breast disease, which can cause severe breast pain and the development of cysts and nodules. Research has shown that daily amounts of 3,000-6,000 mcg of iodine may help relieve the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease.
Did you know that 20 per cent of the iodine in your body is stored in your skin? This is why a deficiency of iodine can lead to skin dryness and a lack of sweating.
32 per cent of your body’s stores of iodine are contained in your muscles. If these levels are depleted this can lead to muscle pain and fibromyalgia symptoms.
THE DIGESTIVE TRACT
Parts of the digestive tract contain a high concentration of iodine. Concentrated amounts are found in the cells of the stomach lining. Iodine deficiency has been linked with digestive problems.
The tear glands contain large amounts of iodine, which is why a deficiency can to dry eyes.
High levels of iodine are found in the ovaries. Iodine deficiency is linked with ovarian cysts and may also be related to polycystic ovary syndrome.
According to research, health disorders linked to iodine deficiency can be prevented by an adequate intake of iodine. However, as the body does not make iodine, it is therefore an essential part of your diet. Iodine is found in a variety of foods ranging from cheese and cow’s milk to eggs, saltwater fish, and shellfish. The highest concentrations of this trace element are found in seaweed, particularly kelp and bladderwrack.
The European recommended daily intake is 150mcg per day of iodine, but natural health practitioners suggest that up to 50mg of iodine per day from natural sources will support better health. Look for atomic nascent iodine as this is the closest form to natural iodine.
Nascent Iodine is the best form of iodine supplementation.
Nascent Iodine is a consumable iodine in its atomic form rather than its molecular form. It is an iodine atom that has an incomplete number of electrons. It is paramagnetic. This means that the iodine atoms can hold an electromagnetic charge.
Nascent iodine therefore has a huge energy release when consumed. This ‘charged’ state is held by the atom until diluted in water and consumed, whereby it gradually loses energy over a two to three-hour time span. During this time, the iodine is recognised by the body as the same iodine that is recognised by the thyroid and is absorbed effortlessly by the body.
One drop = 400mcg of iodine. Usage depends upon the desired effect. Frequent small doses are more effective than large amounts at less frequent intervals.