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Iodine Supplements

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About Iodine Supplements

Iodine is a mineral and an essential element for supporting human health. Iodine can be found on the periodic table of elements, along with many other minerals, and is naturally found in foods such as the sea vegetables kelp and wakame. Probably the best dietary sources of this mineral in developed nations is seaweed-containing sushi. It may be the popularity of sushi in western nations that has offset some of the iodine deficiencies that are reasonably common in Australia.

 

Regular table salt was once iodised, delivering this vital mineral along with sodium chloride. And though table salt is not something we should be using much of, that fact reamins that we still do. Iodine was also once used for the sterilisation of dairy equipment, due to this minerals powerful anti-bacterial properties, with many farmers having largely switched to chlorine-based treatments. Some of this iodine used to end up in the milk, which kept our levels topped up. Due to these two factors, iodine deficiencies have become more widespread in developed nations.

 

One of the most important roles Iodine plays is supporting thyroid hormone synthesis. The thyroid gland, situated behind the thyroid cartilage on the throat (more visible in lean males), has the important role of synthesizing thyroxine (T4), which contains 4 atoms of iodine. Iodine is therefore a structural component of the thyroid hormones, and plays an integral role in regulating the metabolism. Thyroxine or T4 is converted in the peripheral tissues to triiodothyronine (T3), which contains 3 atoms of iodine. This hormone is believed to be even more potent at boosting the metabolic rate than T4 is. Selenium is another mineral which is important for the synthesis of T3, by supporting deiodinase enzyme activity.

 

Iodine also functions as an important antioxidant and supports breast health. The Canadian Journal of Surgery reported in 1993 the importance of iodine replacement for the management of fibrocystic breast disease. The intellectual development of children depends on an adequate level of this mineral, as reported in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition back in 2005. These roles make Iodine a crucial mineral, and one that we may not yet fully understand. The best dietary sources are seaweed, cod fish, tuna, eggs and prunes.

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