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Iodine Supplements

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About Iodine Supplements

Iodine is an essential mineral for human health that  can be found on the  periodic table of elements, along with many other minerals. Iodine is naturally found in a range of foods, with high concentrations found in the sea vegetables kelp and wakame. The best dietary sources of this mineral in developed nations is sushi prepared with seaweed. The popularity of sushi in AUstralia has offset some of the iodine deficiencies that are quite common.


Regular table salt was once iodised, delivering this vital mineral along with sodium chloride. Iodine was also once used for the sterilisation of dairy processing equipment, due to this minerals powerful anti-bacterial properties. Unfortunately, farmers have largely switched to chlorine-based anti-bacterial treatments, which means dairy does not contain the trace amounts of iodine that is used to. It is believed that 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 crucial at boosting the metabolic rate. Selenium is another mineral which is important for the synthesis of T3, by supporting deiodinase enzyme activity.


Iodine is 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 science does not yet fully understand. The best dietary sources are seaweed, cod fish, tuna, eggs and prunes.