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Iodine Supplements

Iodine is a mineral and an important element for supporting general 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. If is fortunate that sushi has become so popular, as it may have offset some of the dietary declines in iodine that have come from changes in 2 popular food items. These are salt and milk.


 

It used to be that salt was iodised, delivering this vital mineral along with sodium chloride. And though table salt is not something we should be using much of, in reality, we still do. Furthermore, iodine is not used as often as it used for the sterilisation of dairy equipment, with many farmers switching to chlorine-based treatments. Some of this iodine ends up in the milk, which keeps our levels topped up.


 

Iodine is involved in a number of bodily functions, though one of the most important roles it plays is supporting thyroid hormone synthesis. The thyroid gland, situated behind the thyroid cartilage on the throat (more pronounced in males), has the important role of synthesizing thyroxine (T4), which contains four atoms of iodine within its molecular structure. It is therefore a structural component of the thyroid hormones, and plays an integral role in regulating the metabolism. Interestingly, thyroxine is converted in the peripheral tissues to triiodothyronine (T3), which contains three atoms of iodine. This hormone is believed to be even more potent at boosting the metabolic rate. Selenium is another mineral which is important for the synthesis of T3, by supporting activity of the deiodinase enzymes.



Iodine also functions as an important antioxidant, and helps to support breast health. The Canadian Journal of Surgery reported in 1993 the importance of iodine replacement for the management of fibrocystic breast disease. It has also been well documented that the intellectual development of children is dependent upon this mineral, as reported in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition back in 2005.

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