How can Iodine and/or an Iodine Supplement Benefit You?
Iodine is needed by the body to perform the following functions:
Prevention of goiter
Regulates the metabolism of all nutrients
Promotes thyroid health through proper thyroid function
Promotes healthy nerves and muscles
Promotes physical energy
Improves mental alertness
Essential for fetal and infant development
Promotes healthy skin, hair, nails, and teeth
Helps to metabolize excess fat
Needed for proper growth and mental development
Signs of Deficiency of Iodine
In addition to a goiter, an iodine deficiency has damaging consequences on fetal and infant development. An iodine-deficient pregnant woman increases the risk of cretinism - a severe birth defect in babies, characterized by mental retardation and growth abnormalities. Newborn babies born to iodine-deficient women require immediate attention of iodine supplements to prevent cretinism. For this reason, iodine levels are routinely tested in newborn babies.
In addition, an iodine deficiency could lead to hypothyroidism, an under active thyroid, which causes a variety of symptoms including the following:
Coarse hair and dry skin
Foggy mental functioning
However, there are many other causes of hypothyroidism.
In the past, nutritional deficiencies of iodine were more common, mainly in areas that were lacking in soil such as mountainous areas. This is because iodine comes from soil just like its colleagues, other trace minerals. In the 1920's, the introduction of fortified table salt helped eliminate this serious problem. However, experts are concerned that an iodine deficiency may be back on the rise.
Additional Possible Benefits
Therapeutic Uses of Iodine
Iodine dietary sources and/or iodine supplements are generally used as a prevention or early treatment of its deficiency disorders, which include hypothyroidism, goiter, and cretinism.
In addition, iodine supplements have also been used as a treatment for fibrocystic breast changes.
Other therapeutic uses for iodine include using it as a douche may reduce vaginal inflammation as well as the itching and discharge that go along with vaginitis. It is also used topically for burns and wounds.
Dietary Food Sources of Iodine
Some of the richest food sources of iodine include: iodized table salt, kelp, dried seaweed, seafood, vegetables grown in iodine rich soil, onions, eggs, and milk (provided the animals were fed adequate amounts of iodine.)
Iodine supplements come in various forms such as ammonium iodide, calcium iodide, potassium iodide, and kelp. Iodine is also found in multivitamins and mineral supplements.
In general, people who live in low soil iodine areas and restrict their dietary intake of iodized salt and do not eat seafood, may benefit from iodine supplements.
Recommended Daily Allowance
19 years and older: 150 mcg (RDA)
Pregnant females: 220 mcg (RDA)
Breastfeeding females: 290 mcg (RDA)
Some food sources contain a substance called goitrogens. Goitrogens block the utilization of iodine and over time could promote goiter growth if consumed raw in large amounts. These foods include: kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach, turnips, peaches, and pears. It is recommended that if you have an under-active thyroid, you need to consult your physician on the dietary intake of these foods sources, including dietary iodine supplements.
Very high doses, (sometimes as little as 750 micrograms daily) may result in the following:
Metallic taste and sores in the mouth
Inhibit thyroid hormone secretion
Swollen salivary glands
In addition, very high doses can cause an overgrown thyroid gland, which is also a sign of deficiency.
People who are on prescription medications, and women who are pregnant or nursing, should consult with your physician before taking any kind of iodine supplement.
It is recommended that anyone interested in starting any kind of supplementation speak with their physician before incorporating a dietary supplement in their daily dietary regimen.
How to Choose a Quality Iodine Supplement
1. Select a supplement from a manufacturer that follows pharmaceutical GMP compliance, which is the highest standard possible. This is CRUCIAL because dietary supplements in the U.S. are unregulated and, as such, purity and quality has been reported to be an issue.
In fact, consumers only have a 1 in 5 chance of buying a product that actually contains the amount of ingredients stated on the label or one that is not contaminated.
2. Contact the company and ask if they have a Certificate of Analysis on file, confirming the potency of each batch. Avoid companies that do not provide you with this information. Companies that have high quality supplements will have this on file. You can also obtain this information by checking their quality assurance methods.
3. Be sure to read supplement labels. Check to see if the product contains fillers or additives such as: sugar, starch, gluten, silica (sand!) or any artificial flavors or colors. Natural kelp is a good source of supplemental iodine.
4. Check to see how long the company has been in operation. The longer the better because their less apt to take risks and ruin their reputation.
5. We believe for optimum health you should take your iodine supplements as part of a comprehensive scientifically balanced formula of vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients to reap the full benefits.
Exception: If your physician has recommended a stand alone iodine supplement.
Featured Iodine Product
One company that meets the above requirements -- and more -- is Xtend-Life Natural Products from New Zealand. Their flagship product called Total Balance contains a full spectrum of over 70 specialized nutrients that the body needs for optimal 'whole' body health, including iodine, along with amino acids, potent antioxidants, specialty nutrients, herbal extracts, enzymes, vitamins, and other minerals.
All of the ingredients are scientifically combined in a synergistic way to enhance and maximize the efficacy of each other. Total Balance is formulated by a highly credentialed scientific team that can blend these ingredients perfectly to ensure maximum benefits, but as importantly that do not interact adversely. The company also uses only standardized herbal extracts, the purest herbal extracts with the highest quality and therapeutic benefits, and they adhere to strict pharmaceutical GMP compliance, which is the toughest in the industry.
All of the ingredients used in Xtend-Life Natural Products are supported with a Certificate of Analysis (COA)on file and, in addition, the company does a series of crosschecks before purchasing any raw ingredients that guarantees their potency and safety.
We have been taking Total Balance for several years now and can personally attest to its excellent results such as significantly more energy, vitality, and an improved sense of well being.
We hope this webpage discussing iodine was useful to you.
To Your Health!
Much more than Iodine Supplement can be found at our Mineral Information webpage