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Iodine and your thyroid


Iodine and your thyroid hormones are closely interlaced such that deficiency of iodine can cause hypothyroidism.  Each and every cell of your body uses thyroid hormones to regulate metabolism and body weight by controlling the burning of fat for energy and heat. A huge part of the thyroid hormone molecule is Iodine, a vital, trace constituent that is key to a healthy thyroid and good metabolism.  




Iodine and your thyroid


How iodine and your thyroid hormones are connected...


Although your body wants iodine, it cannot make it; as a result, you have to get it from the food that you eat. Iodine is so essential to your thyroid that even the names of the different forms of thyroid hormone reflect the number of iodine molecules attached—T4 has four attached iodine molecules, and T3 (the biologically active form of the hormone) has three—presenting what an important part iodine plays in thyroid biochemistry. This is how iodine and your thyroid hormones are closely knitted. T3 is the most active, and is the one that directly affects the tissues. Together, T3 and T4 can affect metabolism, brain development, breathing, heart and nervous system functions, body temperature, muscle strength, skin dryness, menstrual cycles, and cholesterol level.

What iodine does to your body?


Iodine has no less than four key functions in your body

1. Regulation of metabolism and body weight
 2. Growth and development of the brain and central nervous system, particularly in children, from 15 weeks’ gestation as a fetus, to age 3 years.
 3. Fertility and ovulation in women
 4. Optimization of your immune system (Iodine is a potent anti-bacterial , anti-viral, and anti-cancer agent)

How iodine and your thyroid function together..


A healthy adult body contains just about 15-20 mg of iodine, 70-80 percent of which is retained in the thyroid gland. The thyroid uses this iodine in the form of iodide. Your thyroid carries iodine only in its ionized form (i.e. iodide). Your thyroid reduces iodide (I-) into iodine (I2) for use in formation of thyroglobulin. Your body doesn’t utilize iodine directly. It has to split the I2 into two I-ions, which is an oxidative reaction that results in oxidative stress. So now you would have got a clear picture of how iodine and your thyroid work together. Iodide transporters are to be found in other areas of your body besides the thyroid gland, including your breasts and colon. But still, this iodide must come from iodine, and that is rather you have to get from what you eat and drink, or through a supplement. While most of the earth’s iodine is found in the oceans, you can figure out that natural food sources for iodine is the sea foods.

Some of the foods loaded with iodine..


As iodine and thyroid is interconnected you need iodine intake to enhance your thyroid functioning. Sea foods such as scallops, shrimp, sardines, salmon, cod, and sea vegetables like kelp and algae are rich in iodine.  Other sources include eggs, yogurt, and cow’s milk and iodized salt.  Iodine as a food supplement typically comes from artificial additives in processed foods and table salt. Fruits and vegetables also restrain iodine; however, the amount fluctuates depending on the soil, fertilizer use, and irrigation practices.

Consult with your doctor and check out the causes for your under active thyroid functioning such as iodine deficiency. Add on needed iodine to your diet along with other healthy routines and thyroid hormone substitution medication. 

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