This week we dive into one of our top ten lists, the 10 important health benefits of iodine. This critically important nutrient is used by the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones that control many functions in the body including growth and development. Because your body does not produce iodine, it needs to be supplied in the diet. When iodine intake is poor, the body cannot produce enough thyroid hormones. Tune in to learn more…
The fact is that iodine is utilized for just about every function in your body. Yet many people are unaware of their body’s need for iodine, and that iodine deficiency has reached epidemic proportions worldwide.
10 Important Health Benefits of Iodine
Here are 10 reasons why maintaining sufficient iodine levels is an absolute MUST for your health:
#10. Iodine Helps Stabilize Your Mood
- It is well known that low iodine levels can have an impact on the brain, as mentioned above. More recent research has also linked iodine deficiency to depression and anxiety. A 2004 study conducted by German researchers and published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC524961/ ] found a link between “alterations of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and mild cases of depression and anxiety.”
- TSH is produced by the pituitary gland to signal the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones. Fluctuations in TSH are often an indication that the thyroid is not getting enough iodine to do its job [ https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid/how-your-thyroid-works ].
#9. Iodine Maintains Strong Teeth and Bones
- Iodine assists in the production of strong teeth and bones by being a key player in calcium absorption. In fact, the connection between low iodine, low calcium absorption, and hypothyroidism has been known by researchers for at least the last hundred years https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/542133?redirect=true
- One of the functions of the thyroid is the production of calcitonin, a hormone that helps balance blood calcium levels. This mechanism not only leads to maintain strong bones; it also plays a role in the healthy functioning of the nervous system, heart, and muscles.
#8. Iodine Helps Prevents Hair Loss
#7. Iodine Ensures Reproductive Health
- Did you know that Japanese women have the lowest rates of breast cancer in the world? A 2003 report published in the journal Breast Cancer Research postulated that this could be a direct result of eating iodine- and selenium-rich seaweed, which is a staple in the Japanese diet [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314438/ ].
- Iodine is fuel for reproductive glands as well as the thyroid. Studies suggest that getting enough iodine can help prevent fibrocystic breast disease, preeclampsia, ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, vaginitis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and even breast cancer. Enough iodine in the body is also one aspect of a healthy pregnancy [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28260263 ].
#6. Iodine Is a Powerful Antioxidant
- It can help reduce free radical damage that may lead to gene mutation and disease.
- It is a great boon for the immune system as it helps clean the blood of harmful pathogens.
- A 2013 meta-analysis [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3752513/] published by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in the journal Thyroid found that iodine is “an antioxidant as well as an antiproliferative and differentiation agent” which can help clear up free radical damage in many organs of the body.
- It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
#5. Iodine Is a Natural Antiseptic
- Maybe you remember that brownish-red solution your mom used to apply when you had a cut? For everything from cleaning wounds to purifying water, iodine is a sterilizing substance that can kill unhealthy organisms, bacteria and viruses.
- A 2015 Iranian study found that a low-concentration iodine antiseptic used after oral surgery helped instigate first-stage wound healing in the surgery area, leading to faster recovery and less chance of infection [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25249172 ].
#4. Iodine Protects You From Radiation
- It is a natural protectant from UV radiation for the eyes, according to a 2004 Austrian study [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14676959 ].
- Iodine supplementation can also be used to help individuals suffering from long-term radiation exposure. The effects of too much radiation can happen because of accidents, medical devices, and the radiation emitted by TSA scanners at airports.
- A 2008 study [ https://www.rrjournal.org/doi/abs/10.1667/RR0944.1 ] published in Radiation Research discovered that “terahertz radiation” like that found in airport x-ray scanners is linked to genetic mutation. Adequate amounts of iodine in the body is a must for anyone who travels a lot.
#3. Iodine Protects the Body From Toxins
- Fluoride, chlorine, and bromine are dangerous chemicals found in everything from new car interiors to tap water.
- They can also severely hinder thyroid function.
- Maintaining healthy iodine levels can block these “halide” chemicals from accumulating [ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8909694 ].
#2. Iodine Helps Your Brain Stay Sharp
- Furthermore, a 2013 Australian investigation published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience found that iodine supplementation improved the perceptual reasoning of slightly deficient children considerably [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3607807/ ].
#1. Iodine Is Necessary for Metabolism and Thyroid Function
- Metabolism is the act of converting food into substances your body can use.
- It helps the body break down food into nutrients via the thyroid gland and other mechanisms.
- Iodine is the literal “fuel” for the thyroid. Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are the main hormones that the thyroid produces.
- For these hormones to be created, they need iodine. Good thyroid health also helps your body keep a steady heart rate, regulate temperature, improve digestion, and maintain a healthy weight. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK28/
Nascent Iodine - is also known as atomic iodine, monatomic iodine, Atomidine, or colloidal iodine. The term “nascent” refers to iodine that has an incomplete number of electrons. This gives it an electrical charge, according to a report conducted by the non-profit Weston Price Foundation and others.
- Many forms of dietary iodine break down into iodide in the digestive tract. In this state, iodine-dependent organs like the thyroid and reproductive organs cannot use it. The charge of nascent iodine helps it stay intact and absorb quickly and thoroughly into the organs that need it most.
Deeper Dive Resources
History of U.S. Iodine Fortification and Supplementation
NIH Fact Sheet for Professionals
Iodine Deficiency - American Thyroid Association
The Great Iodine Debate - Weston Price Foundation
Iodine Articles in Organixx’s INSPIRED Health Library