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Iodine: Tiny But Mighty

Is it true that some of the most substantive minerals in our bodies function in the smallest doses? Well…YES! The amount needed does not reflect importance. Trace minerals support wellness. The trace mineral—Iodine—shows their vitality.

What Is Iodine?

It is an essential trace mineral that supports healthy thyroid activity. Iodine contributes to the synthesis of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 to promote healthy metabolism, hormone production and release.

Iodine & Our Bodies

Iodine supports thyroid function. Therefore, the majority of iodine in the body lives within the thyroid gland. It supports the synthesis of thyroid hormones—thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The numbers in T3 and T4 refer to the number of iodine atoms in the respective hormones. Enzymes remove an atom from inactive T4 hormones to create active T3 hormones.

Iodine sufficiency fosters healthy thyroid function. This mineral synthesizes with an essential amino acid—tyrosine—to create T3 and T4. Deficiencies hinder essential metabolic functions, hormone production and release. Though this list is not exhaustive, this mineral supports the following body processes via involvement in thyroid function:

  • Metabolism: regulates how quickly your body expends calories
  • Heart Rate: involved in speeding and slowing your heart rate
  • Temperature: involved in raising and lowering overall body heat
  • Menstruation: supports regular menstrual cycles and consistent menstrual flows
  • Brain Development: supports proper brain cell and axon formation

Our thyroids rely on iodine. Sufficient levels support thyroid hormone production and function.

How Much Should You Take?

For the average, healthy adult, the daily recommended allowance is:

  • Adult Males: 150 micrograms/day
  • Adult Females: 150 micrograms/day
  • Pregnant Females: 220 micrograms/day
  • Breastfeeding Females: 290 micrograms/day

What Are Natural Sources of Iodine?

This mineral is often consumed in sufficient amounts through omnivorous whole-food diets. It is found primarily in animal-based foods:

  • Beef Liver
  • Chicken
  • Dairy Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish 
  • Iodized Table Salt
  • Milk
  • Shellfish
  • Seaweed

If you are eating a diet rich in animal-based proteins, then you are likely consuming adequate amounts. Iodized table salts often promote sufficiency as well. So if you abide by vegetarian or vegan diets, do not automatically assume you are deficient!

If you struggle to consume adequate amounts through your diet, consider supplementation! Supplementation exists to close such nutrient gaps. As always, if you have concerns about your individual health and mineral consumption, contact your healthcare provider.

Quick Facts:

Iodine supports the production and function of thyroid hormones.

  • What Is Iodine: a trace mineral essential in humans 
  • What Does It Do: synthesizes with tyrosine to create thyroid hormones T3 and T4
  • How Much Do I Need: average healthy adults should consume 150mcg/daily
  • Where Is It Found: animal-based proteins

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