In this article, we will discuss the health benefits of iodine. You might have seen TV advertisements for iodized salt. If you have wondered why they make those, it is because iodine deficiency is on the rise. Experts have found that around 40% of people around the world are at risk of low levels of iodine.
Iodine is an essential component that is required for your body’s mechanism. It is a rare water-soluble trace element that plays an important role in metabolism and nervous system development. You need to consume iodine in adequate quantities. Iodine deficiency leads to significant repercussions and leads to serious health problems. Let’s know in detail about the benefits of iodine in the functioning of the human body (1).
Here are the 15 health benefits of iodine.
1. Regulates Metabolism
Iodine is very essential for the metabolic function of your body as it aids hormone production that influences the metabolic activity of your body. Iodine helps in better absorption of food and its subsequent conversion into energy. It ensures that the calories get burnt to turn into energy, enabling weight loss. When calories are not burnt, they get stored as excess fats, which results in weight gain and lethargy. This process ensures you stay active and energetic throughout the day and have a peaceful sleep at night. Indirectly resulting in the elimination of depression and insomnia.
2. Supports The Thyroid Gland
Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to produce hormones, like thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones are required for the functioning of various life-sustaining mechanisms. Iodine deficiency causes the thyroid gland to enlarge, which can lead to ailments like hypothyroidism, creationism, and goiter. The thyroid gland requires many nutrients to maintain its proper functioning and iodine is the most essential of all. Abnormal thyroid gland function leads to a host of issues such as hair loss, allergies, and memory impairment.
3. Supports The Reproductive System
Iodine helps the natural growth and maturity of reproductive organs. It also enables easy pregnancy with minimal complications and shields the unborn child from neurological problems. Regular and proper intake of iodine during the pregnancy ensures the mother and child’s good health, specifically the unborn child, as it is a deciding factor of their physical and mental health. To meet their high iodine requirement, doctors usually recommend iodine supplements for pregnant women. The careful and proper consumption of iodine reduces the risks of prematurity, stillbirths, low birth weight, autism, and many other pregnancy-related issues.
4. Strengthens The Immune System
Iodine protects your body from diseases as viruses and bacteria find it difficult to thrive in an iodine-rich environment. It builds a strong defense by activating the antioxidants and protecting your body from life-threatening health issues like heart diseases and cancer. Lack of iodine can lead to impaired immunity. Therefore is it necessary to ensure adequate iodine intake for a strong immune system?
5. Prevents Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is the enlargement of the thyroid gland which in turn results in the slow down of many functions of the body and leads to massive weight increase. It also causes skin dryness, lower concentration, swelling, constipation, cramps, and in extreme cases, coma, and heart failure. The intake of iodine protects you from hypothyroidism. The presence of an adequate amount of iodine eliminates the chances of such extremities on the body.
6. Might Help Treat Fibrocystic Disease
Fibrocystic disease is a condition in which lumps grow in the breasts, Women who suffer from this can get relief by taking iodine. It lowers the signs of fibrosis and also the pain and unease that comes with it. Its effectiveness has resulted in iodine being used extensively in modern and alternative therapies to cure fibrosis.
Iodine ensures stable and functional production of estrogen, which takes care of breast health. It eliminates the formation of cysts and lumps in the breasts. Most preliminary tests have proved the link between iodine and fibrocystic disease treatment but more research is still warranted.
7. Sustains Cognitive Abilities
If you can think and perceive accurately, then that is because of the adequate amount of iodine in your body. If you notice any sign of a drop in your brain activities, check your iodine levels immediately. Research has shown that iodine intake instantly improves mental skills. Idoine helps in developing cognitive capabilities in growing children and in increasing productivity in adults.
8. Regulates Hormones
Most of the hormones in your body are produced and regulated by the thyroid gland. As we already know iodine plays an essential role in the functioning of the thyroid gland. Thus iodine intake ensures that your hormones are kept in check and also prevents them from fluctuating. Hormones control a lot of processes in your body and iodine ensures them to work well.
9. Protects Against Radiation
Iodine hinders the absorption of radioactive elements by the thyroid gland. It protects the gland from an ensuing radiation injury. This is not something that we need to worry about in our daily life, but it is necessary to know that in case of nuclear leakage or disaster at a power plant the amazing property of iodine will guard us. Doctors also make use of iodine to treat patients suffering from radiation treatments.
10. Fights Pathogens
Iodine is also the preferred treatment for disease-causing pathogens. Most oral antibiotics that one takes to get rid of bad bacteria also kill many of the good ones. This deprives the body of many of the essential healthy bacteria and leaves unnecessary residue in your body. Iodine works just like an antibiotic and offers most of the similar effect, but it does not damage the good bacteria in the process.
11. Offers Protection Against Cancer
Iodine aids the body in shrinking and fighting off the cancer-causing cells. In the process of apoptosis, which is the systematic cell death in multicellular organisms, iodine blocks and kills the cells that can continually grow and kill the body. Iodine also lowers the risk of thyroid, prostate, gastric, and breast cancers.
12. Keeps Your Nails Strong
Iodine can bring the strength of weak and brittle nails. It improves their overall condition and keeps them away from infection. A well-balanced iodine-rich diet will help you maintain your nail health and guarantee clear, hard, and chip-proof nails.
13. Improves Oral Health
Iodine removes the most harmful bacteria in your mouth. This helps in preventing tooth decay and dullness. Iodine is a disinfectant that cleanses and strengthens the teeth and keeps them healthy. It also ensures your mouth is fresh and odor-free.
14. Improves Skin Health
Iodine aids in getting healthy and radiant skin. It controls the moisture levels of the skin and keeps dryness at bay. Iodine also speeds up the healing process of scars and cuts, promotes skin repair, and regulates the hormones that cause acne. It also slows down the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, making your skin look younger.
15. Benefits Your Hair
Iodine ensures healthy growth of hair and reduces hair breakage. Iodine kills the fungus that attacks the hair follicles and restores hair health. The antiseptic properties present in it protects the scalp from infections, ensuring a clean space for hair to grow. Iodine is the go-to for long and lustrous hair.
So, that was about the benefits of iodine. It is really essential that your body has adequate amounts of iodine. Iodine deficiency is a serious health issue in most developing nations. Therefore you need to include iodine-rich foods in your diets such as milk, seafood, potatoes, bananas, eggs, and iodized salt. Make sure you intake iodine naturally. But when natural ways are not sufficient, take iodine supplements like potassium iodide, sodium iodide, and Lugol’s solution to enhance your iodine levels. But make sure to take your doctor’s advice prior to consuming them.
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