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Health Update

Monday, June 12, 2017

Courtesy of Russell R Van Hemert DC

Iodine and the Thyroid

Iodine is an essential nutrient that is required by the body in order to produce thyroid hormone.

The body does not make iodine, so it must be ingested, usually through food grown in iodine-rich soil, seafood, or through iodization of salt.

Iodine deficiency—and its extreme form iodine deficiency disorders (IDD)—is associated with cretinism, an irreversible condition that causes severe growth impairment and mental retardation. IDD is in fact the leading preventable cause of mental retardation in the world. The ATA has reported that an estimated 40 percent of the world’s population is currently at risk for iodine deficiency.

A deficiency of iodine is also associated with thyroid enlargement (goiter), an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism), recurrent miscarriage, and pregnancy loss, among other complications and health conditions. It’s also been shown in research that iodine deficiency in a woman during pregnancy can cause intellectual and cognitive deficits in her children.

What Is the Recommended Intake of Iodine?

The United States Institute of Medicine recommended minimum daily intake of iodine is similar:

  • 90 mcg daily for children 1 to 8 years old
  • 120 mcg for children 9 to 13 years old
  • 150 mcg daily for older adolescents and nonpregnant adults
  • 220 mcg for pregnant women
  • 290 mcg for lactating women

If you're concerned about your iodine intake, talk to your doctor about having your levels tested and, if needed, finding solutions to meet your needs.

By Mary Shomon - Reviewed by a board-certified physician


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