Despite the fact the average human body contains only about 15-20mg of iodine, this mineral was one of the first nutrients identified as an essential trace mineral.
About two-thirds of body iodine is stored in the thyroid gland at the lower front part of the neck. The rest is spread among the stomach lining, blood, ovaries, and other glands.
Even though we have only minute amounts of iodine, it is important to normal growth and development. An adequate level of iodine is essential for thyroid health, and for the production of thyroid hormones which control many body functions including our basal metabolic rate the rate at which we produce and consume energy even while resting.
- Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormone that plays a role in growth, development and metabolic processes.
- Thyroid hormone helps regulate the function of mitochondria, which are the energy-producing components of cells.
- Iodine is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, and is necessary for the synthesis of important thyroid hormones.
- The thyroid gland produces triiodothyronine (called T3) and thyroxine (T4) hormones which have identical effects on cells. Both T3 and T4 impact heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight. They also act to increase the basal metabolic rate, affect protein synthesis, and increase the body's sensitivity to compounds such as adrenaline.
- To meet the body's demand for thyroid hormones, the thyroid gland traps passing iodine from the bloodstream and converts it into the T3 and T4 hormones. These hormones are stored in the thyroid then released to the bloodstream as needed.
- Thyroid hormones are essential for the proper development of all cells since they help regulate protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Iodine also:
- supports fat metabolism
- may be helpful for breast tissues
While iodized salt is the primary dietary source of iodine for most Americans, many types of sea life absorb iodine from the water and bring it to the table. The richest sources of iodine are:
- Marine fish "Apple-converted-space">Â Â
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