Why Iodine is Essential to Your Health

You may have heard of iodine. Found in eggs, seafood, seaweed, and more, this compound is an important component that should be in our daily intake but is often forgotten. Not many people realize that iodine is such an essential compound for human beings. This compound is a trace mineral that is needed for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. It is crucial in the basic functioning of your thyroid glands because it helps produce thyroxine T4 and triiodothyronine T3, which are the two main thyroid hormones that regulate the metabolism of the cells in your body.

Iodine Functions

Iodine is important because it controls the functioning of our thyroid glands and is responsible for our metabolic processes. It will also help our immune systems function as they should. Iodine also detoxes our bodies, helps our skin in multiple ways, and ensures that our thyroid glands are functioning at their best. Iodine is great for regulating our skin's moisture levels, healing scars or cuts, helping acne fade, and doing other skin repair functions. What it does is regenerate the lower layers of your skin by triggering cell function, causing a replenishing of your skin, hair, and nails. It can also regulate the hormones responsible for acne.

Iodine Deficiency

This element is crucial in the production of thyroid hormones. It is an essential part of your diet and your thyroid will not be able to produce needed hormones without it. A lack of iodine may lead to the enlargement of the thyroid gland, hyperthyroidism, and cognitive disabilities in children whose mothers were iodine-deficient during pregnancy. People with a deficiency of iodine may experience fatigue, weight gain, high cholesterol, weakness, appetite fluctuations, irregular or rapid heartbeat, and depression.


Many people do not know how they can get their daily intake of iodine. By consuming iodine-rich foods, you can avoid supplements and get your daily dose of iodine naturally by incorporating these foods into your everyday meals. The amount of iodine needed will vary from person to person. Therefore, it’s important for you to consult your doctor about the right iodine intake for you. Some iodine-rich foods include dairy, eggs, yogurt, and seafood like fish, especially cod and tuna. It can also be found in shrimp, salt, cranberries, prunes, seaweed, and baked potato with the skin still on it!

Recommended Amounts

Throughout our entire lifetime, our bodies will need less than a teaspoon of iodine in order to have a well-functioning thyroid. However, because the body cannot store iodine, we need to take a tiny bit every single day. Too much iodine can actually cause burning in the mouth, a weaker pulse, vomiting, and even a coma in more extreme situations. Excess intake of iodine can also lead to hyperthyroidism and thyroid papillary cancer. Here are the optimal intake levels for various ages:

If you are between the ages of 1-3 years, 200 mcg should be sustainable. For ages 4-8 years, 300 mcg will suffice. People who are between 9 and 13 years of age should take 600 mcg, while those between 14 and 18 should take 900 mcg. Anyone 19 years or older should take 1,100 mcg. Pregnant women under 18 will need around 900 mcg, while those that are 19 years of age or older will need 1,100 mcg. Lactating women between the ages of 14-18 years old will need about 900 mcg and lactating women who are 19 years and older will need 1,100 mcg.