Iodine deficiency may lead to goiter, pregnancy problems, etc. One of the most common causes of iodine deficiency is inadequate amount of iodine intake in the daily diet. Find out more about the causes and other details in this HealthHearty article.
Table salt is one of the major source of iodine in our body. Iodine is an essential element and its deficiency can cause goiter, metal retardation, hypothyroidism and pregnancy related problems. So, let’s find out what are the major sources of Iodine, how iodine helps our body to function properly and what causes deficiency of iodine in our body.
Sources of Iodine
Iodine is not produced in our body hence it is always recommended to include iodine rich foods in our diet. Sea vegetables or seaweeds are said to be the major source of iodine. The content of iodine is high at the coastal areas and it is very less in the mountain or hilly region. So, the crops grown near the coastal areas, fish, shellfish, and other seafood are a rich source of iodine. Apart from this, breads, cheese, cow’s milk, eggs, soy milk, yogurt, onions, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, etc., can also contribute to the iodine level. Iodized salt is also one of the major source of iodine.
Function of Iodine in Our Body
Iodine is used by the thyroid glands which are present in the throat to produce thyroxine hormone. This hormone helps in the process of metabolism and can produces energy. Iodine plays an important role in the development of nervous system in fetus, regulates the effect of estrogen which is present in the breast tissues and helps to build a healthy connective tissue. It is said to have anticancer properties and it also detoxifies the body of chlorides, mercury, fluorides and bromides. Some of the symptoms of iodine deficiency are imbalance in mental health, fatigue, thyroid problems and weight gain.
Causes of Iodine Deficiency
The deficiency of iodine can result in serious consequences. Following are some of the reasons behind the deficiency of iodine in our body.
- Among the most common causes of iodine deficiency is the intake of iodine deficient food. Many people are careless about the type of food they intake. It is always recommended to take food rich in iodine like leafy vegetables, cheese, cow’s milk, eggs, yogurt, sea food, etc.
- Due to the high metabolic rate in pregnant women, lactating women and adolescent children, there is a deficiency of iodine which can result in serious disorders. So, it is important to maintain a proper intake of iodine during pregnancy and adolescent age.
- Due to deforestation, soil erosion and bad farming techniques, the fertility of the soil is decreasing at a very high rate. Due to this, there is an increase in the deficiency of iodine in crops and vegetables. As these are the major source of iodine, they can be considered one of the causes of iodine deficiency.
- The intake of toxic chemicals hamper the iodine level in the body. These toxins compete with the iodine reactive sites and decrease the ability of the body to absorb iodine. These toxic substance are the halides which consist of fluoride, chloride, bromide and iodide. Among these four, only iodide is good for our body. So, because of their similar structure they get attach to the reactive site instead of iodine. Hence resulting in low amount of iodine.
Iodine deficiency can be cured by taking appropriate amount of iodine in the regular diet. There are also many iodine supplements available in the markets which can help you to maintain a proper iodine amount in your body.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.