Although the amount of iodine in the human body is very low, around 25 mg, its significance is enormous. The biggest amount of iodine (around 15 mg) is in the thyroid gland, which has the main role in regulating of the metabolism, while the rest of it is in the liver, kidneys, the skin, hair and nails.
That’s why the lack of iodine can cause serious disruptions of the human body, from which suffers both mentally and physically. It’s needed for the synthesis of thyroxine, as well as for creating phagocytes (white blood cells), whose role is to destroy “the trash” in the body.
Phagocytes “catch” and “destroy” the microorganisms and dead cells, as well as the dying ones. During each cycle of the blood (duration 17 min), it destroys bacteria that has in one way or another entered the body. When the blood passes through the thyroid, the iodine weakens the activity of the bacteria and with multiple circulations it destroys them. If the level of the iodine is low, the thyroid loses part of its normal functioning. Also iodine has calming effect on humans and improves mental ability.
Recommended daily dose
Daily amount of iodine needed by healthy body is around 150 µg (micro-grams), or 0.150 mg (milligrams), and this amount increases in pregnant women and raising children. We should be aware that the iodine in large amounts, like 2-3 g can be very toxic. This applies for the pure, elementary iodine, and not its iodides, which are completely harmless, even in large amounts because they are expelled from the body in 24 through the kidneys.
So, the daily amount for adults is 0.1 – 0.2 mg and it is increased in pregnant women and nursing mothers, in conditions of very high and very low temperatures as well as lack of oxygen.
Main source of iodine is the water, food and salt, as well as the air, but it gets washed off by the rain and returned into the soil. The iodine is most commonly found in the sea algae, where in 100 g dry algae there is 26 – 180 mg iodine, see cabbage (brown algae) there is around 200 mg iodine, in 100 g sea fish and sea food there is from 300 mg to 3000 mg iodine. The iodine can be also found in the meat, milk, eggs and vegetables, and the dairy products are the ones richest with iodine.
The table below shows the presence of the iodine in 100 g of the certain products.
||Iodine per 100 g
||Iodine per 100 g
||Sour cream, grapes, green salad
||Potato, carrot, peas
||Apples, oranges, cherries, aubergine
||Pears, apricots, blackcurrant
The amount of the iodine in vegetables, grains and other products depends a lot on the composition of the soil where they are grown. Therefore, you can’t be sure that with the consummation of listed products you enter the iodine in your body. The question is: How to enhance the lack of the iodine in the body? It’s recommended consuming seafood and fresh vegetable as much as possible.
Remember: The amount of iodine is reduced significantly with the thermal processing of the products as well as with their long term storage. When cooking, meat loses up to 50% iodine, boiled milk loses around 25%, when boiling unpeeled potato it loses around 32%, and if it’s boiled in little pieces even 48%, the roasted bread loses around 80% and with boiling vegetable loses around 30-60% iodine. You should always have this in mind. Given that the iodine is important for the entire body, the lack usually is compensated by adding potassium iodide in the common cooking salt, about 1 to 2.5 g per 100 kg salt.
Around 1,5 billion people suffer from lack of iodine. The question is: What is the cause of that? The point is that the iodine compounds are easily water dissolvable, so the rain simply washes it off from the products, through which we usually receive this element.
Iodine deficiency can cause Basedow’s disease, congenital deformity of the fetus, birth of dead fetus, infertility, abortion, stagnation of the growth and development of children, mental retardation, risk of thyroid cancer, fatigue, irritability, weakness in the morning hours.
How to check iodine deficiency by yourself?
Everyone should be aware of the amount of iodine in their body, especially women and children. Man can determine by himself whether or not they have deficit of iodine. The procedure is simple and easy. In order to do it, you need to get iodine tincture (you can buy it in pharmacy), and at night, before going to bed, on a piece of cotton drop couple of drops from the iodine tincture. Then apply it anywhere on the skin, best around the belly button. The treated spot on the skin becomes dark yellow. If the following morning the yellow mark is gone, it means that the body has deficit of iodine, and if it’s still there, only brighter, it means that there isn’t.
Iodine toxicity symptoms
Not only the deficit, but the excess of iodine can also lead to undesirable consequences. The symptoms of excess iodine is manifested by increased snots, signs of cold, skin rush (Urticaria) and other allergic reactions.