Iodine is an essential part of every diet. It is necessary for proper thyroid hormone production, immune function, and cellular health. Unfortunately, iodine deficiencies are extremely common, and even though they're seldom recognized, they can have serious consequences.
By adding just five minutes to your morning routine and supplementing with iodine every day, you can reverse iodine deficiency and give your metabolism the boost it needs.
Here's everything you need to know about iodine, how it can improve your health, and how to supplement iodine safely.
Understanding the Role of Iodine in the Body
Iodine is one of the most essential elements necessary for your body to develop and function properly.
Your body needs enough iodine from your diet for your thyroid to function correctly, and it is also essential for immune system support and cellular health.
Iodine's most essential role is in your thyroid. Your thyroid gland is responsible for producing several important hormones. If you don't get enough iodine from your diet, you'll suffer from iodine deficiency, a preventable condition that is one of the most prevalent health problems in the world.
Unfortunately, iodine deficiency comes with dire health consequences. Several thyroid disorders, including goiter (when your thyroid enlarges) and hypothyroidism (when your thyroid can't produce enough hormones), are associated with a lack of iodine. The only way to prevent these thyroid diseases is to get enough iodine.
Immune System Support
Beyond maintaining healthy thyroid hormones, iodine supplements are essential for supporting your immune system. Because iodine aids thyroid hormone production and thyroid hormones are vital for metabolism, your immune system relies on adequate iodine intake to function correctly.
Iodine deficiency can negatively impact your immune system because your thyroid will overcompensate in an attempt to produce the necessary thyroid hormones. Eventually, your thyroid may swell and cause severe inflammation throughout your body.
Your immune system will be strained by the inflammation and begin to suffer. Inversely, adequate iodine intake is associated with improved immune system function.
Your immune system will have the necessary nutrients to work at its best. You will avoid excessive inflammation related to conditions like goiter. Your iodine-rich body will be inhospitable to harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Surprisingly, iodine can even help improve your overall cellular health. When your thyroid is healthy, it produces several essential hormones, including a hormone called thyroxine.
Thyroxine is used by your body to control the function of several different types of cells. It is involved in the function of your heart, digestive system, skeletal system, muscle control, and brain development. Iodine supports your cellular health in other ways.
Beyond helping your thyroid produce essential hormones, iodine protects your body against dangerous free radicals. Free radicals can damage your body's cells and even contribute to the development of certain types of cancer. Iodine interacts with these damaging free radicals and can even neutralize them.
The Benefits of Liquid Iodine for Health
While it's possible to get all of the iodine you need from your diet, iodine deficiency is an exceedingly common condition in children and adults around the world.
You can simplify your diet and guarantee that your body receives all the essential nutrients by supplementing with liquid iodine.
Thyroid Health and Hormone Balance
The most significant benefit of liquid iodine supplements is that they support healthy thyroid hormones. When your thyroid functions at its best, it produces several types of hormones, primarily triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
These hormones serve as chemical messengers for systems throughout your body. Thyroid hormones are most important for providing your body with the instructions it needs to metabolize correctly, but that isn't all they're capable of.
These thyroid hormones can improve your immune system's health and cellular function through direct and indirect mechanisms. You may enjoy reduced inflammation and improved energy while maintaining healthy thyroid gland function.
Immune System Boost
You can also boost your immune system by using liquid iodine supplements. As mentioned, iodine can support your immune system by providing your body with everything it needs to fight germs, but that isn't all it can do.
Because iodine is antimicrobial and anti-proliferative, it can also help fight off pathogens directly by making your body inhospitable to dangerous germs.
The best part about iodine is that you can enjoy its antimicrobial properties inside and outside your body.
When you consume liquid iodine supplements, the iodine can destroy pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, and amoebas. It can protect a wide range of microbes, from gram-negative to gram-positive bacteria.
Incorporating Liquid Iodine into Your Routine
Beyond eating iodine-rich foods, dietary supplements are the greatest way to add iodine to your diet.
You'll need to take a proper dose of liquid iodine to safely improve your thyroid hormone production. When reasonable precautions are taken, supplementing is a simple process.
Dietary Sources and Supplements
You may find it surprising to learn that many people get most of their dietary iodine from supplements, just not from the type of supplements you would expect. The most significant sources of iodine are fortified foods like iodized salt, bread, and dairy products.
Other foods, such as oysters and snapper fish, naturally contain iodine, but it can be hard to get enough iodine from these foods alone. Iodine supplements are becoming increasingly popular because they make it possible to get enough iodine in your diet without overreliance on seafood and fortified processed food.
In some cases, this supplementation is essential. If you have a low-salt diet, don't eat seafood, or practice a vegan lifestyle, supplementing iodine simplifies the question of whether you're getting enough nutrients to one simple answer: YES.
Dosage and Safety
The appropriate dose of iodine depends on several factors, including your age and whether you have relevant health conditions. It's vital to determine your dosage of iodine by referencing an iodine supplementation chart before taking any supplements.
Here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind:
|Age & Condition||Recommended daily dose of iodine (in micrograms)|
|Infant (0 - 6 months)||90 mcg|
|Infant (7 - 12 months)||110 mcg|
|Young child (1 - 8 years)||90 mcg|
|Adolescent (9 - 13 years)||120 mcg|
|Teenager (14 - 18 years)||150 mcg|
|Pregnant woman||220 mcg|
|Breastfeeding woman||290 mcg|
Age & Condition Recommended daily dose of iodine (in micrograms) Infant (0 - 6 months) 90 mcg Infant (7 - 12 months) 110 mcg Young child (1 - 8 years) 90 mcg Adolescent (9 - 13 years) 120 mcg Teenager (14 - 18 years) 150 mcg Adult 150 mcg Pregnant woman 220 mcg Breastfeeding woman 290 mcg
Of course, the above table only accounts for the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of iodine. It's possible to go slightly under or above the recommended daily dose on a day-to-day basis without suffering catastrophic health consequences.
You shouldn't exceed the iodine UL (tolerable upper intake level), which is defined as 1,100 mcg daily for adults and pregnant and breastfeeding women. If you consume excessive amounts of iodine, you may suffer from hyperthyroidism.
This condition is unlikely to occur. Many international diets include large amounts of seafood and iodine-rich foods without consequence, but it is still important to look out for.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Hand tremors
- Excessive weight loss
- Irregular or elevated heart rate
- Excessive sweating
- Fatigue and lethargy
Most people won't suffer from hyperthyroidism, but the condition may occur if you're sensitive to iodine. Iodine sensitivity is common in people who suffer from autoimmune thyroid disease and those who suffer from chronic iodine deficiency. Young children and the elderly are also more vulnerable to hyperthyroidism and iodine toxicity.
Consultation with a Healthcare Professional
Before you begin iodine supplementation, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional. Speaking with your doctor may help you better understand your current iodine intake levels and whether you suffer from any symptoms of iodine deficiency.
Your doctor may also be able to help identify whether you're likely to suffer from iodine sensitivity. You should also speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking one or more prescription medications, especially if they're life-saving medications!
Iodine supplements can cause negative interactions with certain types of drugs. Speaking to your doctor or pharmacist is a great way to guarantee that your iodine supplement won't interfere with any of your medications.
Precautions and Considerations
You'll need to take precautions when supplementing with liquid iodine. These considerations will help you adjust to the supplements while avoiding pitfalls like unforeseen iodine allergies and excessive iodine intake.
Iodine Sensitivity and Allergies
One of the most common pitfalls of iodine supplementation is encountering unknown sensitivities and allergies. Unfortunately, it's pretty common to be sensitive to iodine, especially if you aren't yet an adult, if you're elderly, or if you suffer from a thyroid condition.
If you notice any strange symptoms or signs of an allergic reaction, stop taking iodine immediately and consult your doctor.
Avoiding Excessive Intake
It's important to remember that your iodine supplements will never be your sole source of iodine. If you want to ensure you're getting the proper intake and not suffering from excess iodine consumption, you should also monitor the foods you eat. Iodized salt, oysters, seaweed, snapper fish, eggs, bread, dairy products, and canned salmon are just a few foods high in iodine.
You'll need to pair your natural intake of iodine with the proper dose of iodine supplements for the best results. Use the table provided above to determine your recommended daily intake of iodine.
Never exceed the maximum recommended intake of 1,100 mcg per day for adults. If you are a child, elderly, pregnant, or lactating, consult your doctor to determine your maximum intake of iodine.
Harness the Benefits of Liquid Iodine for Wellness
Iodine assists many of the most critical systems in your body. Iodine is essential for the function of your thyroid gland, and it's important for your immune system and cellular health, too.
Beyond improving your diet, a daily iodine supplement is the best way to improve your overall health. Adding this simple supplement to your daily routine can prevent hours of frustration and lethargy in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can liquid iodine help with weight management or metabolism?
Liquid iodine can help with weight management or metabolism if you suffer from low iodine levels. Adding iodine to your diet may help you improve your weight and metabolism because your body will have improved thyroid gland function. Your body will burn calories more quickly when thyroid hormones are at adequate levels.
What are the signs of iodine deficiency, and how can I recognize them?
Most signs of iodine deficiency are easy to recognize. You may observe symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, swelling of the neck, goiter, weakness, lethargy, dry skin, thinning hair, chilliness, reduced heart rate, irregular periods, and memory issues when you're suffering from iodine deficiency or thyroid disorders.
Are there any interactions between liquid iodine and medications or supplements?
Liquid iodine can interact with many medications and supplements. You should consult your doctor or pharmacist to verify that iodine supplements will not interact with your medicine, mainly if you rely on one or more life-saving medications.
Iodine is known to have negative interactions with anti-thyroid drugs (such as methimazole/Tapazole), ACE inhibitors (benazepril/Lotensin, lisinopril/Prinivil), fosinopril/Monopril), and potassium-sparing diuretics (spironolactone/Aldactone, amiloride/Midamor).
Can pregnant or nursing women safely use liquid iodine?
Pregnant and nursing women can safely use liquid iodine. Using liquid iodine under the supervision of a qualified medical professional is recommended if you can't get adequate levels of iodine from your diet.
An untreated iodine deficiency can increase the likelihood of miscarriages, stunted growth, and intellectual disability, and liquid iodine can provide a simple fix. Remember to investigate the iodine supplement you intend to use carefully before consuming it and consult a healthcare professional, too.
Excessive iodine intake poses just as many dire risks to your health. Many iodine supplements and iodine-rich foods are high in toxic heavy metals that can hurt your child. Avoid seafood and seaweed or kelp-derived supplements when pregnant or breastfeeding.
What are the dietary recommendations for iodine intake in adults?
It's recommended that adults and teenagers 14 years or older consume at least 150 mcg (micrograms) of iodine per day, with a recommended daily maximum of 1,100 mcg of iodine. Pregnant and breastfeeding women require an increased iodine intake of 220 and 290 mcg daily, respectively.