Discovered in the 1800s by a French chemist, iodine is a non-metallic element found mostly in the oceans and soil. It is a rare water-soluble trace element that plays a significant role in metabolism and the development of the nervous system. You need to consume iodine in adequate quantities to sustain various systems in your body, particularly the thyroid glands. A deficiency in iodine causes significant repercussions and leads to serious health problems. Iodine is a vital component needed to run your body’s mechanism, making its intake necessary and important. But not many know about benefits of iodine in the functioning of the human body. If that is the case with you as well, this post is for you.
The lack of sufficient quantity of iodine in your body leads to iodine deficiency. Some of the symptoms include enlargement of the thyroid glands, depression, anxiety, mental issues, and autism. The reasoning capabilities decrease, and lethargy takes over. Metabolism is severely affected, leading to weight gain, constipation, and improper digestion. Immunity also decreases and you become more prone to cold, cough, and fever. Iodine deficiency is a global health issue affecting both the developing and developed nations. With iodine-rich topsoil rapidly depleting across the world due to environmental pollution, it is becoming more and more of an issue to procure iodine naturally.
1. Regulates Metabolism
Iodine makes or breaks the metabolic function of your body as it assists in the production of hormones that influence the metabolic activity of your body. Iodine aids better absorption of food and its subsequent conversion into energy. The calories are burnt to turn into energy, enabling weight loss. Otherwise, they get stored as excess fats, leading to weight gain and lethargy. This process keeps you active and energetic throughout the day and leads to peaceful sleep at night, thereby indirectly eliminating depression and insomnia.
2. Supports The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce hormones, like thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which help in the functioning of various life-sustaining mechanisms. Lack of iodine causes the thyroid gland to enlarge and leads to ailments like cretinism, hypothyroidism, and goiter. The thyroid gland needs many nutrients to maintain its proper functioning, and iodine is the most important of all. A lack of iodine leads to abnormal thyroid gland function, leading to a host of problems like memory impairment, hair loss, and allergies.
3. Supports The Reproductive System
The reproductive organs grow and mature naturally with the help of iodine. Also, iodine enables easy pregnancy with minimal complications and protects the unborn child from neurological problems. Proper intake of iodine keeps the mother and child healthy, specifically the unborn child, as it is a deciding factor of their mental and physical health. Iodine supplements are recommended for pregnant women to meet their high iodine requirement as they have to consume for themselves and the unborn child. The careful and proper intake of iodine lessens the chances of low birth weight, prematurity, stillbirths, autism, and many other pregnancy related issues.
4. Strengthens The Immune System
Bacteria and viruses cannot thrive in an iodine-rich environment. Hence, iodine protects your body from diseases. It builds a strong defense by activating the antioxidants and shielding your body from life-threatening problems like heart diseases and cancer. Iodine deficiency can result in impaired immunity, which is why adequate iodine is necessary for a strong immune system.
5. Prevents Hypothyroidism
The intake of adequate iodine protects your body from a condition called hypothyroidism, the enlargement of the thyroid gland present in the frontal part of the neck. This expansion causes many functions of the body to slow down and leads to massive weight increase. It leads to drying of skin, lower concentration, cramps, swelling, constipation, and in extreme cases, coma and heart failure. The presence of adequate amount of iodine in the body eliminates chances of such extremities on the body.
6. Might Help Treat Fibrocystic Disease
Women who suffer from fibrocystic disease, a condition in which lumps grow in the breasts, can find solace in iodine. It reduces the signs of fibrosis and protects you from the pain and unease that comes with it. Iodine is, therefore, used extensively in modern and alternative therapies to cure fibrosis. Iodine enables stable and functional estrogen production, which takes care of the breast health and eliminates the formation of lumps and cysts in the breasts. Though this area warrants further research, preliminary tests have proved the link between iodine and fibrocystic disease treatment.
7. Sustains Cognitive Abilities
If you can think and perceive correctly, you should thank the iodine in your body for helping you do so. If there is any sign of a drop in your brain activities, immediately check your body’s iodine levels. Studies have proven an instant improvement in mental skills after iodine intake. It increases productivity in adults and develops cognitive capabilities in growing children.
8. Regulates Hormones
The thyroid gland produces and regulates many of the hormones in your body. Iodine plays a vital role in the functioning of the thyroid gland, thereby keeping your hormones in check and preventing them from fluctuating. Hormones regulate a lot of processes in your body, and iodine enables them to work well.
9. Protects Against Radiation
Iodine protects the thyroid gland in your body from absorbing radioactive elements, protecting the gland from an ensuing radiation injury. This property of iodine comes in handy if there is a nuclear leakage or disaster at a power plant. Also, doctors use iodine to treat patients suffering from radiation treatments.
10. Fights Pathogens
Iodine is preferred to treat disease-causing pathogens. Oral antibiotics kill the good bacteria along with the bad ones, depriving the body of healthy bacteria and leaving unnecessary residue in your body. On the other hand, though iodine has a similar effect as an antibiotic, it does not damage the good bacteria that the body needs.
11. Offers Protection Against Cancer
Iodine helps your body shrink and kill the cancer-causing cells. In a process called apoptosis, which is systematic cell death in multicellular organisms, iodine stops and kills the cells that can continually grow and kill the body. Iodine plays a role in preventing thyroid, breast, prostate, and gastric cancers.
12. Keeps You Energetic
The presence of iodine in your body keeps you up and active. Iodine aids the thyroid gland to function properly and helps you move around with enthusiasm, agility, and positivity.
13. Keeps Your Nails Strong
Iodine strengthens weak and brittle nails. It improves their overall condition and protects them from infection. A well-balanced diet will ensure proper intake of iodine, which will maintain your nail health and guarantee clear, hard, and chip-proof nails.
14. Improves Oral Health
Iodine kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth, preventing tooth decay and dullness. It cleanses and strengthens the teeth and is a disinfectant that keeps your teeth strong and healthy. It keeps your mouth fresh and odor-free.