Iodine is a trace mineral needed by the body in order to synthesize the thyroid hormones which are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
Under normal condition, the body contains around 20 to 30 mg of iodine wherein most are kept in the thyroid gland, located under the voice box, in front of the neck.
Smaller amount of iodine are also found in the stomach lining, in the blood, salivary glands and in lactating mammary glands.
The iodine RDA is as follows:
|0 to 6 months||110 µg|
|7 to 12 months||130 µg|
|1 to 8 years old||90 µg|
|14 to 18 years old||120 µg|
|19 years and above||150 µg|
|Pregnant women||220 µg|
|Lactating women||290 µg|
Iodine Rich Foods List
The best way to prevent iodine deficiency syndromes is to have a healthy diet that contained sufficient amount of iodine. Below is an Iodine rich foods list but please note that as the quantity of iodine in a plant or an animal that has consumed it is dependent upon the concentration of the mineral in the soil that these amounts are variable.
|Iodine Rich Food||SERVING SIZE||Average amount (µg)|
|Asparagus||100g||1.2 to 110.2|
|Beet – leaves||100g||24.8 to 143.5|
|Cheese – Camembert||100g||7.6|
|Cheese – Average||1 oz (28g)||3.3|
|Egg – boiled||1 large||40.1|
|Lettuce||1 oz (28g)||18.6|
|Milk – Cow 1%||100 ml||2 to 15|
|Milk – Goat||100 ml||7.2|
|Salt – Rock||100g||49.5|
|Seaweed (Wakame)||100g||50 to 450,000 (in Japan)|
|Tuna||1 oz (28g)||20.0|
|Turkey||1 oz (28g)||39.9|
Why Take Iodine?
Iodine is essential to human life, as a component of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) thyroid hormones. When the body doesn’t have sufficient amount of the iodine mineral, it will not be able to synthesize those hormones. The thyroid hormones are responsible in regulating the metabolism of every cell in the body and play a significant role in all physiological functions. Insufficient amount of iodine in the body can have a devastating impact to one’s well-being and overall health.
The enlargement of the thyroid gland or goiter is normally the earliest visible symptom of deficiency of iodine. Although this condition can occur due to various reasons, iodine deficiency is one of the most common causes worldwide. As the body tries to produce an increased amount of thyroid hormone, there will be an overstimulation of the thyroid gland by thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) and results to the enlargement of the thyroid.
Iodine deficiency can lead to hyperthyroidism, which causes rapid heartbeat, appetite fluctuations and weight loss. Insufficient iodine intake can also cause hypothyroidism that causes several symptoms including weight gain, fatigue, depression and weakness. Severe iodine deficiency during infancy or pregnancy can cause cretinism, which is primarily a condition that is characterized by hypothyroidism that leads to severe mental retardation or failure of the thyroid gland, deafness, stunted physical growth and spasticity. Cretinism can be corrected with iodine supplementation discovered in its initial stage.
By making use of the Iodine rich foods list is helped that you can avoid many of the problems associated with deficiency of this mineral. Find out more about Iodine Rich Foods.
References and Further Reading
Nora; Office of Dietary Supplements; Linus Pauling Institute; Philippines Department of Health.