Iodine is one of the elements whose influence on the organism is considerable, as it performs many important functions for proper functioning. Both excess and deficiency of this element may be dangerous, therefore it is worth taking care of its proper level. In order to prevent the negative effects of a deficiency of this substance, since 1997 in Poland there has been an obligation to iodise salt, which has proved to be an extremely intelligent and good move, since the incidence of diseases associated with a deficiency of iodine in our diet has fallen significantly, thanks to which the majority of Poles can enjoy a not too bad state of their health, which is, after all, the most important thing.
Iodine itself is indispensable for the production of thyroid hormones. Their correct concentration influences the correct development and functioning of the brain, but also the nervous system, the pituitary gland, the kidneys and the heart muscles. These hormones are also responsible for regulating the growth and maturation processes of the cells belonging to the body. In addition, they are also involved in cell respiration and energy production. They are needed in order to be able to maintain an adequate body temperature.
In the case of excess iodine, which is mostly tolerated by the general public, thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism can sometimes occur. Another possible reaction is increased salivary gland function, or excessive mucus secretion in the bronchi. Sometimes this can result in skin lesions or allergic reactions.
A deficiency of the element iodine is associated with many adverse complications. It is difficult to pinpoint typical symptoms for this condition, as they depend on too many factors, such as age, physical condition and many others. More importantly, however, a lack of iodine may result in an enlarged or underactive thyroid gland, an increased risk of stomach cancer, impaired brain function and a significant reduction in the level of intelligence or even delayed physical development. In the case of pregnant women, there can be irreversible brain damage in the newborn and the foetus, as well as increased mortality in the babies born. These are extremely gruesome cases, albeit possible.
Iodine deficiency is particularly dangerous for mothers-to-be, as it can even result in miscarriage, premature birth, birth defects and mental retardation of the foetus, which can take a huge toll on a woman's psyche.
What does iodine help?
Iodine is an element with antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It effortlessly eliminates yeast and fungi, including but not limited to those of the Candida species. Moreover, it does so without producing antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. It also proves to be more beneficial than an antibiotic due to the fact that it has no side-effects and fights viruses in addition to bacteria or fungi. Iodine will be helpful in the treatment of any skin lesions and even skin cancer itself. It is also essential in the prevention of other cancers, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer and thyroid cancer. It also protects against prostate cancer, as this is the gland that accumulates the most iodine. Iodine therapy will help with heart disease, hypothyroidism, autism, diabetes, Hashimoto's disease and Graves-Basedow disease. Iodine also supports immunity and brain function. The element helps with the treatment of inflammation, sores and wounds, while reducing tissue scarring. When applied to the scalp, it accelerates hair growth. Iodine is essential during pregnancy, as it has a key effect on the normal development of the foetus. During infections, it is in turn responsible for diluting mucus and relieving catarrh. In diabetics, it reduces the need for insulin and, when infected with pathogens, it destroys moulds and parasites. It is believed to prevent hypothyroidism in anyone who uses mobile phones on a daily basis.
Occurrence of iodine
It is very important to provide the body with an adequate amount of iodine on a daily basis, so it is worth taking an interest in which foods contain the greatest amount of this element. Seafood in the form of crustaceans and molluscs and fish, especially cod, halibut and even Baltic herring, are undoubtedly the most abundant, although the latter in smaller quantities than the others.
In countries where the industry is thriving, important sources of iodine are milk and products made from it. There is a huge iodine content in iodised table salt, which Poles have grown very fond of, so it should not be much of a problem for the general public to get enough of this element without too much trouble. Nonetheless, it is good practice to carry out periodic checkups from time to time in order to know whether our diet contains the right amount of this element for the proper functioning of the organism.