The US introduced iodized salt in 1924 to help protect the population from deficiency symptoms.
However, a recent study published in 2008 Environmental Science & Technology Journal, revealed that 47 of 88 samples randomly tested did not meet the US FDA Standard for Iodine content.
Add to that the ever-growing trend of people avoiding salt and we are looking at a resurgence of an iodine deficient American population. I admit myself that I consistently use Himalayan Pink Salt and Celtic Sea Salt. (Which do not contain any significant amounts of iodine)
Women considering pregnancy should be aware that iodine largely affects nervous system development of a growing infants and women should be aware of/monitor their iodine intake during pregnancy. This also poses another problem due to the avoidance of seafood items during pregnancy months. Iodine deficiency has also been shown to be a factor in ADD and ADHD disorders, which may develop during infant growth.
The most widely recognized and understood facet of iodine use within the body is its regulation of thyroid hormones. This is of particular interest to women, who seem to experience thyroid irregularities far more frequently than men. Iodine is also useful as a bacterial inhibitor, per its use as a topical skin disinfectant, and a purifying agent in water.
Recently I learned that iodine plays quite the role in preventing Fibrocystic Breast Disease. It appears to normalize the effect of estrogen in breast tissue – which would also lead us to believe that by lowering the effects of estrogen in the breast that it may also play a role in the prevention of breast cancer in general.
In addition, it seems that several experts agree that overall iodine deficiency plays a role in immune system function as well.
While goiter (enlarged thyroid) is the most recognizable symptom of iodine deficiency, there are other warning signs to watch out for concerning hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism: (fatigue, weight gain, lethargy, depression).
Hyperthyroidism: (weight loss, rapid heartbeat, changes in appetite).
The utilization of iodine is thwarted by certain foods, including those that contain goitrogenic compounds, like: Cruciferous vegetables (for example: cabbage and broccoli).
Proper Iodine levels may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of:
Fibrocystic breast disease
Sources of dietary iodine include:
Sea Vegetables (like kelp)
Most fish/shellfish – However, it is hard to predict the amount of iodine in fish due to its concentration being dependent upon the feeding regimen and cycles
Milk, Eggs and Yogurt
I recently started supplementing with Kelp myself to help with my own weight loss efforts and to provide some relief from cyclical tenderness associated with Fibrocystic Breast Disease.
Here are some informative articles from Natural News: