Pros: Protects against toxins, a great antiseptic
Cons: Body doesn't need a lot - toxic in overuse.
Iodine is a trace mineral that is found in the earth's soil and is necessary to sustain human life. It is abundant in the ocean and found in sea animals, seaweed, and kelp.
Iodine is crucial to the functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid is instrumental in the body's metabolism, which in turn effects the body's energy levels. Iodine deficiency is the first thing that should be ruled out as a possible cause of hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism would be things such as chronic fatigue, depression, dry skin, intolerance to cold, abnormal or unexplained weight gain, and goiter (enlargement of the thyroid).
There is some interesting research out on the connection between the thyroid and fibrocystic breast disease as well as the use of iodine in treatment. Although not entirely conclusive, this research shows promise and stems from the low incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women who have a regular diet consisting of seaweed.
Interestingly, goiters were quite common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hence the reason for the introduction of iodine in common table salt, which virtually all but eliminated this problem.
Iodine is also reputedly an excellent protection against toxins from radioactive materials. This was significantly noted during the Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown and potassium iodine tablets were given to those persons who were affected.
Most of us are familiar with the use of iodine in clearing up clogged breathing tubes or the increase of mucus from the cold or flu. Gargling with iodine rich table salt and warm water is certainly an old time remedy that has stood the test of time.
Iodine is also reputedly an excellent antiseptic. Potassium Iodine tablets are still used today for campers going in the backcountry and for those traveling to the Third World as a form of water purification. However, because iodine can be toxic when overused, I would personally recommend the use of Grapefruit Seed Extract for water purification purposes. Particularly for those who travel extensively in places where the water is questionable.
The recommended daily allowance of iodine is 150 micrograms. Unless ordered to do so by your health care practitioner, avoid overconsumption of iodine as it could be toxic. The best source of iodine is foods such as kelp, seaweed, shrimp, lobster, clams, oysters, and of course, iodized salt. Persons who restrict their salt intake should consider eating some of the foods rich in iodine to avoid deficiency.
Iodine tablets are available for use, but I would not recommend this unless prescribed by a health care practitioner. The recommended daily amount of iodine is easily obtained through proper diet.
If you want to learn more about the importance of iodine, refer to the following web sites:
Facts on iodine:
Goiter and iodine:
For the thyroid/fibrocystic/breast cancer connection:
Radioactive/nuclear testing and iodine:
Eat well and live health and long!