Iodine is a trace mineral that is essential for the thyroid gland and energy level but it is also needed by all of the glands found in other areas of the body such as the mammary glands. Deficiency can affect children and adults thinking ability and deficiency during pregnancy may reduce the infant's mental ability and growth.
Iodine is a mineral that is important for energy level due to its use in the thyroid for making thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone has a few active forms and both are T3 and T4 have important roles in metabolism - the chemical use of sugar for energy. T3 contains three atoms of iodine and T4 contains four atoms of the trace nutrient.
We also need iodine for all of the other glands in the body including the endocrine glands in the brain and the mammary and sexual glands - the breasts and the ovaries and prostate glands - and the female version of the prostate gland, the Skeyn's gland.
Lack of iodine is diagnosed when the thyroid hormone levels are low or the level of TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, however the thyroid gets priority so when thyroid levels of iodine are low it means the amount the rest of the glands have would be even lower. Lack of iodine can leave us with symptoms of hypothyroidism which can include severe tiredness, depression, and reduced sexual interest.
Moderate deficiency can also reduce the IQ - Intelligence Quotient - by as much as fifteen points for children or adults, however supplementation may be able to restore cognitive skills in school children that were tested so adults may also benefit from increasing intake of the mineral. Infants who had insufficient iodine during prenatal development may be born with congenital hypothyroidism which if diagnosed early and treated with iodine and/or thyroid hormone may not affect long term growth or mental ability. If left untreated the infant may grow slowly and have reduced mental ability and shorter than average height compared to their age group.
Low levels of iodine may also reduce the function of the immune system and increase risk of sickness or some types of cancer, particularly of the thyroid gland or the breasts and prostate.
Food sources of iodine:
Good food sources of iodine include kelp and other sea weeds and seafood, iodized salt and products containing iodized salt, coconut, rhubarb, and fortified foods and supplements.
anything made with iodized salt,
many types of seaweed including kelp and nori, (used in sushi rolls),
coconut and any other produce that is grown very near to ocean waters (Iodine is released into the air by coastal water microbes - so killing coral reeves may affect our nutrient supply - that is also how we get selenium.)
cranberries, organic yogurt, and navy beans and other types of dry beans are also mentioned as good sources of iodine in this article: (globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/iodine-foods/).
It is also good to have adequate selenium when increasing intake of iodine as occasionally the body can overreact and start over producing thyroid hormone and selenium is necessary for the enzyme that is needed to breakdown excess amounts of thyroid hormone. Since the thyroid hormone plays such an important role in metabolism of energy, too little can cause hypothyroidism and symptoms such as depression and feeling cold, while too much can cause hyperthyroidism with symptoms such as a racing heart and feeling jittery and manic.
Food Sources of Selenium:
Two hundred micrograms per day is the recommended amount and is generally available in a one-a-day type supplement, otherwise approximately two Brazil nuts per day is a good natural source - there aren't many natural sources because it is released into the atmosphere by coastal ocean water microbes and Brazil nut trees found in the Amazon rain forest seem to be good at collecting the mineral. Occasionally eating Brazil nuts along with a typical habit of taking a one-a-day vitamin wouldn't be likely to cause an overdose but over time choose one or the other as a long term daily choice.