You’ve probably heard of iodine before, but you may not be aware of exactly what iodine is and the immense history behind the use of this vital element. From the various types of iodine to the amount required for optimum health, there is a lot to know about this water-soluble trace element.
Iodine is Required for Health
Traditionally taken from the sea, as it is rarely found within the Earth’s crusts, iodine is required by the body for a number of functions. First and foremost, your thyroid glands utilize iodine to make thyroid hormones. A lack of iodine can cause the thyroid gland to swell up (known as goiter) in an attempt to increase the uptake of iodine from the blood.
Iodine is also instrumental in brain development, with an inadequate amount actually leading to the most avoidable form of mental retardation known as iodine deficiency-related retardation. Infants, in fact, may actually face lethal consequences if their mothers are severely deficient in iodine. Spiking miscarriage and stillbirth rates, and iodine deficiency can have major repercussions.
Quite simply, iodine is among the most essential substances you can give your body on a daily basis. In fact, this realization led to the amazing history behind iodine.
History of Iodine – The 20s and Now
It wasn’t until 1924 that iodine was added to salt in order to address the widespread number of iodine deficiencies sweeping the nation during that time. Specifically, Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest region were experiencing outbreaks of goiter – the swelling of the thyroid that is entirely avoidable through the utilization of proper iodine levels. The reason? Soil levels were drastically lacking in iodine, and the general public was avoiding foods rich in idoine such as kale, cranberries, and strawberries.