The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck that may play an important role in the body's metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being.* It produces hormones that regulate these important functions, and iodine is an essential mineral that may play a role for the functioning of the thyroid gland.*
The thyroid hormones are regulated by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain, and it usually requires iodine to produce its hormones.* When the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones, it is called hypothyroidism, and when it produces too much, it is called hyperthyroidism. Both can cause various symptoms and need to be treated with the help of a healthcare professional.
The history of iodine
Iodine was discovered in 1811 by French chemist Bernard Courtois. He was in the process of manufacturing saltpeter (potassium nitrate) from seaweed ash when he noticed that his hands were stained purple. He realized that this was due to an unknown element and began experimenting to isolate it. He eventually succeeded in isolating iodine and named it after the Greek word "iodes," which means "violet."
Iodine was initially used primarily in the production of dyes and as a disinfectant. In the early 1800s, it was discovered that iodine could be used to treat goiter, an enlarged thyroid gland caused by iodine deficiency. This led to the widespread use of iodine as a medicine, and it was added to table salt to prevent goiter in areas with iodine-poor soil.
Today, iodine is known for its role in producing thyroid hormones, which might help support the body's metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being.* Iodine is a mineral that may play a role for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and overall well-being.*
Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, which are responsible for regulating the body's metabolism. When the body lacks iodine, the thyroid gland might not produce enough hormones, potentially leading to hypothyroidism.* Symptoms of hypothyroidism usually include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, and depression.
Iodine deficiency might be found, especially in areas where the soil is iodine-poor. Even in areas where iodine is present in the soil, it may not be present in the foods grown there. Furthermore, the modern diet, which often includes processed foods that are low in iodine, can also contribute to deficiency.
That's why supplementing with iodine might be beneficial for some people. Iodine supplements might help complement the amount of iodine you get to support your thyroid health.*
As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need an iodine supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.