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What is Iodine Good For?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/14/2024

Understanding Iodine Benefits for Optimal Health

Understanding the myriad of iodine benefits is crucial to maintaining optimal health. This essential mineral plays a significant role in our bodies, particularly in thyroid function and hormone production.

Iodine acts as a shield against excess estrogen, influences cognitive function, and has the potential to reduce insulin needs. The challenge of absorbing enough iodine due to factors like fluoride interference or soil quality will also be discussed.

Learn about practical solutions for overcoming deficiencies by adding iodine-rich foods like sea kelp to your diet.

The Importance of Iodine for a Healthy Metabolism

Iodine is a mineral that's essential for a healthy metabolism. An iodine deficiency can result in a slowed-down thyroid, putting on extra pounds, and possibly lumps forming around the organ.

Where to Get Iodine

Since our bodies don't make iodine, we must get it from our diet or supplements. Kelp, milk products, seafood, and eggs can provide ample iodine. But, thanks to soil depletion and other environmental factors, many people don't get enough.

The Dangers of Too Little or Too Much Iodine

Not getting enough iodine can lead to hypothyroidism, resulting in fatigue, depression, and weight gain; conversely, too much of it can cause hyperthyroidism with symptoms such as a rapid heart rate, anxiety, and irritability.

On the other hand, too much iodine can lead to hyperthyroidism, causing symptoms like a rapid heart rate, anxiety, and irritability. So, it's essential to maintain the right balance, and you can take a hypothyroidism self-test at home.

Consult a Professional

If you think your iodine consumption may be causing a thyroid issue, it's best to consult with a medical expert before altering your eating habits or supplement routine.

Iodine: The Hormonal Balancer

Iodine can help balance hormones and protect against potential health risks like certain cancers. It's significant for conditions like fibrocystic breasts and ovarian cysts.

Pregnancy and Hormonal Imbalance

Pregnancy can reduce hormone levels, but maintaining optimal iodine levels can help regulate them. Don't let those increased estrogen levels get the best of you.

Organic Foods and Hormonal Health

Non-organic foods may contain chemicals that can disrupt hormonal balance. Stick to organic foods and get your iodine to keep your hormones in check.

Soy: Friend or Foe?

Soy products contain phytoestrogens that can mess with your natural hormone regulation. Be cautious with your soy consumption, particularly if you have issues like fibrocystic breasts or ovarian cysts.

Proper diet and iodine intake are crucial to maintaining balanced hormones and protecting against excessive estrogen.

Cognitive Function Boost with Iodine

Iodine is a mineral that is essential for brain development and maintaining cognitive function. Children who are iodine deficient can suffer stunted cognitive development, while older adults with low levels of iodine may experience cognitive decline.

So, where can you get iodine? Seafood and dairy are good sources; try fortified foods or supplements if you're plant-based.

The recommended daily amount is 150 micrograms for adults, but pregnant and lactating women need more.

Reducing Insulin Need Through Adequate Iodine Intake

Don't overlook iodine in your diet - it plays a crucial role in blood sugar regulation. By reducing insulin need, iodine helps maintain stable blood glucose levels, which is especially beneficial for those with diabetes or prediabetes.

Support your body's metabolic processes by incorporating iodine-rich foods into your diet. Seafood, dairy products, and eggs are all excellent sources of iodine.

Understanding Your Body's Insulin Needs

The amount of insulin required depends on age, weight, activity level, and general health.

Maintaining Stable Blood Glucose Levels

Balance carbohydrate intake with physical activity and medication (if prescribed) to help maintain stable blood glucose levels.

Diabetes illustration

The Relationship Between Iodine and Diabetes

Research suggests that low levels of iodine may increase susceptibility to type 1 diabetes by affecting pancreatic beta cell function - the cells responsible for producing insulin.

Incorporating Iodine-Rich Foods into Your Diet

Seafoods like codfish and shrimp, dairy products like milk and cheese, eggs, and seaweed snacks are all excellent sources of iodine.

Be mindful of iodine intake, as too much could result in thyroid imbalances. Before making any dietary changes, it is best to consult a healthcare professional for advice.

An optimal balance of nutrients, including sufficient but not excessive amounts of iodine, incorporated naturally through a proper diet, can significantly reduce dependency on external insulins and improve overall well-being, especially for those struggling with diabetic conditions.

Preventing Hot Flashes With Sufficient Iodine Levels

Menopause is a natural stage in every woman's life, but it doesn't come without challenges. One of the most common symptoms experienced during this transition is hot flashes - sudden feelings of warmth that can make your face and neck red and sweaty.

While there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, maintaining sufficient iodine levels might provide some relief.

Iodine plays an essential role in our bodies by regulating hormones, including those involved in reproductive health. As estrogen levels vary, hormonal disruptions can take place during the menopause period. This imbalance can trigger hot flashes, among other symptoms.

Adequate intake of iodine may help balance these hormone levels, potentially reducing the frequency or severity of hot flashes.

A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that women with lower thyroid function (which could be due to inadequate iodine) were more likely to experience severe menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.

  • Maintain a Proper Diet: Incorporating foods rich in iodine, like sea vegetables (e.g., kelp), fish, dairy products, and eggs into your diet can help maintain adequate iodine levels.

  • Lifestyle Changes: Regular exercise and stress management techniques like breathing exercise or long walks can also support overall hormonal balance, indirectly affecting iodine level regulation.

  • Salt Intake: While table salt is fortified with iodine, excessive consumption should be avoided due to potential negative impacts on blood pressure and heart health.

In addition to dietary changes and lifestyle modifications, consider consulting with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen, especially if you're currently taking medication for thyroid disorders.

It's important to remember everyone is unique. Their needs may vary based on age, weight, medical history, etc.

The Challenge of Absorbing Enough Iodine

Getting enough iodine for optimal health can be a struggle. Fluoride and bromate, found in water and flour products, respectively, can interfere with iodine absorption. Also, declining soil quality makes getting enough iodine from food crops harder.

Fluoride vs. Iodine

Research shows that fluoride and iodine compete for uptake by the thyroid gland. So, even if you consume enough iodine, high fluoride intake can prevent your body from absorbing it effectively.

Bromate and Iodine Absorption

Bromate in flour products has been found to inhibit iodine absorption and potentially lead to deficiency despite sufficient dietary intake.

Soil Quality and Iodine Availability

Declining soil quality worldwide means that trace minerals like iodine may not be present in food crops, even if they're present in the soil.

It's not just about eating more iodine-rich foods like sea kelp. We must also be aware of what might prevent us from fully benefiting from these sources, such as fluoride-laden tap water, bromated bread, and nutrient-depleted soils.

Overcoming Iodine Deficiency By Consuming Sea Kelp

Struggling to keep your iodine levels up? Sea kelp might be the answer. This oceanic wonder is packed with iodine, vitamins, and amino acids. Just make sure to choose organic and clean-sourced sea kelp.

The Importance of Iodine

Iodine is vital for proper thyroid functioning, cognitive capacity, hormonal equilibrium, and glucose control. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to get enough iodine naturally due to factors like fluoride in water and bromate in flour products.

Why Sea Kelp?

Sea kelp is a nutrient-rich source of iodine, vitamins A to E, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and calcium - making it an ideal choice for those looking to improve their diet while protecting the environment.

Plus, it's a sustainable option for those concerned about our oceans and fisheries.

Choosing the Right Sea Kelp

When selecting sea kelp, always opt for certified organic brands from reputable suppliers who adhere to strict quality control measures.

Too much of a good thing can be harmful, so moderation is key when incorporating new foods into your diet, especially those high in specific nutrients like iodine.


Iodine is essential for good health, but getting enough can be tricky, thanks to fluoride, bromate, and soil quality issues. Sea kelp is a great way to get your iodine fix and enjoy benefits like cognitive function, estrogen protection, and fewer hot flashes.

So don't let iodine deficiency get you down - add some sea kelp to your diet and feel the difference!


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