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Mineral Directory - Iodine

DK Publishing logoDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks


Daily requirement
men: 0.15mg per day
women: 0.15mg per day

Although iodine (I) is found in all body cells, about 40 percent of the body’s iodine is stored in the thyroid gland. Here, it is used for making thyroid hormones, which are required for normal body metabolism and growth. Iodine occurs naturally in the sea; our dietary iodine has to come from seafood or from plants grown in soil near to the sea. However, most table salt is now fortified with iodine. Excess iodine is secreted in the urine.

Iodine deficiency

If the body does not get enough iodine, there is a decrease in the production of the thyroid hormones. To compensate, the thyroid gland becomes enlarged.

A deficiency of iodine is a common worldwide cause of goiter (swelling in the neck due to a enlarged thyroid gland) and cretinism (dwarfism and learning difficulties) in those who do not get enough iodized salt or live in regions where iodine is not found.

Signs and symptoms of low iodine levels include slow metabolism and possibly weight gain. The signs and symptoms of cretinism include reduced growth of the muscles and skeleton and learning difficulties during childhood.

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