Updated: 2018, Dec 4

Iodine: Benefits, Side Effects, Interactions and Supplements

By - Reviewed by CHD Team

About Iodine

Iodine, also commonly known as iodized salt is a chemical compound. This mineral is an integral component of the body for its healthy growth. Everybody, regardless of the age or gender requires a sufficient intake of iodine. Iodine is consumed orally through the mouth either for dietary needs or medical needs. All in all, the two purposes are intertwined making it impossible to have one without the other. Iodine is FDA approved making it a safe component of consumption.

Where Does Iodine Come From?

Iodine occurs naturally and can be found in many foods. Seafood, in particular, are some of the best sources of iodine. Some of these seafood include:

  • Fish such as tuna, salon and sardines
  • Seaweed
  • Lobsters and crabs
  • Shrimp
  • Iodine can also be found in a number of other food products such as

  • Dairy products including milk and it’s byproducts
  • Eggs
  • Grains
  • Vegetables

Where infants are concerned, the source of iodine is a bit different. Babies who are not yet old enough to eat food, suckle their mothers. It is in the breast milk that they gain access to iodine. The iodine can also be added to baby foods and formulas to fortify them and make them healthier. Iodine can also be added manually to food especially to those that do not have it.

What are the Possible Health Benefits of Iodine?

Iodine as an edible element has numerous benefits to the body. These benefits include:

  • Iodine helps to maintain a healthy thyroid level. A condition known as goiter can be described as the enlargement of the thyroid glands. Iodine is used in the treatment of this condition as well as in the case of a low thyroid hormone level. Moreover, iodine can protect the thyroid glands from any form of damage that may occur during radiation.
  • When applied to the feet, iodine can be used as a treatment for diabetes-related foot ulcers.
  • During chemotherapy, the use of iodine could combat irritation in the mouth caused by this medical treatment.
  • The most basic of uses of iodine is in the salt where the salt is added to food. This helps to bring out the taste of the food. As a result, it increases the appetite of the individual.
  • Iodine can also assist in the prevention of stomach cancer, autism and breast cancer.
Health Benefits Of Iodine

What are the Potential Side Effects of Iodine?

Although iodine is quite helpful to the body, it is not without its shortcomings. These shortcomings can cause the following side effects.
Iodine has high oxidizing properties. When consumed in large quantities, iodine has the capability of denaturing proteins in the body. This includes all enzymes present. An overdose of iodine (above 1.1 mg per day) could lead to thyroid related problems. Other side effects include stomach pain and upsets, running nose, diarrhea, headache and a metallic taste in the mouth.

Must Watch – Everything You Need to Know about Iodine

Recommended Doses and Timing for Iodine

The recommended doses of iodine largely depend on the age of the consumer. Below is an outline stated the expected doses for different age groups.

  • Infants to babies of up to 12 months are required to consume 0.11 to 0.13 mg per day
  • Children between 1 year and 8 years are recommended to have an iodine intake of 0.09 mg per day
  • A dose of 0.13 mg per day is recommended for children aged between 9 and 13 years old
  • Adults are advised to consume 0.15 mg in a day.

The recommended doses of iodine are also dependent on the condition of the consumer as stated below:

  • Pregnant women are required to consume up to 0.22 mg per day
  • A dose of 0.29 mg per day is the recommended dose for lactating mothers.

Generally, the maximum amount of iodine that can be consumed safely in one single day is 1.1 mg.

What are the Uses of Iodine in Supplements?

As a supplement, iodine can be used by pregnant women to increase the level of iodine in their body. Other forms of supplements will depend on the type of medication already being used.

Iodine interactions

However, it is important that anyone considering to take iodine should contact their doctor before supplementing it with another drug. This will reduce the possibility of a reaction with other chemicals. In turn, medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart-related diseases and thyroid conditions are avoided.

Final verdict

Iodine is an important component whose benefits to the body should not be overlooked or taken lightly. People should ensure they consume a sufficient amount of iodine for health purposes. Although the ingredient has side effects, taking the correct doses could help prevent these side effects. Before accompanying any medication with an iodine supplement, ensure you seek your doctor’s opinion for safety reassurance.

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