Quest Vitamins LTD,
Iodine is an essential Elements involved in normal growth and development, and originates in the soil and sea.
Iodine forms part of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine that are necessary for the maintenance of metabolic rate, cellular metabolism and integrity of the connective tissue.
The body content of iodine is between 20 and 50mg, mostly concentrated in the thyroid gland situated in the base of the neck. Any iodine in the diet is quickly absorbed from the intestinal tract, mostly in the form of iodide, which is stored by the thyroid until needed. In the thyroid iodide is oxidised into iodine, combined with the amino acid tyrosine and eventually converted into thyroxine which is stored until required. This process is controlled by a hormone produced in the pituitary gland.
The classic deficiency disease of iodine is "goitre" which is marked by a swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck. This swelling occurs as an attempt by the thyroid gland to produce more thyroxine in the face of an iodine insufficiency.
In severe cases of deficiency, cretinism results, with poor brain development and mental retardation.
With the consumption of foods grown in soils all around the world, iodine deficiency has become a rare occurrence in Britain. Certain countries also add iodine to table salt.
Upper safe level for daily supplementation = 500?g
Recommended Daily Allowance = 150?g
Iodine in the form of Kelp may be taken to stimulate a slightly underactive thyroid gland that does not warrant medical treatment (1).
More usually, iodine is included in small amounts in multivitamin and mineral formulations that are suitable for use by all normal healthy people.
Very high iodine intakes can cause an over-active thyroid gland, but few cases of toxicity have been reported in people consuming less than 5000mg iodine daily. Transient mild effects may however be noted in previously deficient individuals taking only 150-200mg per day. Normal subjects with an iodine intake of 1000-2000mg iodine daily show an increase in the iodine content of their thyroid gland, but no further changes.
The iodine contents of plant foods vary depending on the soil in which they are grown.