Have you checked your salt? Have you ever thought to check your salt? Probably not. That is because there is an important trace mineral that often gets overlooked.
Iodine is a mineral that is only needed in small amounts (hence trace mineral). Our body cannot make iodine naturally, we need to consume it. There are not many foods that naturally contain iodine, sea vegetables and seafood are the main sources. Sushi anyone?!
This used to be a major problem in the US and still is in other countries. Goiter was the main disease for a lack of iodine, and this was fixed by adding iodine to salt aka iodized salt.
Just because a food is processed does not mean that the manufacturer is using iodized salt. Salt without iodine is cheaper and many restaurants use this salt on their tables. Also with the advisement to cut back on salt many American households are not adding additional salt, same with some processed foods. Don’t get me wrong, cutting back on salt is a good thing however, not many people understand that salt often contains an essential mineral.
So what does this little mineral do? In a nutshell it aids in metabolism. To get technical with you all, thyroid function is aided by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). This hormone regulates the production and secretion of T3 & T4 (other thyroid hormones that are involved in metabolism). Without iodine TSH levels remain high making the thyroid work harder. If the thyroid works to hard (just like any organ) it can fail and not work as productively and lead to hypothyroidism. Many of you have heard that it can be a cause of the inability to lose weight. If you think you may have hypothyroidism please don’t go start eating more salt, go see a doctor. It may be something unreleated to your thryroid.
Lack of iodine has other implications too. It has a role in immune response, and fertility. If women do not have sufficient iodine it can cause them to stop ovulating (aka hard to get pregnant). If a woman is pregnant and has iodine deficiency it can lead to high blood pressure for the woman and mental retardation for the baby. Iodine also plays a major role in the central nervous system.
FYI prenatal vitamins may or may not contain iodine, and if they do not sufficient amounts. It is not mandatory for prenatal vitamins to include iodine. This may be something you might want to consider if you are taking them.
Check your salt! What type of salt are you using? There are so many different types of salt I never knew! Your salt will indicate if it contains iodine or not.
If your salt does not have iodine, this message will be displayed.
Sorry if this post was a little boring, something I’ve been meaning to write for a while. Yes I’m a dork, I find iodine interesting, but apparently they don’t.
The Office of Dietary Supplements is a really cool resource, check it out!