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Iodine – Important mineral that prevents GOITER

Iodine is one of the first mineral to be recognized as vital for good health. Iodine comes in three forms: calcium iodide, potassium iodide, and sodium iodide. It occurs in a variety of chemical forms, the most important being: iodide (I-); iodate (IO3-), and elemental iodine (I2). The thyroid is a gland that regulates development, growth and metabolism, producing hormones that support most systems within the human body.
Practically, in countries where iodine is lacking in the soil and water, people are suffering from Goiter. Japan is the only country which is free from this disease and this is because of high consumption of seaweed as food.
– Iodine is grayish black in color.
– Iodine, when heated, yield corrosive fumes of a rich violet color.
– Iodine forms an essential component of thyroxine, the main hormone produced by thyroid gland.
– Iodine is absorbed from gastro-intestinal tract into the blood.
– Iodine is concentrated mainly in thyroid gland, where it is stored in the form of thyroglobulin, a complex of protein and iodine.
– When amount of thyroid hormone is serum is decreased, the pituitary gland releases a thyroid-stimulating hormone which causes the thyroid gland to produce more cells and to increase in size in an attempt to manufacture more hormones. This results in enlargement of thyroid gland, which is also called goiter.

FUNCTIONS OF IODINE IN HUMAN BODY

– Iodine is essential in maintaining the function of the thyroid and parathyroid glands in the human body.
– Iodine is essential to the production of thyroxine, a hormone associated with the thyroid gland and proper thyroid functioning.
– Iodine also promotes general growth and development within the body as well as aiding in metabolism.
– Iodine controls the utilization of sugars.
– Iodine regulates the rate of energy production and body weight.
– Iodine increases heart rate and urinary calcium excretion.
– Iodine improves mental alertness.
– Iodine promotes healthy hair, nails, skin, and teeth.
– Iodine is considered very important for breast shape and health.
– Iodine is used to treat eye infections, also iodine protects against UVB radiations.
– Iodine acts as an antioxidant in the blood.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS OF IODINE IN HUMAN BODY

– Cretinism occurs in children whose diet lacks in iodine. A cretin is a dwarfed child who is mentally retarded, enlarged thyroid gland, defective speech and a gait that is clumsy.
– Extreme fatigue.
– Slowing of both physical and mental processes.
– Weight gain, facial puffiness.
– Constipation and lethargy.
– Anemia.
– Slow pulse rate.
Excessive intake of foods like cabbage, cauliflower, and raddish causes iodine deficiency as these foods contain a substance which reacts with the iodine present in food and makes it unsuitable for absorption.

FOOD SOURCES RICH IN IODINE

– Iodized salt.
– Seaweed, yogurt, cow’s milk, mozzarella cheese, eggs and strawberries.
– Cod liver oil.

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