Iodine Supplements FAQ
Go To: Top 10 Iodine Supplements
What is Iodine and Where Does it Come From?
Iodine is a chemical element which is highly water-soluble and is found in abundance around the world, particularly in the Earth’s oceans and other bodies of salt water.
This element is used both traditionally within the human body and also in a number of industrial roles, including the production of acetic acid (vinegar), and medical roles such as x-ray scanning.
Of course in this FAQ we are going to be focusing on the role that iodine plays nutritionally within the human body.
Production of Iodine
As mentioned above, iodine occurs naturally in the Earth’s oceans, but it is very rarely found in the Earth’s crust.
Every year round 19,000 ton rollers of iodine are produced from natural sources.
How does Iodine Work and What are the Benefits?
The primary role of iodine within the body is the production of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
Thyroid hormone production is particularly important when it comes to the regulation of our metabolic rate. A reduced regulation of thyroid hormones can result in a reduction of the body’s metabolic rate, which is of course is bad news for any of us who are trying to lose body fat.
In addition to the production of thyroid hormones, iodine also plays a variety of other roles in the body such as maintaining the walls of arteries and lactation in nursing mothers.
This is why although the body only needs 70 μg per day to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones, the daily Dietary Reference Intake recommended by the United States Institute of Medicine ranges from 90 µg for young children all the way up to 290 µg for lactating women.
Who Can Benefit from Using Iodine and How?
Iodine is an essential nutrient that is needed by every single human being, and a deficiency in iodine can result in everything from impaired motor functions to hypothyroidism, and even various forms of cancer.
Having said this, research has shown that more than two thirds of households around the world use iodized table salt.
Add to this the fact that consuming elemental iodine is actually toxic and the need for supplemental iodine consumption is certainly cast into a great deal of doubt.
If you are suffering from an iodine deficiency or are a nursing mother then you will of course be best served by speaking to your doctor or physician regarding adding extra iodine to your diet.
Do Any Foods Contain Iodine? Which Ones are the best?
The most convenient and cost-effective way of sourcing iodine in your diet is to simply purchase iodized table salt.
It seems as if most brands iodized their table salt anyway, and you can pick up bags of it from most supermarkets for literally pennies.
If any reason you are trying to keep your salt intake low, perhaps because of hypertension, then there are a few foods that proved to be particularly rich in iodine, including:
- Fish and shellfish;
- Eggs; and
- Dairy products
if you already have your diet in line with reasonable bodybuilding and / or athletic goals then the chances of you developing iodine deficiency are incredibly low, so this probably isn’t something that you’re going to need to pay considerable attention to.
To summarize, the vast majority of people we will be able to source adequate amounts of iodine by using iodized table salt.
Does Iodine Have any Side Effects?
As with any dietary supplement or manipulation, we recommend that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consult their doctor or physician prior to use. This also applies to people under the age of 18 and individuals who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or who are taking any kind of prescription medication.
Note: We recommend speaking to a doctor before taking any supplements.
Isn’t Salt / Sodium Bad for Me?
If you are exercising on a regular basis, breaking a sweat, and drinking plenty of water then your sodium requirements are going to be considerably higher than that of an otherwise sedentary individual.
It is also worth considering that most bodybuilders and athletes will be consuming a diet that is far lower in added salt than the typical Westerner who will be consuming lots of processed foods which tend to be particularly high in sodium.
Neither salt nor sodium are bad in their own right; however, as with many things in life it is excess and neglect which can lead to negative effects.
So you is essential for transporting water molecules into cells, so if you are deficient in sodium and you will be more susceptible to Charlie horses or muscle cramps while training; anyone who has ever trained calves with a lot of intensity while not adequately hydrated will know exactly just how excruciatingly painful this can be!
Related: Top 10 Herbal Supplements
How and When Should I Take Iodine Products?
The consumption of iodine need not be a complicated affair, and as we have already covered above you can very easily sourcing more than enough by simply sprinkling a little iodized table salt onto your meals each day.
If you would like to add extra iodine to your diet by consuming shellfish then this is unlikely to cause any adverse side effects in otherwise healthy adults.
What’s more, the vast majority of bodybuilders and other types of athletes are already going to be eating plenty of eggs, milk, and other milk products such as whey protein powder, all of which act as sources of iodine to prevent deficiency and ensure optimal thyroid function.
How Much Iodine Should I Take?
Around 70 µg is usually enough to prevent the down-regulation of thyroid hormones or hypothyroidism in healthy adults, and a daily intake of 100 to 250 µg seems to be sufficient for most people.
Prescribing a specific daily intake of iodine is difficult because it will depend on a number of factors such as your age, sex, and current health status.
A good general practice is to simply ensure that you are using an iodized table salt and if you do suspect that you are developing either a deficiency in iodine or some form of adverse reaction then it will cause be advisable to speak to your doctor or physician to receive professional advice.
Please note: This FAQ has not been written or reviewed by a doctor or medical professional and is therefore not to be used to prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease or illness. Nor should it be used as medical reference.