For the full functioning of the human body, a large number of different substances are needed. Among them: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, macro- and microelements. One of the most important trace elements, without which the system will malfunction, is iodine. It is this element of the chemical table that is responsible for many functions in the body. Why it is so important and what happens to the body when it is lacking – we will tell in the material.
Why does the body need iodine?
Iodine is a trace element that is involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. They are produced by the thyroid gland. These hormones affect growth, metabolism, reproductive function, physical and mental development, and mood. The frequency of contractions of the heart muscle, the amount of stored energy and subcutaneous fat depend on the hormones of the thyroid gland.
According to the World Health Organization, a person should consume at least 150-200 mcg of iodine per day.
Iodine enters the body with food. According to the World Health Organization, a person should consume at least 150-200 mcg of iodine per day. Most of it remains in the thyroid gland, into which it gets from the blood. But not all food products contain a sufficient amount of iodine, therefore, iodine does not always enter the body in the required quantities. For the normal functioning of the body, there is always a supply of iodine in the thyroid gland. So the body is trying to protect itself from the lack of this trace element. If this supply is not replenished, iodine deficiency may occur.
Why iodine deficiency is dangerous
It is very difficult to identify iodine deficiency in humans. In the blood, iodine is determined in microscopic amounts. In urine, iodine levels may change during the day. Therefore, do not rely on this data. A more reliable way is to determine iodine deficiency in a population in a particular region. Based on the results of a population survey, it is determined whether there is a deficit or not. Iodine deficiency can be indirectly determined by the balance of thyroid hormones in the blood.
In case of a lack of the specified trace element, a goiter develops. A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Endemic goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland in the inhabitants of an entire area, associated with a lack of iodine in this geographical area.
Iodine deficiency causes memory impairment, a decrease in intelligence, a weakening of male strength. In the most advanced cases, a lack of iodine can cause the development of arrhythmias. Iodine deficiency is most dangerous for pregnant women and children. The extreme degree of iodine deficiency in a child is the development of cretinism, and in women – stillbirth.
Signs of iodine deficiency:
Iodine deficiency is almost impossible to diagnose, especially if there are no visible signs – goiter. There are some indirect signs that serve as a signal to see a doctor:
- Constant fatigue;
- Frequent illnesses;
- The appearance of edema;
- In women – menstrual irregularities, in men – problems with potency;
- Bad mood and depression;
- Decreased appetite;
- Hair loss;
Most of the iodine on Earth is found in the ocean. People living in regions with access to the sea are the least susceptible to iodine deficiency. There iodine can be obtained not only with food, but also with water and even air. And for people who live far from the sea, food is the main source of iodine.
Most of all iodine is contained in seafood: fish, squid, mussels, shrimp, seaweed.
Most of all iodine is contained in seafood: fish, squid, mussels, shrimp, seaweed. Feijoa, dairy products, buckwheat, walnuts, lemon, chokeberry, iodized salt are rich in iodine.
Iodine deficiency is a dangerous phenomenon for the human body, which can lead to serious consequences. To avoid it, you need to properly compose your diet and make sure that it contains foods rich in iodine. This way you can exclude the development of iodine deficiency, and hence the negative consequences.