Health Benefits And Potential Risks Of An Iodine-Rich Diet – Sports Medicine Weekly | Dr. Brian J. Cole
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Published on: 06-Jul-2021

Iodine is an essential nutrient that your body needs and many types of seafood are a good source of this. This mineral is important because it helps keep the thyroid gland healthy. Therefore, maintaining an iodine-rich diet is beneficial to one’s health.

However, iodine deficiencies are common and about one-third of the Middle Eastern population is at risk of such. However, in some cases, an iodine-rich diet also comes with a range of health risks. In other words, one must maintain a healthy and balanced level of iodine in the body to avoid experiencing health issues. This article will discuss the health benefits and risks of too much or too little iodine in the body.

Benefits

It cannot be denied that a good amount of iodine can help keep the body healthy. Below are some of its main benefits:

  • Improves And Maintains Good Thyroid Health

The thyroid gland secretes hormones for growth regulation and development. In order to make essential thyroid hormones, the thyroid needs to have a good level of iodine. Thyroid hormones perform significant biochemical functions and reactions, including amino acid synthesis—an activity associated with digestive enzymes—and the thorough development of the nervous and skeletal systems.

An iodine-rich diet may help ensure that you’re supplementing your thyroid well and it also helps prevent thyroid-related illnesses. Many people are advocates for iodine-rich diets because of this. Moreover, you can learn about how athletic people value iodine supplements from this source. 

Symptoms such as heart issues, thirstiness, and many others could be an indication of a thyroid illness or disorder related to a low-iodine diet. This essential mineral could help support your health and continuously ensure that you’re preventing yourself from any deficiency diseases.

  • Good For Children’s Growth 

As mentioned above, the thyroid gland is important for growth and development. Hence, it’s important that a child has good levels of iodine in the body from infancy up to their teenage years. Pregnant women must also maintain a good level of iodine to ensure that the baby gets to grow and develop normally in the womb.

Iodine deficiency among babies and children can cause a disturbance in the growth and development of their brain. This means that they may be smaller than the age-appropriate height. Their cognitive skills might also experience a delay. Hence, adopting an iodine-rich diet is good as it reduces the chances of your child developing any neurodegenerative issues or mental disabilities. Most of all, an iodine-rich diet is recommended during pregnancy, since both the mother and the child need healthy levels of such.

  • Reduces The Chance Of Getting Cancer

Iodine could help reduce your chances of getting cancer. That’s because it helps induce the self-destruction of cancerous cells in the body—a process called apoptosis. Iodine also helps improve your immunity. Aside from that, only mutated cancer cells will be destroyed by this nutrient. So, your body can still function as normal.

Sometimes people make use of iodine-rich treatments when dealing with thyroid cancer patients. Perhaps hopping on the iodine-rich diet bandwagon is just what you need to get started on cancer prevention.

Risks

Understanding iodine and its benefits in the body would not be complete without knowing its risks and disadvantages as well. While the thyroid gland needs iodine to be able to function properly, too much of it can also cause health problems. So, take note of the following risks when you’re planning to consume iodine-rich foods:

  •  Could Lead To Iodine Toxicity

Iodine toxicity refers to a condition where you experience some health problems due to an excessive intake of iodine. The good news, however, is that iodine toxicity is quite rare but it is also very difficult to detect. The symptoms of iodine toxicity may vary. The most common ones include a weak pulse, vomiting, nausea, and delirium.

  • Could Lead To Hyperthyroidism 

Hyperthyroidism refers to a condition where your thyroid produces an excess of the thyroxine hormone. Iodine is used to make thyroid hormones such as thyroxin, so if you’re taking a large amount of iodine, thyroxine is also being produced rapidly in your body. The condition is also referred to as overactive thyroid. Some symptoms include a swollen thyroid, anxiety, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, heart palpitations, and many others.

Is An Iodine-Rich Diet Ideal For You?

There are numerous reasons your diet matters to your brain and body. Iodine-rich diets could make a great contribution to various bodily systems and your overall health. However, it’s best to be mindful of the risks, so you’ll know how to balance your diet. Aside from iodine, the body also needs a variety of other nutrients and minerals to function properly and healthily.


Dennis Clever is a sports medicine specialist. He is an advocate of holistic medicine and the use of supplements. He shares his expertise through online blogging and guest posting. Dennis likes watching movies and mountain climbing.

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