Iodine is a chemical element essential for the production of thyroid hormones that regulate growth and metabolism. Diets deficient in iodine increase risk of retarded brain development in children, mental slowness, high cholesterol, lethargy, fatigue, depression, weight gain, and goiter: a swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck. Please note that both too much and too little iodine can cause hypothyroidism, for more information, see the section on hypothyroidism.
Fast, dramatic improvements
Before the trial the researchers determined that the iodine consumption amongst the participants was far lower than the daily minimum recommended intake of 140 micrograms (mcg) – and more than half of the group were found to be iodine insufficient.
At the end of the trial the group with low iodine levels showed a significant rise from 93 mcg of chemical present in their systems to each day to 262 mcg per day.
There was no change in other thyroid hormone levels after supplementation. The seaweed was palatable and acceptable to consumers as a whole food or as an ingredient, and effective as a source of iodine in an insufficiency population.
A natural alternative
Iodine obtained from seaweed is a natural whole food, unlike potassium iodine supplements, and inaddition provides the body with all of the micronutrients necessary for the proper metabolism of iodine such as selenium, zinc, iron and vitamins A and E.
Sodium is vital for certain functions in your body. You can’t live without it. But it is very easy to consume far more than you actually need as salt is often hidden in the food we eat.
There’s a large body of evidence to show that too much sodium causes high blood pressure which is one of the most significant contributors to both heart disease and stroke, and raises your risk of developing eye problems and kidney disease.
Levels of iodine in seaweed vary widely according to species and how the seaweed is dried. One study found a huge range of 2-817 mcg iodine per 100 grams. Iodine content is reduced when seaweed is dried in the sun, and iodine may vaporize during cooking and humid storage conditions.
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