It wasn’t until the early 1900s that Iodine was linked with thyroid health. The element Iodine was discovered by French Scientist Barnard Courtois, in 1811. Its name is related to its chemistry. When vaporised it shows as a violet/purple gas. Greek for purple/ violet translates as “iode”.
Sea Kelp is a good source of Iodine. The Luminaria Digitata Seaweed is the main marine plant matter used to make sea kelp tablets. There are two supplement sources of Iodine, these are Sea Kelp and Potassium Iodide. Iodine is found in Shellfish, Seaweed (nori, wakame and dulse) and non-organic dairy products.
If a person is deficient in Iodine they may develop Goitre, a swelling of the thyroid gland that results in an enlarged neck. The most common places to find endemic Iodine deficiency is in the Alps, Andes, Africa and Central Europe. There are even some areas in England that have elevated levels of Iodine deficiency such as Derby and the South-west of England.
Here are a few health benefits of Iodine :
- Women who are pregnant or lactating should increase their intakes of dietary iodine sources. Also, vegans and vegetarians should consider Iodine supplementation, as their diet may lack essential food sources.
- Iodine is required to produce Thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These hormones are required for our metabolism and ability to grow.
- Sufficient Iodine intakes during pregnancy have been linked with intelligence. The ALSPAC study researched mother’s with both adequate and inadequate Iodine intakes during pregnancy. Later they studies their child’s IQ and reading age at 8-9 years. They found mother’s with adequate Iodine intakes had skater children with hither reading ages than those with inadequate iodine.