Iodine (I)


The body contains about 25 mg of iodine, of which 15 mg is in the thyroid gland, the rest is mainly concentrated in the liver, kidneys, skin, hair, nails, ovaries and prostate gland.

Usually in nature, iodine is contained in organic and inorganic compounds, but it can also be in the air in a free state – with atmospheric precipitation it gets back into the soil and water.

Iodine rich foods

Indicated approximate availability in 100 g of product


The daily requirement for iodine for an adult is 100-150 mcg.

The need for iodine increases with:

  • physical activity;
  • pregnancy and breastfeeding (up to 200-300 mcg);
  • work with substances that inhibit the function of the thyroid gland (up to 200-300 mcg).


Organic iodine from seaweed is better absorbed and retained in the body longer than iodine preparations (potassium iodide, etc.)

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Useful properties of iodine and its effect on the body

Iodine is very important for the body – it is a necessary component of the thyroid gland, being part of its hormones (thyroxine, triiodothyronine). Hormones containing iodine stimulate growth and development, regulate energy and heat metabolism, and enhance the oxidation of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

These hormones activate the breakdown of cholesterol, participate in the regulation of the function of the cardiovascular system, and are important for the development of the central nervous system.

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Iodine is a biostimulant and immunostimulant, prevents blood clotting and the formation of blood clots.

Lack and excess of iodine

Signs of iodine deficiency

  • general weakness, increased fatigue;
  • weakening of memory, hearing, vision;
  • drowsiness, apathy, headaches;
  • weight gain;
  • conjunctivitis;
  • constipation;
  • dry skin and mucous membranes;
  • lowering blood pressure and heart rate (up to 50-60 beats per minute);
  • decreased sex drive in men;
  • violation of the menstrual cycle in women.

One of the most typical iodine deficiency diseases is endemic goiter. The amount of iodine in food in such areas is 5-20 times less in plant foods and 3-7 times in meat than in areas with normal iodine content in nature.

In children, iodine deficiency causes a lag in mental and physical development, their brain and nervous system develop poorly.

Signs of excess iodine

  • increased salivation;
  • swelling of the mucous membranes;
  • lacrimation;
  • allergic reactions in the form of a rash and runny nose;
  • palpitations, tremors, nervousness, insomnia;
  • increased sweating;
  • diarrhea.

Elemental iodine is highly toxic. The early symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. Death can result from shock from irritation of a large number of nerve endings.

Excessive intake of iodine can cause Graves’ disease.


Factors affecting the content in foods

Iodine is lost during long-term storage and cooking. When boiling meat and fish, up to 50% is lost, when boiling milk – up to 25%, when boiling potatoes with whole tubers – 32%, and in chopped form – 48%. When baking bread, iodine losses reach 80%, cooking cereals and legumes – 45-65%, cooking vegetables – 30-60%.

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Why iodine deficiency occurs

The iodine content in foods depends on its content in soil and water, there are regions where its content is extremely low, therefore iodine is often added to salt (iodized salt), for those who deliberately reduce the amount of salt in the diet, this must be taken into account.

Read also about other minerals:

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