Why is iodine added to salt?

Most people have a bag of iodized salt in their kitchen. Manufacturers write on salt packages that the product is enriched with iodine. Do you know why iodine is added to salt? It is believed that people lack iodine in their daily diet, but

A bit of history

Iodine began to be added to salt in 1924 in the United States, due to the fact that cases of goiter (thyroid disease) became more frequent in the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest region. This was due to the low content of iodine in the soil and its absence in food.

The Americans adopted the Swiss practice of adding iodine to table salt to solve the problem. Soon, cases of thyroid disease decreased and the practice became the standard.

Salt is used as an iodine carrier because it is an easy way to introduce the micronutrient into your daily diet. Salt is consumed by everyone and always. Even pet food began to add iodized salt.

What is dangerous salt with iodine?

This has changed since the 20s due to the production of toxic chemicals and more cost effective ways to collect salt. In earlier times, most of the salt was mined from the sea or from natural deposits. Now iodized salt is not a natural compound, but artificially created sodium chloride with the addition of iodide.

The synthetic additive iodide is present in almost all processed foods – processed foods and restaurant foods. It can be sodium fluoride, potassium iodide – toxic substances. Considering that table salt is also bleached, it cannot be considered a healthy source of iodine.

However, iodine is indeed necessary for the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine and triiodothyronine, two key hormones for metabolism. Any form of iodine contributes to the production of T4 and T3 thyroid hormones.

A study conducted at the University of Texas at Arlington says that such salt does not prevent iodine deficiency. Scientists reviewed more than 80 types of commercial salt and found that 47 of them (more than half!) did not meet US standards for iodine levels. Moreover, when stored in humid conditions, the iodine content in such products decreases. Conclusion: only 20% of the range of iodized salt can really be considered a source of daily iodine intake.


Leave a Reply