by Mirella LevinY

Iodine is a micro mineral that helps maintain healthy cell metabolism by aiding the body to convert food into energy. Its second main purpose is to promote thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones thyroxin and tri-iodotyrosine. These hormones produced in the thyroid glands affect growth, development and the body’s metabolic rate. This important micro-mineral is also involved in the conversion of beta-carotene into Vitamin A and helps increase the efficiency of protein synthesis (production of proteins) and cholesterol absorption.

The main food source of this micro-mineral is iodized salt. However, it can also be found in seafood, breads, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats. More information is given in the following chart:


  (micrograms per100 grams of food)

Salt (iodized)
Dairy products
Bread and cereals



Once ingested, this substance is found in the muscles, thyroid glands and in some endocrine tissues. Due to its influence on the thyroid glands, this micro-mineral can enhance weight loss. This is because it increases metabolic rate which prevents the build up of body fat thus helping people to lose weight. Furthermore, this micro-mineral can be used as an antiseptic. Dead Sea salt also contains traces of both this mineral and bromide which give skin a natural and healthy looking tone.

It is important to intake enough of this mineral as deficiency can lead to goiter and can result in the decrease of the body’s metabolic rate. However, it has also been linked to cretinism. Deficiency occurs mostly in places with poor levels of this mineral and other minerals in the soil. The deficiency is more common in women than in men. However, it is even more prevalent in pregnant women and older children. Nevertheless, excessive quantities of this substance will decrease thyroid function by inhibiting thyroid hormone production, enlargement of the thyroid gland, skin lesions and worsened acne. The suggested values of daily intake to avoid insufficiency or overdose are listed below:

Recommended daily dietary intake of iodine:



Adult men:

Adult women:



50-60 micrograms

70-150 micrograms

150 micrograms

120 micrograms

150 micrograms

200 micrograms


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BACK to A-Z Minerals

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