Iodine and Sea Salt

Iodine and Sea Salt

Sea salt is very popular among the foodies due to its peculiar flavor and characteristic texture. It is a natural kind of salt obtained from the salty water of the ocean. Sea salt contain a little more amount of nutrients compared to the ordinary table salt. But, if you want to add a bit more iodine to the diet, iodized salt is a far better option.

Iodine and Sea SaltIodine Content of the Sea Salt

The sea salt contains iodine but its iodine contain is less as compared to the table salt. The reason behind this is that most of the varieties of regular salt are iodinated, that is, extra amount of iodine is added to them. But if you desire a strong flavor and a crispy texture of the sea salt and also require some extra iodine in your diet, you can opt for iodized varieties of the sea salt.

It is very difficult to ascertain the accurate quantity of iodine in iodinated sea salt but generally it is about 71 mcg in every ¼ teaspoon of it.

Table Salt vs. Sea Salt

In spite of the fact that table salt and sea salt have marginally different flavors and textures, their nutritional content is almost similar—even the iodine content—in the case of iodized varieties. Both table salt and sea salt have approximately equal sodium content. Although, table salt has a very fine texture which makes it good for cooking as it easily mixes with the rest of the content of the recipe. On the other hand, sea salt have slight amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium in it, as it undergoes negligible processing.

Daily Requirement of Iodine

RDA or recommended daily allowance of the dietary iodine in adult, men and women, is 150 mcg per day. For the lactating and pregnant women RDA of the dietary iodine is 290 mcg and 220 mg, respectively. Breast-feeding and pregnant women are more prone to iodine deficiency because of increased demand for iodine in them.

Iodine and Sea SaltIodine Sources

Besides iodized varieties of sea salt and iodized table salt, a number of food items are also good sources of iodine. Examples include seaweed, seafood and dairy products etc.

  • Cod: 3 oz. provides 99 mcg of iodine.
  • Yogurt: One cup provides 75 mcg of iodine.
  • Low fat milk: One cup provides 56 mcg of iodine.
  • Shrimp: 3 oz. provides 35 mcg of iodine.
  • Cheese: 1 oz. provides 12 mcg of iodine.


It should be kept in mind that consuming excessive amounts of any variety of salt, whether the sea salt or the regular table salt, can cause a rise in the blood pressure and also increase the chances of developing heart disease. In the case of sea salt, about 400 to 590 mg of sodium is present in a quarter teaspoon of it.

According to studies, consumption of sodium should not be more than 1500 mg per day. So, if you love sea slat for its singular qualities, you can use it but beware to use it in moderate amounts to keep you heart and health good.

The Primary Causes of Iodine Depletion

The Primary Causes of Iodine Depletion

Iodine is basically a micro nutrient, which is required by our body in trace amounts, but still it is very essential for maintaining a good health. Since iodine cannot be manufactured by our body, a perpetual source of iodine is needed for the adequate supply of hormones produced by the thyroid in our body. You can get adequate quantity of the dietary iodine by using the iodized salt etc. On the other hand, if you are not careful about your eating habits and you are not consuming sufficient quantities of iodine, this will result in the deficiency of iodine in your body. In consequence, the production of thyroid hormones is blocked, thereby producing symptomatic features of the deficiency of iodine.

Recommended Daily Amounts for Iodine IntakeRecommended Daily Amounts for Iodine Intake

Amount of iodine needed for the infants up to the age of one year is 115 to 130 micrograms, on a daily basis. While the recommended daily intake of dietary iodine is 90 micrograms for the kids 1 to 8 years of age and 120 micrograms for the kids 9 to 13 years of age. On the other hand, adolescents and adults require 150 micrograms of iodine in their diet daily. Lactating and pregnant women have increased demand for iodine and require 295 and 220 micrograms, respectively. According to a research conducted on Americans, their iodine intake was found to be more than enough, with men consuming 230 to 300 micrograms and women consuming 180 to 210 micrograms, daily.

Functions of Iodine

A study conducted on the thyroid hormones showed that sixty-five percent of T4 or the thyroxine hormone is made up of iodine while fifty-nine percent of T3 or the triiodothyronone hormone consists of iodine. Both hormones, T3 and T4, are manufactured by our thyroid. These hormones play a vital role in the development of kidneys, brain, heart, muscles and pituitary gland. Their other functions include normal metabolism, enzymatic activity and the protein synthesis. The maintenance of our body temperature, growth and fertility is also regulated by these hormones.

Iodine Deficiency

Recommended Daily Amounts for Iodine IntakeOur body is neither capable of manufacturing or storing iodine. Therefore, it is important to keep a maintained supply of iodine in the diet. Food items like cheese, eggs, seafood and yogurt are rich in iodine. Other examples included vegetables and fruits grown in the soil rich in iodine. On the contrary, areas which have a low content of iodine in the soil, produce food items low in the iodine content. Residents of such areas are more prone to develop iodine deficiency. On the other hand, there are certain foods abundant in goitrogens, such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli etc. The goitrogens block the uptake of iodine which leads to the decreased output of the thyroid hormones. Therefore, avoid consuming such food in huge amounts to prevent the iodine deficiency.

Effects of Iodine Deficiency

Lack of iodine during early life can affect the brain gravely. It can cause hearing, speech and growth problems in addition to mental retardation. Infertility, obesity and slowed mentation are a few of the problems faced by the adults. So, make sure you are taking balanced amount of iodine in the diet.

The Effects of Iodine on Hair Growth

The Effects of Iodine on Hair Growth

Iodine is a micronutrient which plays a vital role in the development and growth of our hair, by affecting functions of the thyroid gland. In certain conditions of scalp, which involve the hair loss, iodine can be prescribed in the form of a topical treatment. By maintaining adequate intake of dietary iodine, problems of the hair, caused by the thyroid dysfunction, can be prevented. For adults, recommended daily intake of dietary iodine should be around 100 micrograms to 200 micrograms. But keep in mind, that you should always consult a doctor first, before taking any iodine supplements.

The Effects of Iodine on Hair GrowthHair and Thyroid Function

Iodine is essential for our health and for maintaining the proper function of the thyroid gland. If dietary intake of iodine is insufficient, it will lead to decreased production of the thyroid hormones, which in turn can produce diseases of the thyroid gland such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or goiter etc. The thyroid, being the master gland of our body, has influence over a number of aspects of our health, one of which is the hair production. A recent study has shown that women might suffer from hair loss produced by thyroid diseases, which are caused by iodine deficiency. Studies have shown that the hypothyroidism produced by the lack of iodine, can cause coarse and dry hair and conditions like heart failure, coma and increased cholesterol levels.

Treating Alopecia Areata with Topical Iodine

Iodine can also influence the growth of hair directly. Therefore, it can also be used topically in cases like Alopecia areata. In this skin condition, irregular, small patches of hairless areas are produces throughout our scalp. Alopecia areata is not linked to any thyroid disease but it might co-exist with it. Topical iodine produces its benefits in Alopecia areata by creating a moderate allergic reaction, which in turn stimulates the growth of hair. Studies suggest that due to its effectiveness in Alopecia areata, topical iodine can be used as a first line drug in this condition. However, in resistant cases where topical iodine does not work, corticosteroid injections can be used as an aggressive approach.

Treatment for the Iodine Deficiency

The Effects of Iodine on Hair GrowthIf you are suffering from coarse hair or hair loss, the underlying cause might be a thyroid disorder. You might consult a doctor for this, who will conduct tests for determining your thyroid function and iodine status, in order to rule out iodine deficiency as a cause. If a diagnosis of thyroid disease due to lack of iodine is made, you might be given iodine prescriptions, as a cure. But iodine supplements can have delirious effects on your body, such as hives, enlarges lymph nodes, bleeding and in severe cases, even death. Therefore, never use iodine supplements unless they are prescribed officially by some licensed health practitioner. A safer alternative is eating diets rich in iodine such as sea kelp, sea food, dairy products, iodized salt and vegetables grown in the soil rich in iodine.


Even though hair loss can be produced by iodine deficiency but it is not always the case. Other causes of hair loss can be age related loss, medical disorders, hereditary, fungal infections, and prescription medications , such as oral contraceptives, chemotherapeutic agents, anticoagulants, ACE inhibitors etc.

How the Thyroid Gland Regulates Metabolism

How the Thyroid Gland Regulates Metabolism

The thyroid gland, is the master gland of our body which, regulates our metabolism. The metabolism is the ability of our body to break down the food we eat and converting it to the energy we can use. The food we eat actually acts like a fuel for our body. This fuel is brunt at different paces by our bodied. Therefore, we have the terms fast metabolism and slow metabolism, for people who metabolize quickly and slowly, respectively. The thyroid gland maintains our metabolism through the activity of thyroid hormones. Iodine is taken up by the thyroid and incorporated into the thyroid hormones. The thyroid cells have the ability for both utilizing and absorbing the iodine. Otherwise, all other cells of our body are dependent on the thyroid gland for the regulation of their metabolism.

The thyroid gland is controlled by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. When the secretion of thyroid hormones is inadequate, the TRH (TSH releasing hormone) is secreted by the hypothalamus, which in turn stimulates our pituitary gland to release the TSH (Thyroid Stimulatory Hormone). Consequently, the thyroid produces increased hormones under the effect of TSH.

How the Thyroid Gland Regulates MetabolismAnatomy and Location

The word thyroid is derived from a Greek word which means ‘shield’. It is a butterfly like gland which consists of two lobes, attached through a band like structure, known as the isthmus. The thyroid gland is located in front of our neck, just below the Adam’s apple.

Types of Thyroid Hormones

There are basically two main types of thyroid hormones, i.e. thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). If you have a normally functioning thyroid gland, it will produce 20% of T3 and 80% of T4 approximately. It also produces another hormone, called calcitonin, in smaller amounts. Calcitonin helps in regulating the calcium level in our blood.

Thyroid Disorder & Diseases

There are a number of thyroid disorder and diseases. These ailments can occur at any age and have a number of underline causes, for instance dietary deficiency, injury, tumor etc. But the following are the most common causes of thyroid disorders:

  • Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism (too little or too much thyroid hormone respectively).
  • Presence of lumps and nodules in the substance of thyroid gland.
  • Abnormalities in the growth of thyroid gland.
  • Thyroid neoplasia.
  • Different kinds of thyroiditis, for example Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, De Quervain’s thyroiditis, silent thyroiditis etc.

Here are some details about commonly occurring thyroid diseases:

How the Thyroid Gland Regulates MetabolismGoiter: It is a swelling which forms in the region of our neck. A goiter associated with hyper active thyroid is called toxic. On the other hand, an endemic or simple goiter is a goiter caused by the deficiency of iodine and it is non-toxic in nature.

Hyperthyroidism: A hyperactive thyroid produced by an access of thyroid hormones is related to hyperthyroidism. Its symptoms include increased motility of the bowel, nervousness, anxiety, intolerance to heat, weight loss, increase in appetite etc.

Hypothyroidism: This is just exact opposite to hyperthyroidism. There is decreased production of the thyroid hormones. In infants, this problem can lead to cretinism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism are intolerance to cold, constipation, sluggishness, slowed mentation, decreased appetite, weight gain etc.

Treating Goiter with Beets

Treating Goiter with Beets

Beetroot belongs to the family of plants which also contains quinoa, spinach and Swiss chard. Beet contains various compounds in it, which are very beneficial for the human health. One of such compounds is phytonutrient, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities. These attributes make them effective for shrinking the enlarged thyroid, also known as a goiter. Such compounds are present not only in the root of beet but also its green part. Always see a physician when you notice that you are developing a neck swelling, especially in front of the neck.

Treating Goiter with BeetsCausative Agents for Goiter

Basically, the thyroid is a gland which is butterfly in shape and located a little below our Adam’s apple in front of our neck. Just like other glands in our body, the thyroid is highly sensitive to dietary deficiencies, toxins and changes in the environment. Almost any issue with our thyroid gland can lead to its swelling or inflammation which results in the formation of a goiter. The goiter signifies some kind of imbalance but it is not virtually an indication of thyroid dysfunction or disease.

According to various researches, frequent causes of goiter include hypothalamic or pituitary dysfunction, hormone imbalance, cancer, radiation exposure, iodine deficiency and autoimmune ailments like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease.


Symptoms and signs are not present in all cases of thyroid enlargement and they depend upon the causes of swelling. Complaints commonly associated with goiter include feeling of tightness in your throat, hoarseness, difficulty in swallowing, coughing and difficulty in breathing. A thyroid swelling can be significative of some kind of thyroid disease. Excessive production of thyroid hormone is known as hyperthyroidism. In this condition, patient loses weight due to increased metabolism, feels nervous, and develops insomnia and oily skin. On the contrary, decreased production of the thyroid hormone, which is called hypothyroidism, leads to depression, weight gain due to reduced metabolism, dry skin and fatigue.Treating Goiter with Beets

Advantages of Beets

For the prevention of goiter, foods rich in iodine like kelp are recommended usually. Even though beetroot does not contain any iodine, it is still very effective for the treatment of goiter. This is because it contains phytonutrients like betalains in abundance. Vulgaxanthin and betanin are betalains present in beetroots, which have anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and anti-oxidant properties. These compounds suppress the functions of COX-2 and COX-1 enzymes which in turn leads to the reduction of swelling and inflammation in the body. That is why, consumption of beet can cure goiter caused by causes other than the deficiency of iodine.


Although beets are efficacious for goiter, they cannot absolutely cure it. Betalains present in beets make them effective for the reduction of thyroid swelling. Do not cook beets in a microwave or at high heat, because excessive heat can destroy phytonutrients in it. Therefore to achieve full benefits of beet, boil, steam or bake them lightly, without peeling them. After gentle cooking, skin can be easily rubbed off them. This method will help in preserving phytonutrients while cooking the beets.