How-iodized-salt-prevents thyroid-problems?

Iodized salt is common tablet salt mixed with various salt elements of iodide required in minute proportion as daily intake to prevent thyroid problems.

Iodide is nothing but iodine in salt form.

Commonly used elements of iodide are sodium iodide and potassium iodide.

Why iodized salt is necessary?

Iodized salt contains iodine which is micronutrient and its deficiency can cause Goitre along with other thyroid gland problems.

Iodine sources in form Potassium iodide, Potassium iodate, sodium iodate, and sodium iodide are used as part of dietary sources and play important role in biosynthesis of Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) hormones by thyroid glands.

Any deficiency in T3 can lead hypothyroidism which is often accompanied by swelling in neck called as  Goiter.

Further iodine plays important role in metabolism i.e conversion of energy obtained from food to energy required by cells to grow.

Any deficiency in iodine can impair growth especially in pregnant women resulting in miscarriage, stunted growth of infant, stillbirth and cognitive disorders.

In normal adults its deficiency can lead inadequate thyroid hormone production called hypothyroidism.

 It can have impact on other metabolic activities like regulating body weight, body temperature and heart rate.

Any weight gain and inefficiency in use of energy can also propagate in diabetes.

In 2022 it was reported that about 21 % of pregnant or lactating women had deficiency in iodine in Philippines and its government started promoting iodine-Rich Drinking Water or “Tubig Talino”.

It is reported that Tubig Talino is a blend of purified or ordinary potable water and Water Plus I2, a premix of water and iodine. A 5-milliliter (ml) Water Plus I2 can enrich 20 litres of drinking water with iodine.

How much iodine do I need daily?

The recommended daily dose of iodine is 140 micrograms.

If you are strictly vegetarian you may have to iodine supplements or food fortified with iodine.

Plant based drinks like soya or oat drinks are available in fortified form.

Though normal consumption of daily table iodized salt fulfils daily requirements.

What are the prime sources of iodine?

Following are good sources of iodine:

  1. Eggs
  2. Sea Fish
  3. Diary products like milk etc.
  4. Shellfish
  5. Chicken
  6. Seaweed.

Iodine is also found various types of cereals and grains like wheat but its content of iodine varies according to where it is planted.

High iodine consumption seems to be tolerated by healthy individuals and does not lead to any significant thyroid problems.

Same can be seen from Korean and Japanese people who generally consume high iodine rich seaweed food.

Why iodine deficiency is found in inland areas?

Since iodine is mostly found in coastal areas and higher intake of coastal food by coastal population helps them to prevent thyroid gland problems.

Further due to deficiency of iodine in earth crust and less coastal food consumed by population residing in interiors they are more prone to thyroid gland problems.

Why one should buy small packets of iodized salts?

Iodine has inherent property of evaporating on exposure to air for longer period of time.

 It gets oxidised when exposed to air.

Since the daily intake of salt is very less and repeated opening of storage container exposes it to air continuously small packets of salt depending on family’s consumption may prevent its evaporation.

Iodine has inherent property of evaporating on exposure to air for longer period of time.

According to study storage practices affected the iodine content of the salt.

For example, within a month and a half, the iodine content of salt stored in earthenware pots is reduced to about 25%.

So this is how iodized salt prevents thyroid problems by

  • Consuming daily intake of table salt or
  • Consuming coastal food or dairy food.
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