Vitamins and minerals: Iodine

Having recently researched the impact that vitamins and minerals have on the body we thought we would share some of the pearls of wisdom discovered at the NHS Choices website:

Iodine is something that you probably rarely consider when thinking about getting a balanced diet, but it is important in the production of the thyroid hormones, which function to help keep cells healthy and regulate your metabolic rate and energy levels, so it is an important element of a balanced diet.

Vitamins and minerals Iodine

A trace element found in seawater, rocks and some types of soil, iodine is commonly found in sea fish and shellfish.

Other good sources of iodine include plant-based foods such as cereals and grains, but the levels of iodine they contain can vary depending on the amount of iodine in the soil where the plants are grown. In the UK, iodine can also be found in cows’ milk.

Adults need only 0.14mg of iodine a day, and you should be able to get all the iodine you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

However, if you do take iodine supplements, it is important not take too much because this could be harmful. Taking high doses of iodine for long periods of time could alter your thyroid function, which can cause a wide range of symptoms, including weight gain.

The Department of Health therefore advises that taking 0.5mg or less a day of iodine supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

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