Did you know that iodine is an essential nutrient that is lacking throughout the world, regardless of the level of healthcare in each country? Iodine is a mineral that is abundantly contained in seaweed such as kelp and brown seaweed and is a nutrient that can easily become deficient depending on eating habits.
Iodine is required to synthesize the thyroid hormone thyroxine, and deficiency can cause goiter, so it is widely known as an essential nutrient that contributes to thyroid health. Thyroid hormones are involved in energy metabolism by regulating the body's metabolic rate and are also important in the development of the central nervous system by promoting mRNA and protein synthesis.
However, iodine has various benefits beyond thyroid health. Today, I would like to introduce the various functions of the essential nutrient iodine through research paper.
In 2015, a review paper was published in Natural Science, summarizing the results of academic research accumulated over approximately 50 years on the role of iodine in defense mechanisms against various diseases and the benefits of iodine in body tissues other than the thyroid gland.
The benefit of iodine that this paper focuses on the most is its antioxidant properties.
"Iodine has a protective function against free radicals and peroxides. This can be observed in in vitro experiments by reducing the depolymerization of hyaluronic acid and increasing the antioxidant status of human serum, as well as increasing antioxidant enzyme activity and reducing malondialdehyde and peroxide in vivo.”
Reference : Winkler, R. (2015). Iodine—a potential antioxidant and the role of Iodine/Iodide in health and disease. Natural Science, 7(12), 548.
1. Decrease Body Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) and Increase Muscle Mass Compared to Fat Mass
The immune system is an important factor not only in basic health but also in tumor progression or regression. Research on the relationship between iodine and immune regulation has been continuously accumulating since the 1980s, and naturally, academic research has been conducted to identify the relationship between iodine supplementation and anti-tumor immune response.
In 2019, a paper was published in BMC Cancer reporting the results of in vitro and in vivo observations of the effect of iodine on human breast cancer cell lines with high metastatic potential.
“Supplementation of iodine reduces the invasive potential of triple-negative basal cancer cells under in vivo and in vitro conditions. Furthermore, oral supplementation with iodine prevents tumorigenic progression by activating anti-tumor immune responses in both types of breast cancer cells.”
Reference : Mendieta, I., Nuñez-Anita, R. E., Nava-Villalba, M., Zambrano-Estrada, X., Delgado-González, E., Anguiano, B., & Aceves, C. (2019). Molecular iodine exerts antineoplastic effects by diminishing proliferation and invasive potential and activating the immune response in mammary cancer xenografts. BMC cancer, 19(1), 1-12.
3. Improves Cognitive Ability
Commonly known iodine deficiencies are goiter and cretinism. While the risks of severe iodine deficiency are well known, the effects of mild iodine deficiency are less well known. Finally, we will look at the effects of mild iodine deficiency and the benefits of iodine supplementation.
“Iodine supplementation improved perceptual reasoning in children with mild iodine deficiency, suggesting that mild iodine deficiency may prevent children from achieving their full intellectual potential.”
Reference : Gordon, R. C., Rose, M. C., Skeaff, S. A., Gray, A. R., Morgan, K. M., & Ruffman, T. (2009). Iodine supplementation improves cognition in mildly iodine-deficient children. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 90(5), 1264-1271.
Today, we looked at the various benefits of iodine that have been verified by academics. According to the Korean Nutritional Intake Standards, the recommended daily intake of iodine for Korean male and female adults and the elderly is 150㎍, 240㎍ for pregnant women, and 330㎍ for lactating women. Therefore, it is recommended to consider your daily eating habits and supplement when necessary.
I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.