Iodine

Iodine is rare in the solar system and Earth’s crust (47th in abundance); however, iodide salts are often very soluble in water. Iodine occurs in slightly greater concentrations in seawater than in rocks, 0.05 vs 0.04 ppm. Minerals containing iodine include caliche, found in Chile. A type of seaweed, kelp, tends to be high in iodine as well, with from 0.03 – 0.45 dry weight percent. Aside from tungsten, iodine is the heaviest element to be essential in living organisms, and iodine is the heaviest element thought to be needed by higher animals.

Iodine is an essential trace element for life, the heaviest element commonly needed by living organisms, and the second-heaviest known to be used by any form of life (only tungsten, a component of a few bacterial enzymes, has a higher atomic number and atomic weight).

Iodine’s main role in animal biology is as a constituent of the thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These are made from addition condensation products of the amino acid tyrosine, and are stored prior to release in an iodine-containing protein called thyroglobulin. T4 and T3 contain four and three atoms of iodine per molecule, respectively. The thyroid gland actively absorbs iodide from the blood to make and release these hormones into the blood, actions which are regulated by a second hormone TSH from the pituitary. Thyroid hormones are phylogenetically very old molecules which are synthesized by most multicellular organisms, and which even have some effect on unicellular organisms.

In areas where there is little iodine in the diet, typically remote inland areas and semi-arid equatorial climates where no marine foods are eaten, iodine deficiency gives rise to hypothyroidism, symptoms of which are extreme fatigue, goitre, mental slowing, depression, weight gain, and low basal body temperatures. Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of preventable mental retardation, a result which occurs primarily when babies or small children are rendered hypothyroidic by a lack of the element. The addition of iodine to table salt has largely eliminated this problem in the wealthier nations, but as of March 2006, iodine deficiency remained a serious public health problem in the developing world. Iodine deficiency is also a problem in certain areas of Europe. In Germany it has been estimated to cause a billion dollars in health care costs per year.

Other possible health effects being investigated as being related to deficiency include: Breast cancer. The breast strongly and actively concentrates iodine into breast-milk for the benefit of the developing infant, and may develop a goiter-like hyperplasia, sometimes manifesting as fibrocystic breast disease, when iodine level are low. Studies indicate that iodine deficiency, either dietary or pharmacologic, can lead to breast atypia and increased incidence of malignancy in animal models, while iodine treatment can reverse dysplasia. The role of iodide in breast dysplasia and development of breast cancer is an area of active research. Stomach cancer. Some researchers have found an epidemiologic correlation between iodine deficiency, iodine-deficient goitre and gastric cancer. A decrease of the incidence of death rate from stomach cancer after implementation of the effective iodine-prophylaxis has been reported also.

There is a suspended gel product which contains iodine and coupled with other ingredients including apple cider vinegar and fucoidan can and will build up the immune system of the human being – that would be you and me. The product which provides the best form of bioavailability in the matrixed suspended gel is named UMI.

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