Foods rich in iodine

Iodine is a "universal" trace element necessary for the full functioning of the thyroid gland, the growth and development of the child's body, the proper functioning of the heart muscle, and maintaining the health of the nervous and immune systems.

The lack of a mineral in the daily menu causes hormonal failure, which can lead to dysfunction of the endocrine glands, including the endocrine system as a whole.

The body of healthy people contains about 25 milligrams of iodine: 15 milligrams is concentrated in the thyroid gland, and 10 milligrams - in the liver, skin, kidneys, nails, hair, ovaries, prostate gland.

This element is widely distributed in nature in the form of organic and inorganic compounds, it is obtained from seaweed, oil drilling water and saltpeter.

Influence on the human body

The main biological role of iodine is the synthesis of thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine and thyroxine), which perform the following functions:

  • stimulate the growth and development of the body, being responsible for the processes of regeneration of tissue cells;
  • regulate the metabolism of vitamins, hormones and trace elements ;
  • increase the production of new red blood cells in the bone marrow (erythropoiesis);
  • activate the work of the cardiovascular system (increase blood pressure, increase the frequency and strength of heart contractions, regulate vascular tone);
  • potentiate oxygen consumption by tissues;
  • control the transport of sodium and hormone-like substances through the cell membrane;
  • increase the rate of biochemical reactions in the endocrine ring;
  • regulate thermal, energy, water and electrolyte metabolism;
  • increase the oxidation of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates ;
  • potentiate the formation of phagocytes (blood cells that destroy harmful microorganisms);
  • participate in the regulation of a person's emotional tone (increase cognitive abilities, normalize mental activity);
  • increase the excretion of excess fluid from the body;
  • improve the functional state of the liver, brain, heart, blood vessels;
  • regulate the processes of puberty;
  • normalize the menstrual cycle;
  • increase the activity of sex hormones, restoring the reproductive function of a woman (the ability to conceive and bear a fetus).

In view of the many-sided effects on the human body, iodine is classified as a bio- and immunostimulating substance.

Daily norm

The daily requirement for iodine directly depends on the person's age, physical condition and individual characteristics of the organism. Given that the trace element is not synthesized by the intestinal microflora, it must be regularly supplied with food or nutritional supplements.

The average daily allowance for individuals of different age groups is:

  • for infants under 2 years old - 50 micrograms;
  • For toddlers 2 to 6 years old, 90 micrograms;
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  • for children 7 to 12 years old, 120 micrograms;
  • for adults, 150 micrograms;
  • for women during pregnancy, breastfeeding - 200 - 300 micrograms;
  • for people working with compounds that depress the thyroid gland - 200 - 300 micrograms.

The exact daily dosage of iodine is calculated based on the calculation of 2-4 micrograms of the substance per kilogram of body weight.

The tolerable upper intake limit for the mineral is 600 micrograms per day. Exceeding this indicator causes poisoning and intoxication of the body.

In case of malfunction of the endocrine system, it is necessary to consult a doctor regarding the dosage before using the mineral.

Deficiency and excess

The concentration of iodine in the blood varies depending on the season: it decreases in autumn and increases in spring. However, the thyroid gland absorbs exactly as much of the element as is necessary for the formation of thyroid hormones. At the same time, excess mineral is removed with urine and saliva.

Interestingly, over the past 20 years, the concentration of iodine in the soil has decreased three times, as a result of which every third inhabitant of the planet has an iodine deficiency, and one in six people is at risk of developing hypothyroidism. The lack of a compound in the daily menu is a dangerous phenomenon, since a prolonged deficiency provokes a “restructuring” of the thyroid gland function. This process is accompanied by an increase in the absorption of the element by the organ, as a result of which its excretion with urine decreases. After that, adaptation processes are launched aimed at the most economical use of iodine. Such reactions underlie the decrease in thyroid function (hypothyroidism), which leads to a compensatory increase in the "butterfly" (endemic goiter). This condition is the optimal springboard for the development of severe thyroid pathologies, including nodular formations and cancer.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • fatigue, weakness ;
  • weakening of memory, vision, hearing;
  • decreased efficiency and concentration;
  • apathy, drowsiness, mood swings;
  • tearfulness;
  • decrease in blood pressure;
  • slow heart rate (up to 45-60 beats per minute);
  • constipation, impaired motility of the digestive tract;
  • sweating;
  • weight gain;
  • swelling;
  • irritability;
  • violation of thermoregulation, chills;
  • menstrual disorders;
  • dry skin and mucous membranes;
  • hair loss;
  • infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths.

The most severe consequence of iodine deficiency in newborns is cretinism, skeletal deformity, paralysis, and deafness. In view of this, when planning a pregnancy, carrying a fetus and breastfeeding, women need to control the level of mineral intake into the body with particular accuracy.

Causes of iodine deficiency:

  • living in endemic regions where the soil and water are "depleted" in the mineral or there is an increased radiation background;
  • insufficient intake of iodine-containing food;
  • ingestion of foodstuffs or medicines containing strumagenic factors (thiourea, thiouracil, thiocyanate, derivatives of polyphenols, aniline and perchlorate) that prevent the absorption and utilization of the microelement;
  • use of drugs containing iodine antagonists (fluorine, manganese, cobalt, bromine, lead, chlorine);
  • the presence of foci of chronic infections (tonsillitis, rhinosinusitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis);
  • impaired absorption of the element due to deficiency of zinc, copper, selenium, folic acid, vitamin C, A and E in the body.

For the prevention and elimination of malnutrition, the daily diet is enriched with iodine-containing foods or complex dietary supplements. Interestingly, the trace element from seaweed is better absorbed than from medicinal analogues.

Remember, to relieve hypothyroidism, iodine preparations are taken with caution, only as directed by a doctor, since an overdose of the element is fraught with the development of iodism (aseptic inflammation of the mucous membranes in the areas of mineral excretion), iododerma (toxic - allergic skin lesions), hyperfunction of the thyroid gland.

Other signs of excess:

  • tachycardia;
  • increased salivation;
  • headaches, fatigue ;
  • numbness and tingling of the skin;
  • acne, skin rash, including allergic;
  • development of thyrotoxicosis;
  • dyspeptic disorders, sometimes with blood;
  • decreased body weight and skeletal strength;
  • goiter formation;
  • nervousness;
  • insomnia;
  • lacrimation;
  • paralysis, muscle weakness.

A single dose of iodine in excess of 500 milligrams threatens direct poisoning. The first symptoms of intoxication are vomiting, brown discoloration of the skin, disordered stools, severe pain in the abdomen, fever of the body, the appearance of a metallic taste in the mouth. If this condition is not stopped, due to irritation of the nerve endings, a fatal outcome may occur.

Contraindications for taking iodine supplements:

  • increased thyroid function (hyperthyroidism);
  • suspected thyroid cancer;
  • Dühring's dermatitis;
  • toxic goiter;
  • radioactive iodine therapy;
  • toxic thyroid adenoma;
  • individual intolerance to the mineral.

Remember that increased iodine intake in the context of autoimmune diseases can aggravate hypothyroidism and reduce the pharmacological properties of thyroid drugs.

Natural sources of iodine

With a balanced diet, the daily requirement for iodine is replenished by products of plant and animal origin. In addition, some part of the element (up to 25% of the daily norm), depending on the place of residence, enters the body with air and water.

Table No. 1 "Natural sources of iodine"
0)Iodine content in 100 grams of the product, micrograms
Dried seaweed (kelp) 2500 – 3000
Seaweed cooked 300
Squid 290
Feijoa 70 – 250
Salmon, pollock 200
Hake, pollock, haddock 150 – 160
Blue whiting, cod, pinniped meat 130
Shrimps, oysters, crabs 90 -100
Bass 65
Rye bran 60
Pink salmon, perch, catfish, tuna, catfish, capelin, flounder, carp, salted herring, pike perch, pike 50
Mackerel, anchovies 45
Salted herring40 – 60
Egg yolk 35
Mushrooms 18
Dairy and fermented milk products 8 – 18
Greens, legumes, vegetables 6 – 15
Cereals, fruits, berries 2 – 10

In addition, good sources of the element are Himalayan salt, apple seeds, iodine and iodine-bromine e mineral waters. In small concentrations (up to 10 micrograms per 100 grams of product), the mineral is present in all fermented milk products, garlic, feijoa, persimmon, radish, eggplant, potatoes, spinach, sorrel, asparagus, grapes, strawberries, onions and green onions.

When cooked or stored for a long time, the iodine content of foods is significantly reduced. So, when cooking fish, meat, cereals, legumes, 45 - 65% of the trace element is lost, when baking bread - 70 - 80%, when boiling milk - 20 - 25%, when cooking potatoes and other vegetables "in uniform" - 30 - 40 %, and in crushed form - 45-50%.


Iodine is a biogenic microelement “responsible” for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, and, consequently, for the full functioning of the whole organism.

It is interesting that in a lifetime a person receives about 3-5 grams of this mineral. Moreover, for the full-fledged work of the internal organs, this volume is not necessary immediately, but in portions of 100-200 micrograms per day.

Today, as a result of low concentrations of the element in soil and water, 153 countries around the world are experiencing iodine deficiency. This problem has the character of a "global pandemic", since iodine deficiency leads to pathologies of the thyroid gland, resulting in hormonal dysfunctions, mental disorders, diseases of internal organs, and in pregnant women - premature birth or stillbirth.

To replenish reserves and prevent mineral deficiency in the body, it is recommended to introduce into the diet: seafood, feijoa, Himalayan salt.