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10 Benefits of Iodine for the Body Page all

KOMPAS.com – Iodine or iodine is a chemical element that the body needs. However, the body cannot make it.

Therefore, the iodine that the body needs must come from food intake.

Launch WebMD, usually, there is very little iodine content in food, unless it has been added during processing.

Also read: 3 Causes of Mumps to Watch Out for

Processed foods usually contain more iodine due to the addition of iodized salt.

Most of the world’s iodine is found in the oceans, where this mineral is concentrated by marine life, especially seaweed.

It is important to get adequate intake of iodine in your daily diet. This sufficiency is useful for regulating hormones, fetal development, and many other benefits.

If your iodine levels are low, your doctor may recommend supplementation.

It should be noted, you should not take supplements without first consulting a doctor.

Benefits of iodine

It is undeniable that iodine is an important mineral for the body.

The following is a list of some of the most important uses of iodine and how it benefits the body:

1. Improve thyroid health

Iodine plays an important role in the health of the thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, under the Adam’s apple.

Also read: 14 Foods Containing High Sodium

Launch Health Line, in the body, the thyroid gland helps regulate hormone production. These hormones control metabolism, heart health, and more.

Now, to make thyroid hormones, the thyroid gland requires a small amount of iodine.

Without iodine, thyroid hormone production can decrease.

A “low” or underactive thyroid gland can cause a condition called hypothyroidism.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism vary from person to person, depending on how low the hormone levels are produced by the thyroid gland.

Also read: 3 Symptoms of Mumps to Watch Out for

Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include:

  • Easily tired and dizzy
  • Constipation or difficulty defecating
  • The muscles feel weak, painful, and stiff
  • More sensitive to cold weather
  • Dry, rough skin, easy to peel, and wrinkles
  • Weight gain for no apparent reason
  • Swollen face and hoarse voice
  • Hair loss and thinness
  • Brittle nails
  • Easy to forget and hard to concentrate

To prevent this condition from occurring, you can get enough iodine from your diet by consuming dairy products, fortified foods, and saltwater fish.

Iodine is also available in plant foods grown in naturally occurring iodine-rich soil.
Apart from that, you can also get mineral iodine by seasoning your food with iodized salt.

But keep in mind, although iodine improves overall thyroid health, too much iodine can actually have a negative impact on the thyroid gland.

That’s why you shouldn’t take iodine supplements without a doctor’s recommendation.

Also read: 5 Symptoms of Goiter to Watch Out for

2. Reducing the risk for some goiter

A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland.

Your thyroid may be enlarged as a result of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid gland.

Non-cancerous thyroid nodules (cysts) can also cause enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Sometimes goiter develops in direct response to iodine deficiency. It is the most common cause of goiter worldwide.

Iodine-induced goiter can be cured by adding iodine-rich foods or supplements to the diet.

Also read: 9 Causes of Goiter to Watch Out for

3. Manage an overactive thyroid gland

Your doctor may recommend a special type of iodine called radioactive iodine to treat an overactive thyroid gland.

This type of iodine can also be called radioiodine.

This oral medication is used to destroy extra thyroid cells to help reduce the excessive amount of thyroid hormone, which causes hypothyroidism.

For this reason, radioactive iodine is usually only recommended after anti-thyroid drugs have failed.

Radioactive iodine is different from iodine supplements and you should not take iodine supplements for hyperthyroidism.

4. Treating thyroid cancer

Radioiodine may also be a possible treatment option for thyroid cancer. It works in the same way as hyperthyroid medication.

If you take radioactive iodine orally, the drug destroys thyroid cells, including cancer cells. It can be used as a post-thyroid surgery treatment to make sure all the cancer cells have been removed from the body.

According to American Cancer Society, Radioactive iodine treatment can significantly increase the chances of survival for people with thyroid cancer.

Also read: 6 Causes of Thyroid Cancer to Watch Out for

5. Nerve development during pregnancy

You need more iodine when pregnant. That’s because iodine intake during pregnancy is related to brain development in the fetus.

A published study National Library of Medicine (NLM) National Center for Biotechnology Information The NIH (NCBI) suggests that babies whose birth mothers experience iodine deficiency during pregnancy are more likely to grow up with lower IQ and other intellectual delays.

The recommended daily intake of iodine during pregnancy is +70 mcg or a total of 220 mcg.

If you are pregnant, ask your doctor about iodine supplementation, especially if your prenatal vitamins do not contain iodine (many do not).

Iodine supplements may also be needed if you are deficient in minerals.

You should also continue to monitor your iodine intake if you are breastfeeding.

The recommended daily amount of iodine while breastfeeding is 290 mcg. That’s because the iodine you take in from food and supplementation is transferred via breast milk to your nursing baby.

This is an important period of brain development, so babies need 90-110 mcg per day until they reach 6 months of age.

Also read: 6 Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer to Watch Out for

6. Improve cognitive function

The same neurological benefits of iodine during pregnancy can extend to healthy brain function during childhood. This also includes intellectual risk reduction.

Chances are your child is getting all the iodine they need through their diet, but if you have questions about their iodine intake, talk to their pediatrician.

7. Increase birth weight

As with brain development, iodine during pregnancy is associated with a healthy birth weight.

A study revealed that pregnant women with goiter found that 400 mg of iodine taken daily for six to eight weeks was very helpful in correcting the goiter associated with iodine deficiency.

In turn, there is an increase in overall birth weight in newborns.

Also read: Recognize 9 Hazard Signs in Newborns

Although iodine intake may affect a baby’s birth weight and overall development, it is important to note that the above research focuses on women in developing areas who are already deficient in iron.

Unless your doctor has determined you are deficient in iodine, taking supplements will not affect your baby’s birth weight.

In fact, consuming iodine unnecessarily can actually cause health problems.

8. Can help treat fibrocystic breast disease

Iodine supplements or medications may help treat fibrocystic breast disease.

This non-cancerous condition occurs most often in women of reproductive age, and can cause painful breast lumps.

Also read: 10 Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Men

Despite the promise that iodine can help treat fibrocystic breast cysts, you shouldn’t try medication on your own.

Only take iodine for this condition if your doctor specifically recommends it.

Otherwise, you could run the risk of side effects from iodine toxicity.

9. Protection from nuclear impacts

In the case of a nuclear emergency, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using potassium iodide (KI) to protect the thyroid gland from radiation injury. This mineral is available in tablet and liquid formula.

Although not completely easy to do, the sooner KI is consumed, the better the thyroid is considered to be protected in an emergency like this.

There are serious risks associated with KI, including gastrointestinal upset, inflammation, and allergic reactions.

You are also at higher risk of developing thyroid disease.

Your risk of complications is higher if you already have thyroid disease.

Also read: 12 Foods High in Antioxidants

10. Treating infection

Iodine can be used topically in liquid form to help treat and prevent infections.

This mineral works by killing bacteria in and around minor cuts and scrapes.

Topical iodine should not be used in newborns. It also shouldn’t be used for internal wounds, animal bites, or burns.

Follow the directions on the package for dosage information and do not use it for more than 10 days unless directed by a doctor.

Amount of daily iodine requirement

Basically, the amount of daily iodine requirement for each person can vary, depending on age and risk factors.

The following is the daily iodine requirement recommended by the Government of Indonesia through the Regulation of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia (PMK) No. 28 of 2019 concerning Recommended Nutritional Adequacy Rates for Indonesians:

Baby / child

0-5 months: 90 mcg
6-11 months: 120 mcg
1-3 years: 90 mcg
4-6 years: 120 mcg
7-9 years: 120 mcg


10-12 years: 120 mcg
13-15 years: 150 mcg
16-18 years: 150 mcg
19-29 years: 150 mcg
30-49 years: 150 mcg
50-64 years: 150 mcg
65-80 years: 150 mcg
80+ years: 150 mcg


10-12 years: 120 mcg
13-15 years: 150 mcg
16-18 years: 150 mcg
19-29 years: 150 mcg
30-49 years: 150 mcg
50-64 years: 150 mcg
65-80 years: 150 mcg
80+ years: 150 mcg

Pregnant mother

1st trimester: +70 mcg
2nd trimester: +70 mcg
3rd trimester: +70 mcg

Breastfeeding mothers

First 6 months: +140 mcg
Second 6 months: +140 mcg

Keep in mind, meeting the daily needs of iodine in infants aged 0-6 months must come from exclusive breastfeeding.

Also read: 9 Types of Vitamins and Minerals Recommended for Pregnant Women