Iodine – Dietary Mineral

Iodine is an essential trace mineral and is required mainly for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. A lack of these hormones can result in goiter. Other major function of Iodine is to act as an antioxidant, for extrathyroidal organs as mammary and salivary glands. It the heaviest element present in the human body.

Iodine – Dietary Sources

Iodized saltSea vegetables, iodized salt, strawberries, mozzarella cheese, yogurt and milk are good sources of Iodine.

Biological Functions of iodine


The important biological functions of iodine are:

  • Integral part of the hormones secreted by thyroid gland
  • Acts as an antioxidant for extrathyroidal organs
  • Maintains mental activity

Iodine – Deficiency

Iodine deficiency in humans can result in goitre. Another major disease caused due to iodine deficiency is cretinism. Cretinism is a condition of severely stunted physical and mental growth due to deficiency of thyroid hormones. One of easiest way to prevent mental retardation is through iodine. Iodine deficiency is also associated with breast cancer and stomach cancer.

Iodine – Requirements and supplements

The daily requirement of iodine for an adult is 150 µg/day. This need can be met by simply replacing the regular salt with iodized salt. You don’t need any special supplement for iodine, as the required amounts are extremely less.