Iodine, also referred to as iodide, is a trace mineral necessary for thyroid gland function and development. Iodized salt is the main source of iodine in most diets.
Natural Food Sources
Lobster, milk, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, oysters, canned salmon, salted nuts and seeds, saltwater fish (cod, haddock, herring), sea salt, seaweed, shrimp, table salt.
Iodine is necessary to form thyroid hormones, which regulate the body's metabolism. It also promotes normal cell function, keeps skin hair and nails healthy and is important for overall growth and development.
Goiter, or thyroid enlargement, is a symptom of iodine deficiency, as is dry hair, irritability, nervousness, slow metabolism and obesity. If pregnant women are deficient in iodine it may cause cretinism, a form of mental retardation of the fetus.
Toxicity is only caused from excess iodine supplements, not food sources. Irregular heartbeat, confusion, breathing difficulties, swollen neck and black stools may result.
Recommended Dietary Allowance