Iodine is one of the most important mineral nutrients for people. It’s responsible for multiple processes in the human body, and without enough iodine, people may experience health complications. Unfortunately, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 72% of people worldwide experience an iodine deficiency. This article is going to answer important questions like “What is iodine?” and “What does iodine do?” as well as cover a few easy ways to make sure you’re getting enough iodine.

What Is Iodine?

So, what is iodine exactly? Well, it’s a mineral found naturally in some foods, like fish, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. The human body needs iodine for many processes, and it’s important to ensure your diet consists of plenty of iodine since the body doesn’t produce it naturally. One of the main iodine uses is for the production of the thyroid hormone. This hormone is crucial for regulating body temperature, metabolism, and muscle strength. Overall, iodine is essential for ensuring your body is healthy and strong.

How Can I Get Enough Iodine?

Like previously stated, you can get iodine from certain foods that are rich in the nutrient. These foods include things like:

  • Fish
  • Seaweed
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Cereals and bread
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

While iodine deficiency isn’t as big of a concern as it was many years ago, it’s still a widespread problem. Many processed foods in the U.S. don’t contain iodized salt, so this is a problem when processed foods make up the majority of someone’s diet.

If someone does not get enough iodine in their diet, they can experience an enlarged thyroid, hypothyroidism, and other health concerns. Iodine deficiency is especially dangerous for pregnant women, as lack of the mineral can lead to pregnancy problems both for the mom and the baby.

Fortunately, there’s an extremely easy way to ensure you’re getting the right amount of iodine in your diet: iodine supplements. When processed correctly, these supplements can regulate the amount of iodine someone gets in their body and ensure the functions iodine is responsible for are running efficiently.

Hopefully, this article answered some of the questions you had about iodine. So no matter how you get iodine, whether it’s through foods rich in the mineral or through supplements, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough. Without this mineral, you may experience health complications and you’ll be putting your body at risk.


Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.

Web MD

Nutrients Journal

Endocrine Reviews

National Institutes of Health

National Health Service

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