Iodized salt is one of the easiest ways to get the necessary iodine, although it is not the only source. Is it important to obtain this mineral? Yes, everyone should get enough iodine, especially, the babies and pregnant women.
The body needs this mineral to produce thyroid hormones. These hormones control the body’s metabolism and are also necessary for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and childhood. Office of Dietary Supplements from the National Institutes of Health.
Goiter, an increase in the size of the thyroid gland, is usually the first visible sign of iodine deficiency.
Iodine in food
Iodine occurs naturally in some foods and is also added to salt, and this salt is commonly known as “iodized” or “with iodine.”
Naturally and in good quantity, iodine is in the fish such as cod and tuna, in the seaweed, shrimp, and other shellfish. It is also found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese.
Not all types of salt have iodine
Specialty salts, such as sea salt, kosher salt, Himalayan salt, and fleur de sel, are usually not iodized. If you are looking for iodized salt, you must specify it on the label.
How much iodized salt does the necessary iodine provide?
Iodized salt in the United States contains 45 micrograms of iodine per gram of salt, according to Mayo Clinic. A little less than half a teaspoon of table salt is required to obtain the recommended daily intake for adults (150 mcg).
WHO recommends iodized salt and in little quantity
The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that all salt consumed must be iodized, which is essential for a healthy brain development of the fetus and young child as well as to optimize mental functions in general.
The fact that iodized salt is the most common way to obtain iodine does not mean that you should abuse its consumption since salt is the main source of sodium in our diet and more than 2 grams of sodium and insufficient absorption of potassium contribute to the arterial hypertension and increase the risk of heart disease and accident cerebrovascular.
The WHO recommends the consumption of less than 5 grams (a little less than a teaspoon) of salt per day.
Daily iodine needs depend on age
- Babies up to 6 months of age require 110 micrograms (mcg)
- Babies 7 to 12 months of age, 130 mcg.
- Children 1 to 8 years of age, 90 mcg.
- Children 9 to 13 years of age, 120 mcg.
- Adolescents 14 to 18 years of age, 150 mcg.
- Adults, 150 mcg.
- Pregnant women and teens, 220 mcg.
- Lactating women require the highest amount, 290 mcg.
What if I don’t get enough iodine?
Severe iodine deficiency in pregnant women could cause permanent damage to the fetus by causing delayed growth, intellectual disability, and delayed sexual development.
Less severe deficiency can lead to lower than normal IQ in babies and children and reduce the ability of adults to work and think clearly.
When using supplements with iodine, care should be taken not to overdo it, high doses can cause inflammation of the thyroid gland and thyroid cancer. The upper limit in adults is 1,100 mcg, while in babies 1 to 3 years old it is 200 mcg.
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