Iodine: The thyroid and female hormone nutrient
Iodine is a nutrient that has copped a bit of slack for being unsafe to supplement with due to the potential for over-supplementation which can result in undesirable effects. However, with any supplements, the correct dose and supervision from a professional can ensure that it is not only safe to take but highly beneficial.
Iodine is an essential nutrient in thyroid function, we need it to convert the inactive hormone T4 into the active hormone T3. There is a strong correlation with low iodine levels and underactive thyroids. However, if you have Hashimotos or Graves disease it is advised not to try iodine supplementation while the condition is unmanaged so it is important to test for antibodies before using iodine.
Iodine is also a potent estrogen modulator and has been shown to support healthy breast tissue. There has been some research to suggest that iodine can support breast cancer treatments as an adjuvant therapy.
The ability for iodine to improve estrogen detoxification from the body and reduce the effects of estrogen means that it is also beneficial for any estrogen excess presentations such as fibroids, heavy periods, irregular periods, and PMS.
Due to the fact that our soil is no longer mineral rich, most plant foods are lower in nutrients essential for good health – including iodine. Seafood and sea vegetables are the best dietary
forms with some iodine also found in eggs and of course fortified foods such as iodized salt.
It is not advised to self-supplement with iodine so if you are curious about having your iodine levels tested or currently experience any of the above, reach out to a practitioner to discuss.