Iodine is one of the micronutrients that exists in the amount of 20 to 50 mg in the human body, of which about 70 to 80% is in the thyroid gland. What negative effect does this micronutrient, whose amount is very small, have on human brain and physical development? About one billion people suffer from iodine deficiency and 20 million people have goiter. There is widespread iodine deficiency in Iran. For several years, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industries have tried to prepare iodized salt to solve this problem.
Iodine is found in various foods, the best food sources of iodine are green vegetables and roots such as spinach.
The presence of iodine in food depends on its presence in the soil of the region. If the soil of a region is poor in iodine, the food produced in that region will be poor in iodine. If the water iodine in an area was less than 2 micrograms per liter, there is certainly a problem of iodine deficiency in that area. After vegetables and fruits, marine products, especially saltwater fish, are naturally the most important source of iodine. However, it depends on the sea water whether iodine is present in it or not. For example, according to the studies conducted, the water of the Caspian Sea is poor in iodine, and on the contrary, the water of the Persian Gulf is rich in iodine. Therefore, it is not correct to say that all sea products are rich in iodine.
Iodine is easily absorbed in the digestive system, after absorption, it goes to the thyroid gland, a significant part of it is taken by the thyroid gland, and the way to eliminate iodine is through urine. Therefore, one of the tests that can be done to detect iodine is the measurement of blood iodine.
Of course, iodine exists in different forms in the blood, which is suitable for measurement in this sense due to its impenetrability.
Iodine is combined with the amino acid tyrosine and at first it forms monoiod and tyrosine, diiod and tyrosine, then triiod and tyrosine and tetraiod and tyrosine. Tetraiodide and tyrosine are combined with thyroglobulin and thus stored in the thyroid gland.
The role of iodine: It plays a role in the development of the nervous system, in the longitudinal growth of bones, in energy metabolism and in the stimulation of protein synthesis.
If there is a lack of iodine or if the thyroid gland is enlarged for any reason, a person will get goiter.
There are two types of goitre, which are:
In simple goiter, despite the fact that the thyroid gland is enlarged, sufficient thyroxine is provided by compensatory mechanisms. Therefore, we do not have a problem in terms of thyroxine. However, the thyroid gland is enlarged. In case of toxic goiter, insufficient thyroxine is produced and the health of the person is seriously endangered and medical measures should be taken. If drug treatment is not effective, surgery is performed
In scientific studies, goitre is graded:
First grade goiter (A): The size of the thyroid gland cannot be felt. During the examination, the doctor’s fingers are touched.
First grade goitre (B): the size of the gland is such that if a person holds her head up and swallows her saliva. From the movement that occurs in this area, the size of the thyroid gland can be seen.
Second degree goiter: when the patient holds her head straight, the gland is visible.
Third-degree goiter: The gland is quite large, so that it is visible from a distance. In this case, it may be difficult for the patient to put on and take off clothes.
If the mother is deficient during pregnancy, there is a high possibility that the child will be born with retardation or mental retardation. In areas where there is a lack of iodine, it is especially important to pay attention to girls in puberty and pregnant mothers. Because not paying attention during pregnancy increases the risk of forming an incomplete thyroid gland and as a result the birth of a retarded or mentally retarded baby.
Hypofunction of the thyroid gland causes complications that include:
Cretinism (a type of mental and physical retardation) that is caused by the incomplete development of the thyroid gland during the fetal period. In this way, the mother has iodine deficiency before pregnancy. During pregnancy, there is a lack of iodine, and as a result, the child’s thyroid gland does not develop enough. As a result, the child’s physical and mental development is disturbed. These children are short, obese, their body temperature is low, and they have insufficient intellectual development along with incomplete development of reproductive organs. These children have a short life and the transmission of their nerve impulses is slow.
Adult people: It is caused by thyroid failure or its removal by surgery – provided that hormones are not consumed.
Simple goiter (endomic): Due to the lack of thyroid hormone in the blood, more TSH is secreted and activates the thyroid gland to make more hormones. As a result, the thyroid gland enlarges.
In areas where there is iodine deficiency, the problem of iodine deficiency can be compensated through the following:
Import food from a place where we are sure it is rich in iodine.
Adding iodine to table salt, sugar and water.
But it has been proven that the best method is to use iodized salt, which the Ministry of Health and Industries has been making available to everyone for several years.
Of course, if there is no iodine deficiency in an area, consuming iodized salt is not a concern. The amount of iodine present in salts, even if it is equal to this amount, does not cause complications or problems.
In addition to iodine deficiency, which can cause goiter. In some areas, polluted water can also cause goiter. In areas where the groundwater is high and close to the sea, they can cause goiter due to the contamination of drinking water with sewage water.
Some foods that contain sulfur compounds, such as turnips and cabbage, are goitrous.
Two thirds of iodine in the body is in the thyroid gland; Because the thyroid gland controls the metabolism and iodine is very effective in the work of this gland. Lack of this mineral can gradually cause mental disorders, overweight, weakness and lethargy.
This element performs five important functions in the body:
It causes proportional growth.
It is effective in mental vitality
It is effective in having healthy skin, hair, nails and teeth.
It helps you to burn excess body fat in a slimming diet.
It gives you more energy.