Iodine Health Risks

Iodine is essential to life, so an insufficient dietary intake of this mineral poses serious health risks. If the inadequate dietary intake occurs during pregnancy, the far-reaching deleterious effects extend not only to the mother, but even more so to the unborn child.

Keeping in mind, however, that iodine is a trace mineral, there is also a narrow range in the amount of iodine conducive to optimal functioning, further complicated by the fact that individual need and tolerance can vary significantly. Only a qualified physician can properly determine, through testing, what an individual’s iodine status is and what therapeutic measures, if any, are necessary. Iodine intake that is significantly less than the optimal amount can produce symptoms indicative of deficiency and create major health problems. Iodine intake that is significantly greater than the recommended amount can produce symptoms indicative of toxicity and be equally harmful. Surprisingly, deficiency and toxicity can produce many of the same problems and symptoms rather than opposite ones. This unusual finding is due to the thyroid gland being overstimulated in both instances.