EDGE Holistic Fitness

The Essentials of Iodine

July, 06 2012

With everyone so concerned about there metabolism and fat loss, I think its prudent to shed a bit of light on a very important trace mineral – iodine. Iodine is an essential substrate for the production of thyroid hormones – thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These thyroid hormones play a critical role in nearly all of the cells within the human body, primarily by regulating metabolic rate.

Hypothyroidism, a condition whereby the thyroid (glandular tissue located around the “adam’s apple of the throat) does not produce ample T3/T4, is one of the major consequences of insufficient dietary iodine intake. Classic symptoms of hypothyroidism include: lethargy/fatigue, depression, and weight gain, decreased muscle tone, bradycardia (resting heart rate < 60 bpm – a symptom only if individual is untrained), decreased cardiac output (decreased cardiovascular fitness), increased blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol (high LDL + low HDL = double negative), muscle cramps and joint pain.

Recent studies have postulated that iodine and thyroid function are correlated with cardiovascular health. Individuals suffering from hypothyroidism are at an increased risk of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction.

Interestingly, iodine appears to play a role in cardiovascular health and function. In of itself, iodine acts as a vasodilator (helps blood vessels relax)

Recent studies have also demonstrated a significant association between low iodine levels and cardiovascular disease. Not only does iodine