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Iodine for Women's Health & Wellness

I recently attended a panel discussion about integrative approaches to menopause and perimenopause. The panel included an gynecologist, a functional medicine doctor, an acupuncturist, and a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor functionality. This informative event was put on by a company called Rootless, which makes seaweed "bites" in about 8 different flavor profiles, in order to increase women's intake of iodine every day. What I learned about the importance of iodine in women's overall health and wellness was pretty profound. Iodine is particularly important for women and plays a crucial role in thyroid function, reproductive health and immune system strength. Iodine is a key factor in healthy thyroid function and assists in the creation of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), both of which help regulate the metabolism, energy production and other critical functions. Iodine helps prevent hypothyroidism, a condition that results from an underactive thyroid and can cause fatigue, weight loss and depression.

In pregant women, iodine supports fetal brain development and deficient iodine levels can lead to cognitive impairments and developmental delays. Severe iodine deficienty can result in an enlarged thyroid gland and other complications that lead to severe mental and physical retardation in newborns. Adequate iodine levels are needed to supp0rt increased metabolic demands of pregnancy and to help pregnant women maintain healthy thyroid health.

Healthy thyroid function, supported by adequate iodine levels, is also important for keeping women's menstrual cycles regular. Iodine deficiency can also impact fertility, because thyroid function can affect ovulation and reproductive hormone levels.

Iodine can be found naturally occurring in foods such as seaweed, dairy, grains and eggs. Iodized salt is also a common and important source of iodine.

For most adults, the recommended daily intake of iodine is around 150 micrograms (mcg). For pregnant and breastfeeding women, that number increases to 220 mcg for pregnant women and 290 mcg daily for breastfeeding women, in order to support both their own health and the health of the baby.

Another fascinating fact that was shared by the panel, was that iodine can help in the removal of bromide and flouride from the body.

Another benefit of iodine in the body is the removal of the chemicals Fluoride (found in our toothpaste and water), chlorine (in some water water sources, swimming pools and hot tubs), and Bromide (in grain, energy drinks, water, swimming pools and hot tubs).  These chemicals compete with Iodine for the same receptor sites in the body. When you take enough Iodine, you remove these toxic chemicals from the body.

Iodine is a critical nutrient for women's health affecting thyroid function, pregnancy, reproductive health, breast health, energy and more. Making sure you focus on sufficient iodine intake through diet or supplements is essential optimal health.

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