Ingredient Focus: Iodine
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Iodine is an amazing mineral - the stability of the earth’s ozone layer relies on atmospheric iodine levels - and that’s just one of many mind blowing facts about iodine! Much of the scientific research however has focused on its key role in the environment rather than its role in human health.
What we do know about iodine in relation to human health is that it is a key constituent of thyroid hormones, and this is where much of the research is currently focused.
• The thyroid gland is responsible for controlling our metabolism and it controls multiple body systems to achieve this, including metabolic rate, body temperature, heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development and bone maintenance.
• The thyroid gland produces several important hormones including large amounts of thyroxine (T4) and small amounts of triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are made up from molecules of tyrosine and iodine and therefore the thyroid glands correct functioning depends on having enough of both of these in the diet.
• Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid found in a wide variety of protein sources. Adequate levels of iodine however are much less easy to obtain from dietary sources. Iodine is a rare element in many soils because it is highly water soluble and vulnerable to leaching by rainwater.
Iodine deficiency is a significant global problem – it now affects around 2 billion people globally and is considered to be the leading preventable cause of intellectual disabilities. A recent survey of UK iodine status found that more than two-thirds of schoolgirls aged 14-15 years were iodine deficient due to reduced milk intake. National programmes to add iodine to salt are the primary strategies in place for improving iodine status.
Supplementation in the form of a liposomal liquid is considered to be an effective way to optimize levels if deficiency has been identified. A liposome is a tiny bubble (vesicle), made out of the same material as a cell membrane. Liposomes can be filled with dietary supplements, and used to deliver these supplements more effectively as they have an ability to entrap both water soluble and insoluble substances and deliver them into desired environments.
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