The chief store-house of iodine in the body is the thyroid gland. The essential thyroxine, which is secreted by this gland is made by the circulating iodine. Thyroxine is a wonder chemical which controls the basic metabolism and oxygen consumption of tissues.
It increases the heart rate as well as urinary calcium secretion. Iodine regulates the rate of energy production and body-weight and promotes proper growth.
It improves mental alacrity and promotes healthy hair and nails, skin and teeth.
The best dietary sources of iodine are kelp and seaweeds. Other good sources are turnip greens, garlic, watercress, pine-apples, pears, artichocks, citrus-fruits, egg yolk, sea foods and fish liver oil.
The recommended dietary allowance of 130 mcg. per day for adult males and 100 mcg. per day for adult females. An increase to 125 mcg. per day during pregnancy and to 150 mcg. per day during lactation has been recommended. Deficiency can cause Goitre and Enlargement of the Thyroid gland.
Small doses of iodine are of great value in the prevention of greater in areas where it is endemic and are of value in treatments, at least in the early stages. Larger doses have a temporary value in the prevention of patients with hyperthyroidism for surgical operation.