Iodine is the most important substance for the thyroid gland to be able to produce thyroid hormones in throid. Later it regulates metabolism and thus influences the whole body function.
Numerous studies have been carried out about iodine and its influence to the thyroid gland. There have been arguing that Japanese people are healthy due to a lot of iodine consumption, for example, obtaining it from the Japanese diet which largely includes seaweed. Case reports of Dr. Browstein D. and Dr., MD, Abraham G.E. are also proofs that taking iodine is more efficient in case of hypothyroidism which is linked to the thyroid gland than using thyroid hormone therapy.
The optimal requirement of iodine per day
According to Abraham, the optimal human iodine consumption intake is 13.8 mg. It takes into consideration the amount of oral iodine that is needed to saturate the thyroid tissues. At the same time, it is discussed that this amount is rather too high and some cases when hypothyroidism or other thyroid problems occurred were present. Typical iodine intakes also tend to differ by countries and based on the age of a person. Problems might also arise due to different absorption levels in people.
Role of iodine in the thyroid gland
The main function of the thyroid gland is to produce thyroid hormone for the body’s needs. For the ability to that, the thyroid uses iodine which is consumed by food. If it is not there, the thyroid gland produces an insufficient amount of hormone. Especially in North America, it might be added to bread and salt, but that is not the only source for it. This substance is present also in additives, water sources, medications, dietary supplements and others.
How iodine is used in the thyroid gland
In fact, the process is rather complicated and not fully clear. Iodine is converted to the free elemental form, which is called iodide. It enters the thyroid gland via special transportation mechanism. Then iodide undergoes oxidation process and is “incorporated into intermediate hormones called MIT (Monoiodotyrosine, which contains one iodide) and DIT (Diiodotyrosine, which contains two iodides.)”18 These compounds form the active hormones are called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). In addition, these hormones are stored in the thyroid gland and then released into the blood.
It is clear that the thyroid gland is mainly functioning due to iodine, which produces the thyroid hormone. The importance of iodine in the function of the thyroid gland and metabolism is clear. In the end, more questions might arise about how much iodine is needed and how particularly it is used. Iodine level in thyroid should be monitored to follow its effect on thyroid function.
 Iodine Debate Continues: Gaby’s Reply to Abraham & Brownstein’s Rebuttal #2. Accessed from: http://www.townsendletter.com/April2006/iodine_gaby0406.htm
 Brownstein D. Iodine: why you need it, why you can’t live without it. Medical Alternatives Press, West Bloomfield, MI, 2004.
 Abraham GE, et al. Orthoiodosupplementation: Iodine sufficiency of the whole human body. Accessed from: http://www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/IOD-02/IOD-02.htm#2
 Iodine: A Lot to Swallow. Accessed from: http://www.townsendletter.com/AugSept2005/gabyiodine0805.htm
 Thyroid and Iodine – Part 1 (cont.). Accessed from: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18119