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Iodine is an essential nutrient. Now there seems to be controversy on the use of iodine and I encourage people to read the book by Dr. Brownstein, ‘Iodine, Why You Need It’.  And please be advised it is important to speak to a healthcare provider to determine if iodine supplementation is appropriate for you.

So, why is iodine important?

If you review the periodic table of elements, there are the halides: fluoride, chloride, bromide and iodine. However, of those halides, two are necessary for life, chloride, and iodine. Unfortunately, in our food, drink and environment we tend to get a large amount of bromide and fluoride. And these halides can compete with one another for receptor binding sites and absorption.  That means that if there is too much of one halide, it can kick out other halides. The idea is that we seem to be getting too much of the non-essential halides, the bromide and fluoride, and not enough of the necessary halides of chloride and iodine. 

With that quick chemistry review, what can iodine help with?

Two good reasons to supplement with iodine include:

  1. Supporting thyroid function: Iodine is important for the proper function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, and development. A deficiency of iodine can lead to thyroid disorders and therefore supplementing with iodine can help maintain optimal thyroid function.


  1. Promotes cognitive development: It has been shown that iodine is a crucial nutrient for the proper brain development and cognitive function in infancy. Iodine is an important component of thyroid hormones, and the thyroid hormones play a key role in growth and differentiation of brain cells, the formation of myelin and regulation of neurotransmitters. A study published in The Lancet in 2013, found that children born to mothers who received iodine supplements during pregnancy had higher IQ scores. However, it is also important to remember that cognitive development includes a healthy and balanced diet, proper sleep, physical activity and early childhood education and stimulation.