Iodine is a mineral that plays a major role in regulating hormones in the thyroid such as thyroxin. These hormones regulate the body’s metabolism or the rate at which the body uses energy and burns calories.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 150 micrograms for adults and goes up to 220 micrograms for pregnant females, and 290 micrograms for breast-feeding females.
Since iodine is commonly added to salt in the United States, deficiencies rarely occur here and are more often found in developing countries. A deficiency slows down the production of thyroxin and therefore lowers the metabolism and can cause weight gain, slow mental reaction, and lower energy levels. Severe deficiencies may also lead to an enlarged thyroid gland, also known as Goiter.
Too much iodine may also cause Goiter as well as cause irregular heartbeats and confusion. Since iodine is often added to salt and commonly found in saltwater fish, taking an iodine supplement is not recommended.