Iodine (Iodine-ing On Seafood Tonight?)


Iodine is quite possibly the most important element for all humans. It is only necessary in very trace amounts and can be found in algae, seafood, eggs, tropical fruits, and in varying amounts in many other green leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and carrots. Regardless of how you get, I would obtain it from seafood, eggs, and algae to make sure we are getting plenty of it. One must reduce their toxic load, or else this element will get used up quickly and never get replenished. The thyroid is a gland located in the cervical region of the body (where the larynx is located just below the jaw). The thyroid produces two secretions, Triiodothyronine and Thyroxin (T3 and T4 on a blood test) as a way to regulate the metabolism. Manganese is another element that works closely to maintain an efficient Thyroid gland, but let’s keep this about Iodine. Iodine helps to break down toxins before they can cross over the Blood Brain barrier, which obviously protects our brain and nervous system from toxins. Clearly, Iodine is an important element. Our emotional and physical stresses from daily living require significant amounts of Iodine to break down the toxins produced by excess stress. To be blunt about it – if you don’t get enough of this every day, you are screwed! We become fatigued, prone to infection, have a poor healing ability, a slow metabolism, and live in a constant state of fear. Not my idea of fun! When the Thyroid becomes depleted of this element it must enlarge itself to filter more Iodine out of the bloodstream in order to keep the body running as effectively and efficiently as possible. The enlargement of the Thyroid is known as a goiter. As you can tell, when you deplete these Iodine stores and fail to replenish them, you begin to break down at an alarming rate. As the Thyroid speeds up to find more Iodine in the blood, it is called Hyperthyroidism. Over time, if it is not replaced, Hyperthyroidism turns to Hypothyroidism, because the gland gets tired of working over time and finally decides it is just easier to slow down the metabolism and immune system. Another reason why Iodine is crucial to our health is that it regulates the Calcium in our body. In addition to obtaining Vitamin D from the Sun’s energy and having enough Cholesterol in the body for this process to occur, Vitamin D and Iodine allow Calcium to perform it’s role in the body. Calcium, under tight regulation of the Iodine from the Thyroid, is then allowed to combine with Phosphorous to make bones dense and strong. Calcium is also secreted from the nervous system to cause a contraction of our muscles thereby keeping our posture in a fully lengthened position against gravity. Speaking of a fully lengthened posture, let’s discuss the importance of this on the Thyroid, and therefore on Iodine. If we lose our posture and our spinal extensor muscles cannot activate then we will flex forward in the upper body and put pressure on the cervical spine. This process will compress the Thyroid causing it to work harder and pump out more Iodine. Until you correct your posture, this is a vicious circle. It is relatively easy to stay away from this circle by eating plenty of seafood (or some other whole food source) and strengthening the muscles that aid in the full extension of our posture. Iodine is able to combine with many of the elements, which means it helps in the transporting of Oxygen via the Iron-centered protein, Hemoglobin. The more we can reduce stress levels and the more whole foods (especially some that are raw/fresh) we consume, the more we can conserve this vital element and ultimately protect our health and immune system. As we begin to clean up our eating habits and lifestyles, the quicker we see a turn around in our health and the more we are able to focus on the truly happy things in life. Sufficient Iodine and good posture sounds like a winning combination to me!

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