Iodine is considered to be an important dietary nutrient because normal functioning of thyroid gland depends entirely upon adequate supply of this element.
The iodine in the body is an essential component of thyroxin and other iodine containing compounds of the thyroid gland. The primary function of thyroxine is to influence the rate of oxidation in the cells of the body. Thyroxine also helps in normal growth and development in the young of all the living beings.
Deficiency of Iodine
Prolonged deficiency of iodine develops goiter as well as it may cause sterility in many cases. Development of Goiter (enlargement of thyroid gland) during pregnancy indicates additional requirements of iodine.
Sources of Iodine
Iodine content in the foods varies widely under different soil and fertilizer conditions. Marine or deep sea shell fish are high in iodine content. The leaves and flowers of plants have higher concentration of iodine than roots.
The daily requirement of iodine has been reported to be about 100 to 150 µg, but most foodstuffs, with exception of marine fish, are poor in iodine content. Therefore in India, the iodine is supplied with common edible salt, usually termed as iodized Salt. The Government of India has made it mandatory for several states to allow only iodized salt for human consumption.