An iodine deficiency will affect your ability to lose weight and cause you to gain weight. Iodine or iodide are the main precursors required for your thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones which regulate your metabolism and other hormone systems of the body. The 2 main thyroid hormones are: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 and T4 regulate the rate your body burns calories for energy. Hypothyroidism (slow metabolism) can be a result of iodine deficiency. If you are trying to lose pounds, especially trying to lose fat, an iodine deficiency is something to check out.
A person’s metabolism is the mechanism that maintains, allows weight loss or weight gain for the long term. A high metabolism will burn more calories even when at rest. A low metabolism will burn less calories making it easy to gain weight. Generally a person’s metabolism will achieve a “set point” and maintain the weight you are currently at. With any luck, you are at your ideal weight and your set point is allowing you to maintain that weight. As we age, our metabolism gradually slows down. If your caloric intake does not go down along with your metabolism, you will gain weight.
Iodine is deficient in the SAD diet (standard American Diet). Iodine has been depleted from our soils and therefore our foods. An attempt was made to supplement the American diet by iodizing salt. Then the same folks that recommended iodine be added to our diets for thyroid health, came up with the bright idea we should cut down on salt use. Natural sea salt and other natural salts are good for you and contain iodine and 71 other minerals. Table salt (sodium chloride) in this country is highly refined natural salt stripped of everything healthy and no longer resembles healthy salt. This form of “salt” is bad for you and should be avoided (even if it is iodized). Stick with sea salt or crystal salt for your salt needs.
Supplementation of iodine (as in supplementation of all nutrients) should be from a natural source, in a natural form. Sea kelp has an ideal form of iodine for absorbtion. As with any supplementation, you must “listen” to your body. If you notice any changes in your health for the worse, discontinue use of the supplement. An opposite condition of hypothyroidism is hyperthyroidism (an over active thyroid) and iodine supplementation would not be advisable. A blood test is the only for sure way to determine your thyroid hormone levels. If you are concerned, see a doctor (preferably a naturopathic doctor).
Iodine is just one factor that can affect your metabolism. Generally you need to supply your body with all the nutrients it requires to operate efficiently. If a weight loss diet is in your plans, eat healthy, avoid nutitionally deficient foods and get some exercise.
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