Iodine is a mineral that is contained in some foods like seafood (tuna, sardines, salmon, and lobster), grains, eggs, breast milk vegetables, iodized salts, and dairy products. Iodine is naturally found in the earth’s soil and ocean water (saltwater). Taking foods like iodine mineral is beneficial and vital to human health and the proper functioning of the thyroid. In solid-state, Iodine appears as a black-shiny crystalline substance. Apart from health benefits, Iodine also has industrial and commercial benefits.
Uses of Iodine
The following are some of the benefits and uses of iodine minerals;
1. Thyroid’s health
One of the main roles of iodine supplements is to promote the health of the thyroid glands. Low intake of iodine results in a hypothyroidism condition that is accompanied by low production of thyroid hormones. Therefore taking foods rich with Iodine or seasoning your diet with iodized salts may help to prevent this disorder caused by insufficient Iodine in the body. However, too much intake of iodine minerals may have a negative effect on the body.
2. As an antibacterial
Iodine can be used as an antiseptic to treat and prevent infections. Iodine is used in liquid form to kill bacteria around the wounded area, and this controls and prevents other infections from attacking the wounded part. However, the topical Iodine should not be applied to deep cuts, burns, or to newborn babies as it may have negative effects when used. Antiseptic made by Iodine should be used following the doctor’s description.
3. Treating iodine deficiency
Hypothyroidism (low intake) or hyperthyroidism (high intake) condition can result in Iodine related diseases. Goiter is an example of iodine deficiency that results in an enlarged thyroid gland. Goiter can be treated or be prevented by taking foods rich in Iodine. This method of treatment is only applicable only where the enlargement is iodine-induced.
4. Used as a disinfectants
The ability of Iodine to kill germs makes it be used in water disinfection. Tincture iodine is commercially used by industries that manufacture and pack clean water to kill germs. Drinking water rich in Iodine may be beneficial to human health and may improve the functioning of the thyroid glands as compared to drinking pure water. Therefore, Iodine is important in preventing water-borne diseases. However, drinking a lot of water with iodine minerals may lead to hypothyroidism.
5. Treating periodontitis
Periodontitis is a disease affecting the tissue that surrounds and supports teeth. This infection can be reduced by washing your teeth with a solution containing Iodine. The antibacterial property of Iodine helps to reduce the depth of the infected gum pockets. Also, Iodine is also used in the making of toothpaste. Toothpaste made of Iodine ensures teeth are free from any infection.
6. In surgery
Povidone-iodine is applied to the skin before or after surgery helps in reducing the risks of getting infections, and therefore it is vital during the surgery process. For a povidone-iodine solution to work effectively, Iodine is used in high concentrations.
7. Treating thyroid cancer
Radioactive iodine drugs and radioiodine are used to treat thyroid cancer and to kill cancerous cells. A person suffering from thyroid cancer undergoes radioiodine and takes radioactive iodine drugs to kill and to slow down the growth of the cancerous cell. Eating foods rich in Iodine for people who have thyroid cancer maybe help a lot in the healing process.
8. Treating foot sores
Iodine gel can be used to treat foot sores. People with foot ulcers that are related to diabetes can be treated by applying iodine gel. The Iodine helps in the recovery of the sore and also, at the same time, protects the sore from other infections.
9. Treating breast disease
Fibrocystic breast disease, which is common among women, can be controlled and alleviated by taking Iodine. This is a non-cancerous condition that is usually associated with women who are still in the reproduction bracket and cause painful breast lumps. In-taking foods rich in Iodine can help to control this condition and in reducing the lump’s pain.
10. Industrial use
Iodine mineral is used in salt making and chemical industries. Most of the salts are made from ocean (salty) water, which is one of the natural sources of Iodine. Also, Iodine may be added during the process of making salt to make iodized salts. Chemicals, drugs, kinds of toothpaste, and other substances may be made using iodine minerals.
11. Birth weight and brain development of newborns
Intake of iodine minerals by pregnant women can impact the overall development of newborns. Iodine intake helps to reduce the risk of intellectual disability and improves the weight of newborns. However, this is only advisable for those women who are Iodine deficient. Too much intake of iodine minerals by pregnant may have a negative effect on them and also on the newborn child.
12. Eye treatment
Povidone-iodine can be used to reduce the pink-eye condition among newborns. It can be used in place of other medications though it is not an effective way of treatment. Few drops of povidone-iodine are dropped to the affected eye.
13. Treating and preventing Endometritis
Endometritis is the swelling of the uterus lining. This disorder can be controlled, and its effect is reduced by the use of Iodine. The affected person can wash the vagina using an iodine solution or by eating foods rich in Iodine. This helps to reduce the risk of inflammation of the uterus. After giving birth also, the mother can apply a povidone-iodine solution around the uterus to prevent swelling and also reduce bacteria-caused infections.
14. In the laboratory
Iodine, as one of the halogens, is an important element in practical laboratories and in the spectroscopy process (the scientific study of spectra). Iodine molecule (I2) is commonly used as the standard wavelength reference, and it is very important. Also, measuring with a spectroscopic dropper-free technique, the structure of Iodine can clearly be seen.
15. Improving lumps in the thyroid
The functioning and arrangement of lumps within the thyroid can be improved by taking iodine foods and supplements. The Iodine also protects the lump from unusual enlargement that occurs as a result of iodine deficiency. Therefore in taking is vital to the well-being of the thyroid.