Hello Mommies and Daddies. Thank you for joining me today! As many of you know, I created happyhealthychildren.org to provide you with scientific information that will help you raise happy, healthy children. With that being said, the topic of today’s post is iodine: what is iodine and how does it keep children happy and healthy?
Iodine is a simple element that is found in nature. Although it is simple, iodine is very important for the human body. This is because iodine is essential for proper function of the thyroid gland, which is the part of your body that makes thyroid hormones. And human beings cannot live without thyroid hormones. So, you see, getting enough iodine in your diet is extraordinarily important!
Back in the early 1800s, practitioners of Western medicine figured out that iodine deficiency caused thyroid problems. Once they began treating patients with iodine supplementation, the patients’ symptoms, some near-death, began to resolve.
Despite this discovery, people continued to be lacking in iodine, primarily because it is found in very low levels in most soils. Because of its low soil concentrations, it can be difficult to get enough iodine in a person’s regular diet.
In light of these findings, the United States government requested salt producers begin adding iodine to salt in 1924. With the addition of iodine to salt, the average child’s IQ score increased by as much as 15 points! You might think to yourself that 15 points does not seem like a lot. However, if you consider what an IQ score is, the importance of each point will become clear.
People with IQ scores between 85 and 115 are considered of “average” intelligence, while a person with an IQ score 140 or greater is a genius! In other words, the difference between a person of average intelligence and a genius is only 25 points! So you see, when it comes to IQ points, every point truly does count!
Now that we have reviewed the importance of iodine in our diet, you might wonder “what’s the problem? I am sure my children and I are getting plenty of iodine, at least through the salt we consume.”
Well, actually, that may not be true. Many salt manufacturers have stopped adding iodine to their product, especially the salts that you find at the health food store. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge advocate for organic and other health foods. So I am not trying to knock the health food store!
I simply want to make you, as a parent, aware of your child’s need for iodine and that they may not be getting it in the place where American children have gotten it for many decades.
In fact, a good friend of mine who is very health conscious recently exclaimed to me that, while her husband was giving their children and himself iodine supplementation, she realized she was not getting any through her diet and was not taking the iodine supplement. So even those of us who are the most health conscious may make the mistake of not getting enough iodine!
What are solutions for this problem. The most natural approach is to make sure your diet is rich in iodine-heavy foods. Please check out this list to make sure you are not overlooking this important element in your diet!
Another solution is to buy a good iodine supplement from the health food store and make sure that your entire family is taking it daily. A final solution is to purchase salt that is still fortified with iodine.
Just a reminder, iodine is important at every age. Like many nutrients, it is most important for the developing baby. So, pregnant mommies, please make sure you are getting enough iodine! But it is also very important for older children and adults. So, mommies and daddies, please make sure your entire family is getting enough!
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