31/08/2015 Margarida Moreira

Iodine is a chemical element (mineral) essential for the physical and psychological development of human beings. This element contributes to the operation of nerves and muscles, for metabolism of nutrients for the cell respiration and for the repair and maintenance of skin, teeth, nails and hair. The highest concentration of iodine is in the thyroid, which contains approximately 80% of iodine deposits of the organism and turns it into the thyroid hormones that are released into the bloodstream and are responsible for controlling the body’s metabolism.

Iodine is available in several food animal sources – canned sardines, mackerel, salmon, prawn – and vegetables when grown in soils rich in iodine – asparagus, green peppers, grapes, pineapple and spinach.

The recommended daily intake of iodine is 150 μg (equivalent to 0.15 mg) for adults and children over the age of 11 years. Infants must ingest a maximum of 40mg (equivalent to 0.04 mg). Pregnant and lactating women need a much higher amount, 175 and 200 μg, respectively. Iodine intake should be recommended by a health care professional due to toxicity of the element: the lethal dose for an adult is 30 mg/kg body weight, this means that 2.1-2.4 grams are sufficient to kill an individual from 70 to 80 kg. Excess iodine intake can also reduce thyroid function and scant intake is associated with problems of fatigue, insomnia, nail and skin diseases, weight gain and goiter.

The tincture of iodine is an iodine alcoholic solution with antiseptic function (degrades or inhibits the proliferation of microorganisms on the surface of skin and mucous membranes) in the skin lesions.

KRAPP, K. [et al.]. Manual de medicinas complementares. Barcelona; Loures; Porto: Oceano: Crerital: Nova Variante, [2004]. [VIII], Original title: The gale encyclopedia of alternative medicine

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