Iodine is required by our body in minute quantities but even tjis miniscule amount has fae reaching effect on growth and metabolism of our body.

Functions of iodine

  • The only known function of iodine is that it is a constituent of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodo thyronine. Here tyrosine along with iodine regulates the rate of oxidation within the cells and in doing so determines the rate of metabolisism.

Deficiency of iodine

  1. People living in hilly areas or those who are away from tthe sea suffer from iodine deficiency syndrome called simple or endemic Goitre.

Soil in these regions lacks iodine, therefore, the consumption of vegetables ,fruits and cereals and grains grown here does not contribute iodine in appreciable amounts. iIn such areas the entire population suffers from goitre, hence its called endemic goitre.

Goitre is an enlargement of the thyroid since the size -hypertrophy and the number of- Hyperplasia, epithelial cells in the gland increase. Normal basal metabolic rate.

Endemic goitre is more serious state since infants of women suffering from goitre and who are able to meet the foetus demand for iodine, suffer from cretinism.

Cretinism is characterised by

  • low metabolic rate
  • muscular flabbiness and weakness
  • dry skin
  • rough skin
  • enlarged tongue
  • thick lips
  • retardation of skeletal development
  • severe mental retardation

Sources of iodine

  • Saltwater fish,shellfish, seaweed containing large amounts of iodine.
  • Iodine content of eggs, dairy products, meat and poultry depends upon the content of iodine in anilmal's diet.
  • Vegetables and fruits that are grown in the soil that is rich in iodine are good sources of iodine.
  • Fortification of common salt with potassium iodate is a recommended method of making iodine easily available.

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