The human body needs a certain amount of iodine in order for it to make a biochemical hormone known as the thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone  is a type of hormone in the body that controls your body’s metabolism. It also controls how your body functions.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland that is located in the front of your neck. It is part of the endocrine system. The gland requires iodine to produce thyroid hormones. After the hormones have been produced, they are released into the bloodstream and then transported to the tissues, where they are required.
Thyroid hormones are necessary to keep the body warm, help the body utilize energy, and to ensure that all the organs in the body are working properly.
A low amount of iodine in the body is not the only cause of low or loss of thyroid function. However, a lack of iodine in the body can lead to an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, known as goiter, as well as other thyroid problems. This condition can also occur in children and it leads to mental disabilities and improper development.
Normally, the human body is not capable of producing iodine. Due to this, the only way of getting this essential nutrient is through your diet. Typically, adults require at least 150 micrograms per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women also need at least 200 micrograms per day. Iodine is found in various types of food. However, it is more concentrated in food items like;
- Dairy products
- Iodised table salt
Iodine deficiency affects about 2 billion people worldwide and it is most common in developing countries where some people have limited access to enough healthy food. It can also affect people in developed countries who lack an adequate diet or people who do not properly process iodine.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women require a higher amount of iodine than any other group of people. Due to this, they are likely to experience iodine deficiency if they do not add a lot of high-iodine foods to their diet.