Why Are People Deficient In Iodine?

The Iodization of salt was implemented, iodine deficiency disorders would be a thing of the past.  Because the poor availability of iodine in salt as well as a declining salt intake by the population, this is not the case.  There are additional reasons why iodine deficiency disorders are still present today.  Now the poor technique, deficiencies of iodine and other minerals in the soil have increased.  Crops grown in iodine deficient soil will be deficient in iodine.  Also, the stigma of salt causing high blood pressure has convinced many individuals not to use salt in their foods.  Many times the only iodine one will get from the diet is found in salt.  A low-salt diet can naturally lead to an iodine-deficients state.  Radioactive iodine, used in many medical procedures, will further exacerbate an iodine deficiency problem.  Also, exposure to many chemicals that inhibit binding in the body further worsens the problem.  Certain diets and lifestyles can also predispose one to developing iodine deficiency.  Some examples of these diets are listed on the next page.  Inadequate dietary iodine intake can cause many severe problems including thyroid problems, cancer, intellectual decline, cretinism, and others.  The significant change in the iodine status of recent time occurred with the changing of the food industry.  In the 1960’s iodine was added to the commercial baking industry as a dough conditioner.  This single addition to baked goods significantly increased the iodine intake of the U.S. population, as one slice of bread contained the RDA for iodine of 150ug.   Articles from the NIH were published which questioned the safety of using iodine in baking products.  Some researchers felt that this level of iodine in baking products would cause a malfunctioning of the thyroid gland.  Twenty years later, bromine replaced iodine in the baking industry.  Bromine is a halide. all halides compete with  one another for absorption and receptor binding in the body.  Bromine interferes with iodine utilization in the thyroid as well as wherever else iodine would concentrate in the body.