Iodized salt is today one of the most commonly used types of salt worldwide. Ever since the science has recognized the importance of iodine for human health and normal development, many salt manufacturers have started adding iodine to their products. In most developed countries iodized salt is the golden standard and they promote different programs and projects to raise the awareness about the importance of iodine.
What is iodized salt?
Iodized salt is the salt that is fortified with trace mineral iodine. Edible or table salt is sprayed by the manufacturer with a potassium iodate solution. A ton of salt can be iodized using only 60 milliliters of this solution, which costs about $1.5 in the United States; therefore iodized salt cannot be much more expensive than non-iodized kind.
Iodine is required in small amounts for normal growth and development. The human body only requires small amounts of it and it is stored in the thyroid gland, although its traces can be found in other tissues too.
The primary function of iodine is the synthesis of the thyroid hormone. It is a very important trace mineral that requires regular consumption. The single best way to get adequate amounts of iodine is to use iodized salt. This salt does not taste or smell different from non-iodized salt and its main purpose is to provide sufficient amounts of iodine. Other sources of iodine include saltwater fish and seaweed.
Infants and children require as little as 110 micrograms of iodine per day, and the recommended dosage for adults is 150 micrograms per day. In order to obtain sufficient amount of this trace mineral, it suffices to use iodized salt for cooking and preparing meals. If iodized salt is regularly used, there is absolutely no need for a healthy person to take iodine supplements.
Too much iodized salt can be dangerous, and the dosage of iodine that causes toxicity is 2.000 micrograms per day.
Excessive consumption of any salt can lead to several serious conditions and diseases, like high blood pressure and heart diseases, so it is important to use it with moderation.
Benefits of iodized salt
As iodine is necessary for proper functioning of the thyroid gland, its deficiency can lead to problems like hypothyroidism and goiter. Severe iodine deficiency can cause abnormalities in pregnancy and in development of the baby.
Iodized salt prevents brain disorders, mental retardation, problems related to the thyroid gland, abnormal weight gain, stillbirth, miscarriage, cretinism, stunted growth, but also gastrointestinal and skin problems.
Iodized salt is also believed to prevent constipation, dry skin and fatigue.