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Iodine is a mineral found in every cell of the human body, although most is contained in the thyroid glad. It's therefore no surprise that Iodine is essential for the formation of thyroid hormone which help maintain healthy cells and a desirable metabolic rate. Iodine is also required by the body for brain development and cognitive ability.

Food sources
As iodine occurs naturally in the sea, the best sources are animal and plant life originating from a sea area. However, milk, eggs, yogurt and strawberries also contain good levels of iodine. Iodine is now added to most table salt making it less likely to for those living in the developed world to develop an iodine deficiency.

Daily requirement
The European Commission daily requirement for Iodine is 150mcg for both men and women. In the UK the RDA for iodine is slightly lower at 140mcg. In the United States, the RDA is 150mcg for men and women.

Deficiency
A deficiency in iodine can cause serious problems particularly in the bodies of children. A lack of iodine leads to a fall in the production of thyroid hormones which in turn causes the thyroid to enlarge. Dwarfism and learning difficulties can occur as a result.

Symptoms of an iodine deficiency include fatigue, weakness, depression and eight gain.

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