Iodine- the nutrient every woman needs

May 1, 2020

Iodine is an important nutrient for the human body. It is mostly available in saltwater and plant-based foods. It is also an important component of brain development and thyroid hormone production. Apart from this, for women, iodine is needed for a healthy reproductive system and breast tissues, successful pregnancies and hormone production in ovaries like estrogen and progesterone. The daily requirement may change if a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding. Eating a balanced diet that is healthy and includes iodine-rich foods is important.

Breast health: Since breast tissues need more iodine, a deficiency in iodine leads to increased estrogen levels in breast tissues. This will cause the formation of microcysts and fibrocystic disease.

Pregnancy: Deficiency of iodine during pregnancy can cause miscarriages or delayed development in the fetus. Also, if the mother has low iodine, this will impact the thyroid development, bone development and muscle control in the fetus. 


Hair loss: The hormones produced by the thyroid gland are responsible for healthy hair, teeth, and bones. Hence, the deficiency affects hair growth and leads to hair loss.

Breastfeeding: Breast milk is the perfect food for a newborn baby since every nutrient and mineral needed for the baby is passed through the breast milk. If the mother has inadequate levels of iodine, it leads to poor quality of the milk in the nutrient content.

Iodised sea salt, dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, tuna, salmon, oysters, shrimps and other products made from grains like bread are good sources of iodine.

Though the lack of iodine causes various deficiencies, too much iodine also causes thyroid issues like hyperthyroidism, which is overproduction of thyroid hormones. Consumption of too much iodine can lead to mood swings, fatigue, trouble in sleeping and intolerance to heat, etc.