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Are you getting enough iodine in your diet?
   Blackburn notes the following reasons for the increase of iodine deficiencies in the U.S.
  
  • Changes in food manufacturing
  • Food manufacturers are decreasing the amount of sodium in foods which, in turn, reduces the iodine in these commercial food products
  • Food grown in iodine deficient soil
  • The amount of iodine in food can be affected by the cogent in the soil, irrigation and fertilizers. Marine foods (fish and seaweed) can be a rich source of iodine as they concentrate the iodine in seawater
  • Increase in use of kosher or sea salt
 

  The thyroid gland is the principle user of iodine in the body.
     
"We are being told we are taking in too much salt, yet low salt diets are associated with
increased blood pressure"
Adult men and women should get 100-200 micrograms of iodine per day but many are not reaching that goal, says Sara Blackburn, registered dietician at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
"low salt diets are associated with increased blood pressure"
 "We are being told we are taking in too much salt, yet low salt diets are associated with increased blood pressure," says Blackburn.
Blackburn, clinical associate professor in IUPUI's Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, says restricting sodium intake to reduce blood pressure works if a person is salt sensitive.
Americans are now consuming less salt.
 "If they are salt sensitive, then salt restriction will drop blood pressure. If not, then I recommend using medication, changing the diet and working with a registered dietician to guide them," she said.

Experts in the health field have sent the message for some time now that low-sodium diets are associated with low blood pressure. This message has worked well and Americans are now consuming less salt.
   Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones and the developing nervous system
According to Blackburn, this has had the unintended consequence of an increased risk for iodine deficiencies. Why this concern? Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones and the developing nervous system.
"In the Midwest, the most consistent source of iodine in the diet is iodized table salt," says Blackburn.
The problem of low iodine intake was identified during World War I. Salt became the first functional food when, in 1924, iodine was added to table salt.
  "This means that the use of iodized salt and iodine in the diet has decreased, increasing the risk of iodine deficiencies"
According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys I and III (NHANES), urinary iodine levels in the United States have dropped since 1974. "This means that the use of iodized salt and iodine in the diet has decreased, increasing the risk of iodine deficiencies," says Blackburn.
 Source: Indiana University News Room 
 note: Endorsement of any product or service by Indiana University is not be claimed or implied.
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