While its rates are on the downward trend, breast cancer is still among the leading killer diseases in women. It kills about 40,000 women in the United States every year.
Fortunately, you can minimize the risk of developing breast cancer just by ensuring you get a sufficient amount of iodine in your body. Benefits of Iodine Iodine is essential for the optimal function of the thyroid gland. It assists the thyroid in generating and releasing hormones, which control your body’s base metabolic rate. As such, getting a required amount of iodine ensures that the calories you consume are utilized for energy production, instead of being stored as fat. In addition, iodine helps in the digestion and usage of various minerals, including silicon and calcium. Besides being good for weight management, iodine is also very significant for pregnant women, as it promotes thyroid health and hormone production, which is essential for proper fetal development. Furthermore, lack of adequate iodine in the system has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Iodine Deficiency and Breast Cancer Risk According to research findings, iodine’s cancer preventative properties emanate from its either indirect or direct interaction with estrogen pathways. Most experts believe that estrogen has a role to play in breast cancer development. This is because estrogen stimulates cell division, in addition to it’s effects on other hormones, which stimulate breast cell division. Likewise, it promotes, the growth of estrogen-responsive tumors. According to researchers, iodine has the potential to avert breast cancer by minimizing the proliferation of this breast cell. It does so by limiting the estrogen-induced growth of breast cells by blocking estrogen’s response to these cells. It undermines estrogen’s response through regulation of proteins responsible for estrogen’s metabolism and minimizing the inhibition of an estrogen-response inhibitor.
The American Thyroid Association puts the world’s population at risk of being iodine deficient at 40%.
With iodine deficiency, you’re at a higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to the average person.
Always be on the look out for these symptoms of iodine deficiency:
- Constant frustration
- Poor levels of perception
- Decreased fertility
- Abnormal weight gain
- Coarse skin
In severe cases, pregnant mothers with iodine deficiency can give birth to children with health defects like physical malformations and mental disabilities.
How to Increase Iodine Intake
You can find plenty of iodine in marine plants and animals, thanks to the salty environment they live in.
Natural sources of iodine include:
- Deep-water Whitefish
- Herring perch
- Sea bass
For plant-based iodine, here’s what you ought to consume:
- Brown seaweed kelp
- Sesame seeds
- Lima beans
- Turnip greens
- Swiss chard
- Summer squash
However, there are foods that you need to avoid if you want to increase your iodine intake.
Foods that contain bromine, chlorine, and fluorine are not good for you. Being a halogen, iodine can be replaced by any halogen that weighs more that it, including bromine, chlorine, and fluorine.
In conclusion, raising your intake of iodine can benefit your health in several ways, one of the most notable being minimizing your risk of breast cancer.