Life Extension Sea-Iodine 1000 mcg. - 60 Capsules Americans have rightly been told to avoid table salt for decades in order to reduce their risk of hypertension and related health conditions. When iodized table salt is reduced, people can unknowingly lower their iodine intake to suboptimal levels. Analyses from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) show that urinary iodine levels have plummeted since the 1970s. Iodine is a health-promoting trace element essential for life. Its primary biological role lies in the production of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).1 T4 and T3 contain four and three atoms of iodine per molecule, respectively. The thyroid gland actively absorbs iodide from the blood to make and release these hormones into the blood. Iodine is found abundantly in sea vegetables and plants. In areas where no marine foods are eaten, people have lower iodine levels.2 For this reason, US commercial salt manufacturers have added iodine to their product since the 1920s, in order to deliver this key ingredient to your diet. However, we now know the dangers associated with eating too much table salt, resurrecting the dilemma of where to get healthy sources of iodine. Ironically, health-conscious people are often most likely to develop low iodine levels.3 One reason is that athletes and people engaged in heavy physical effort deplete their natural stores of this trace mineral through perspiration, increasing their need for it. Vegetarians also have substantially greater likelihood of low levels of iodine than carnivorous people, since foods of plant origin are less rich in iodine than animal-derived foods. One study demonstrated iodine deficiency in 25% of vegetarians and 80% of vegans.4The good news is that you can avoid iodized table salt without sacrificing the health benefits of iodine.