Iodine is an essential trace elements required for the formation of thyroid hormones in the body. These hormones are important in regulating biological functions in the body such as protein synthesis and regulate basal metabolic rate. Good sources of iodine include ocean fish, seafood, cod liver oil and iodised salt.
Hypothyroidism results from decreased production of thyroid hormone due to serious iodine deficiency. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland), weight gain and low body temperature. Inadequate iodine intake during pregnancy may lead to cretinism in baby, which is characterised by stunted growth and mental retardation.