Iodine

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Have you ever wondered what your hair is made of? Hair is made up of a protein called Keratin. Keratins are proteins that are tough and insoluble and form the hard structures found in reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals.

Losing hair is normal; everyday you lose approximately 100 hairs on your head. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? If you are skeptic, count the number of hairs on your hairbrush for a day. Since our scalp has approximately 10,000 hairs, this loss is not noticeable. You want to keep your hair looking good, so a healthy diet is important for keeping your beautiful mane beautiful.

Iodine is a chemical element found in all animal life and in some plants. It is essential for regulating the thyroid gland. Iodine is primarily used in medicine, dyes, and photography. It is water soluble and found in some seafood, kelp, and in plants grown on iodine rich soil.

Did you know that kelp is seaweed? If the thought of eating seaweed is not appetizing to you, supplements are available at your local grocery store, specialty store, and online. Because the nutrients are aux natural, they are easily assimilated into the body. Each capsule contains 525 mg of kelp.

Of course a simpler and less expensive way to get your daily dose of iodine is table salt. Just be sure the box says it contains iodine.

The thyroid is part of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for our growth and development, puberty, cell function, and metabolism. It is a small gland situation in the front of the neck, just below the Adams apple. A normal thyroid weighs less that an ounce. This tiny, butterfly-shaped gland’s function is to convert iodine into hormones. Thyroid cells combine iodine with the amino acid tyrosine which is released into the blood stream and transported throughout the body to control metabolism.

Metabolism converts oxygen and calories into energy. With a normal metabolism our bodies function at optimum performance. A low metabolism, hypothyroidism, produces many side effects, brittle hair being one. A high metabolism, hyperthyroidism, also produces many side effects, such as hair loss. The primary function of the thyroid is to regulate metabolism.

Hypothyroidism is where the thyroid under produces the hormone, thyroxin, which regulates metabolism. Women over 50 are more likely to have hypothyroidism. Some symptoms are fatigue, weight loss, muscle weakness, constipation, depression, brittle nails, dry skin and dry hair.

Hyperthyroidism is where the thyroid over produces the hormone thyroxin. Some symptoms are sudden weight loss, insomnia, fatigue, nervousness, tremors, and hair loss. These are symptoms of other health problems, so it may make it difficult for your doctor to diagnose.

Here is a simple equation for having healthy hair: Iodine + thyroid = healthy hair follicles. Iodine is readily available as iodized table salt and is important for keeping your hair and keeping it healthy.

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