Friday, November 4, 2011

What you didn't know about iodine...

But now you do.

Misconception: Iodine is orange in color.
Fact: Iodine in its purest form is actually violet.
Reason: The iodine they use at the doctor's right before they give you a shot or a needle is always orange.  But that's because that iodine is a water-soluble form of iodine and iodine is highly reactive with water.  It is also highly corrosive, especially in the presence of moisture.

Misconception: If too little iodine causes hypothyroidism then too much must cause hyperthyroidism
Fact: Too much and too little iodine actually causes too low levels of thyroid hormone.
Reason: When the levels of iodine are too high in your body, the iodine actually attacks and destroys part of the thyroid gland resulting in drop in production of thyroid hormone.  (I just learned this today from my doctor)

Fact: Taking iodine pills helps your body absorb less radiation.
Misconception: Iodine has some ability to repel radioactive particles.
Fact: Radiation fallout actually contains a radioactive iodine isotope that can be absorbed and held in your thyroid for a long time causing problems.
Reason: So, why take iodine pills?  By ingesting large amounts of non-radioactive amounts of iodine, your body will less likely absorb the radioactive isotope of iodine which will keep your body healthier.

Fact: Iodized salt has greatly reduced number of thyroid problems.

Fact: Iodine naturally occurs in kelp and seaweed.

Fact: Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of preventable mental retardation.

Fact: Iodine fluoresces under 514.5 nm green laser light.

This last fact is kind of important for my PhD research.  The rest of it is just highly interesting.


  1. I just want to know why you are talking to your doctor about iodine. Are you okay?

  2. I am completely fine. It's just routine check up in order to use a respirator for work. (Routine as in this is the first in my graduate career) :) The doctor did say my breathing levels were far above average, thanks to singing and soccer, I'm sure.