Recent Blog Articles
Anti-inflammatory food superstars for every season
Harvard Health Ad Watch: An upbeat ad for a psoriasis treatment
A new targeted treatment for early-stage breast cancer?
What is neurodiversity?
Thinking about holiday gatherings? Harvard Health experts weigh in
Time to stock up on zinc?
Recent study shows more complications with alternative prostate biopsy method
Walnuts: A worthy addition to your daily diet?
What it takes to achieve world-changing scientific breakthroughs
Do weighted blankets help with insomnia?
Reducing salt intake won't make you iodine deficient, from the Harvard Heart Letter
The surplus of sodium in the American diet contributes to a host of cardiovascular problems, from high blood pressure and stroke to heart attack, heart failure, and more. Cutting back on salt is generally good for the heart and arteries. But some people fear that by doing this they won't get enough iodine in their diets. Not to worry, explains the June 2011 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter. Salt provides only a fraction of daily iodine intake for most Americans.
The human body needs iodine to make thyroid hormone. This hormone is critically important during fetal development, infancy, and childhood, for the brain and nervous system to develop normally. Later in life, thyroid hormone controls metabolism. Adults who don't take in enough iodine can develop a goiter (a swelling of the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in the neck), and the low output of thyroid hormone can lead to sluggish metabolism, poor thinking skills, infertility, thyroid cancer, and other conditions. Since the 1920s, iodized salt has been one way of preventing iodine deficiency.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!