Does iodine deficiency cause hair loss?
Yes! Iodine deficiency causes hair loss. Iodine is an essential trace element.
Iodine is important for the functioning of the thyroid glands. Thyroid hormones contain iodine and its deficiency can lead to insufficient hormone production and hypothyroidism (goiter). Hypothyroidism can lead to slow down in heart rate, dry skin, hair loss, dry hair, weakness, fatigue, depression, loss of memory and mental retardation. The extreme manifestation of the deficiency of the mineral is steep decline and loss in IQ and cretinism.
Marine products, including fish, kelp, seaweeds and shellfish are rich natural food sources. However people living far away from the coast tend to take low amounts of seafoods and develop insufficiency of the mineral in their system.
There is loss of considerable amounts of the mineral in storage due to heat and moisture. The increasing use of toxic halides like bromides, chlorides, perchlorate and fluorides reduces the natural availability of iodine as well as its utilization in the body.
Several studies on animals have demonstrated that the deficiency of the mineral can lead to poor growth of coat as well as hair loss. Potter BJ et al had reported that, "samples of wool removed from selected areas of the sheep showed that the iodine-deficient diet also caused a reduction in the growth of wool." Sheep grazing on lands poor in this mineral found to suffer loss in hair growth.
According to World Health Organization, "Iodine deficiency is the world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, cause of brain damage". "Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), which can start before birth, jeopardize children’s mental health and often their very survival." World Health Organization has also related its deficiency to adverse consequences for human infertility.
The US Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iodine is 150-290 micrograms (mcg) for adults and the tolerable upper limit is 1,100 mcg. Too much of the mineral can lead to hyperthyroidism causing several adverse effects.
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2.Venturi S, Guidi A, Venturi M (1996). "[Extrathyroid iodine deficiency disorders: what is the real iodine requirement?]". Le Basi Razionali della Terapia 16: 267–275.
3.Thappa D M, Vijayikumar M. Alopecia areata. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2001;67:188.
4.Potter BJ, Jones GB, Buckley RA, Belling GB, McIntosh GH, Hetzel BS. Production of severe iodine deficiency in sheep using a prepared low-iodine diet. Aust J Biol Sci. 1980 Mar;33(1):53-61.