Metabolism, The Thyroid, & Iodide
May 22, 2021
Or, How a Deficiency in Iodine Can Negatively Impact Attempts at Weight Loss.
In this article, we cover the link between your thyroid and metabolism, and why an iodide deficiency might be the root of the issue if you’re having difficulty shedding weight.
While associated purely with digestion, metabolism in the broader sense is defined as “the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.”
So while digestion plays a role, breaking down food into a size more manageable for your cells, it’s not the whole picture. Metabolism takes place in every cell of your body, as they undergo the chemical process of converting nutrients and oxygen into energy.
This is where the idea of the BMR, or basal metabolic rate, can come in handy. The basal metabolic rate is the rate at which your body expends energy in order to fulfill all the functions that keep you alive – breathing, blood circulation, regulating your body temperature, etc.
It may surprise you to learn that your BMR accounts for a significant 50-70% of your daily caloric expenditure – even when resting. This means that anything impairing the process of metabolizing your food into energy means you burn fewer calories, which, other things held equal, makes it a lot more difficult to lose weight.
How does iodide play a role? We’ll get there. First, we have to take a look at the thyroid, the gland responsible for producing the hormones that regulate your metabolism.
Meet thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), the hormones that regulate metabolism in every cell of your body. As mentioned above, these hormones are produced by the thyroid.
This means that conditions such as hypothyroidism, which negatively impact your ability to produce these hormones, slows down and impairs metabolic functions throughout your entire body. As we have just learned, this means you’ll burn fewer calories daily, not to mention the arguably more worrisome fact that your cells are struggling to sustain the functions that keep your body running.
Iodide to Iodine
Long story short, T4 and T3 cannot be produced without iodine. One of the main functions of your thyroid is to convert the iodine you consume into these iodine hormones, which then go on to work their magic throughout your body.
Barring any serious medical conditions (in which case we recommend a personal consultation with a physician), if you’re not getting enough iodide then there is not enough T4 and T3 in your body, and your basal metabolic rate is probably not as optimal as it could or should be.
If you suspect this might be the case, it wouldn’t hurt to try supplementation for a few weeks (with 3-6 being the average wait time) and seeing if you notice any positive effects.
While there are many reasons that people might struggle with weight-loss, if you feel you are having more difficulty shedding weight than you should, hypothyroidism brought on by an iodide deficiency may very well be the reason.
The good news is that, barring any serious medical issues, not only will an increase in iodide help the thyroid get your metabolism under control, it will also bring with it a host of other benefits, like increased fat-burning capability, blood flow, heart strength, and more.
If this sounds like something you'd be into, take a look at some of the iodine and iodid products we offer, and maybe you'll find something that catches your eye!