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Iodine’s role in child growth, metabolism, and fertility

 Iodine’s role in child growth, metabolism, and fertilityIodine is involved in the body’s production of thyroid hormones, and we humans need plenty of iodine throughout life, especially during periods such as fetal development and child development. Iodine is also important for brain development and cognitive skills. Severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy and during a child’s first years of life may result in stunted growth and/or mental retardation, but there has been uncertainty about how a minor iodine deficiency affects the child before and after birth. In a review article that is published in Nutrients, the authors look closer at iodine’s role in fertility and child growth. Apparently, iodine deficiencies are quite common, and we even need selenium and other nutrients to secure a well-functioning thyroid gland.

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Overview of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids


Overview of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids

Vitamins, minerals, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and Q10 are nutrients that we need in certain quantities in order to support vital body functions.
Nutritional supplements containing vitamins and minerals must be labeled in accordance with the reference values.

This overview serves as general information about the different vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids and how they work.

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the Vitamin and Mineral Guide

Potassium (K)

An adult contains around 150 grams of potassium with 98% inside the cells. Potassium works in synergy with sodium, which is primarily found outside the cells in the tissue fluids. The potassium-sodium distribution is essential for the so-called electrolyte balance of cells, and this is crucial for the cellular uptake of nutrients, for the ability of cells to get rid of waste products, and for the maintenance of essential fluid balances. The kidneys regulate the body's potassium levels and they must always be in balance with sodium. A major sodium source is table salt (sodium chloride). Excessive consumption of sodium may result in a potassium deficiency.

Functions and importance for

  • Maintenance of the electrolyte balance (fluid and salt balance)
  • Blood pressure
  • Enzymatic processes
  • Nervous system, including muscle and heart impulses
  • Muscle contraction
  • Heart rhythm and cardiac contractility
  • Intestinal peristalsis via nerve and muscle impulses
  • Blood sugar levels
  • Oxygen metabolism in the brain and other tissues
  • Counteraction of acid surplus by means of alkalizing processes

Deficiencies and poor utilisation may be caused by

  • Unbalanced diets with low intake of potassium sources such as fruit and vegetables
  • Too much salt (sodium chloride)
  • Too much coffee and alcohol
  • Too much sugar
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Stress where the corticosteroid aldosterone retains sodium and excretes potassium
  • Diuretics
  • Laxatives
  • Certain types of antibiotics
  • Overactive thyroid gland

Deficiency symptoms

  • Fatigue and limpness
  • Headache
  • Fluid retention, swollen ankles
  • Elevated blood pressure and irregular heart rate
  • Heart rhythm disturbances
  • Muscle cramps and hard muscles
  • Constipation
  • Pain in the joints and bones
  • Tingling sensation (needles and pins) in arms and legs
  • Dilated pupils
  • Cardiac arrest in serious cases

Please note: Potassium and magnesium deficiencies often result in the same symptoms.


Mainly seaweed, beans, dark leafy greens like spinach, dried apricots, Jerusalem artichoke, potatoes, avocados, oats, bananas, apples, mushrooms, almonds, nuts, and rosehips. Other sources are fish (especially salmon) and meat. Vegetarian sources are generally the best. Potassium and other minerals is also found in sea salt, which helps to improve the potassium-sodium balance.

Potassium content in mg per 100 grams

Seaweed 7,500
White beans 1,530
Almonds 725
Potatoes 414
Ret beet, salmon 330

Recommended daily allowance (RDA)

Adults: 11 years of age and older: 2,000-3,000 mg
Children: 1-10 years of age: 500-700 mg

Increased need

  • The larger the consumption of salt, the larger the need for potassium
  • Too much sugar, coffee, alcohol, and other stimulants
  • Excessive sweating
  • The above listed deficiency symptoms
  • Diuretics and the other listed medical drugs
  • Acid retention

Important information

We used to get a lot more potassium from the diet in earlier times. Today, it is the other way around and this imbalance may be potentially harmful. According to the Nordic Nutrient Recommendations women are advised not to ingest more than six grams of salt daily, while men are advised to stay below 7 grams. This is the equivalent of 2.4 and 2.8 grams of sodium respectively.
Minor potassium deficiencies may be controlled by means of diet - especially by consuming more potassium sources and less salt. Potassium supplements should be taken by people who use strong diuretics in order to avoid side effects of getting too little potassium. Because potassium loss varies from one person to another, blood levels of potassium should ideally be measured before and after treatment.

Overdosing - side effects

Rarely seen, but they may be caused by kidney diseases.

  • Weakness and reduced muscle strength
  • Impaired reflexes
  • Heart rhythm disturbances
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Numbness in arms and leg
  • Created on .

Chronic fatigue tied Alan to his bed but Q10 capsules saved him:

Chronic fatigue tied Alan to his bed but Q10 capsules saved him "After about one week of taking the Q10 supplement I could feel a huge difference," says 23-year old Alan Piccini, who has been suffering from extreme fatigue and muscle aches ever since he was a child.

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Cholesterol-lowering without side effects:

Cholesterol-lowering without side effects:“Taking capsules with co-enzyme Q10 has freed me of the severe side effects of my cholesterol lowering medicine,” Mrs Franken explains.
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